Friday, October 15, 2004

Water Buffalo Theology: Chapter 10

If you haven't visited this blog in the past couple days, I've been posting some of what I wrote during our online book discussion of Water Buffalo Theology by Kosuke Koyama (old, now defunct, but soon to be revived in a different format) United Church of Christ Forums during Spring 2003.

Chapter 10: Theological Re-Rooting in the Theology of the Pain of God

water buffalo theology coverIn this chapter Prof. Koyama seems to be repeating a lot of what he previously said about our God who lived and died as one of us, our God who not only imagines our pain but feels and lives it so truly knows our hurt intimately - because this God identified with us so completely as to "share our common lot."

I really, really like the word "enculturation!" But to be a little fussy, I think "rooting" might be more accurate than "re-rooting," since we're discussion bringing a new concept and reality rather than reworking an old one.

And still more Luther! What I particularly like about this chapter is the way it can start our moving toward imaging metaphors with which to express and convey the gospel by learning the culture, traditions, languages and especially the meanings by which the people we're sent to serve live out their lives.

I love his saying (page 87), "Incarnation means in-culturation and in-localization." "Amphibious agent" is a resonant phrase, too.

I also like his emphasis on our becoming and being cross-carrying Christians "…in the light of the Son who was crucified outside the city!" (page 89) Reading that makes me realize we need to move outside our comfort zone even to the extent of becoming the "other" we're trying to reach - just as God did in Christ Jesus. But not only does God in Christ know and share our pain - as Christians can we know and share God's pain?

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