Saturday, October 16, 2004

Water Buffalo Theology: Chapter 16

Water Buffalo Theology by Kosuke Koyama on Amazon

Chapter 16: Is Christ Divided?

water buffalo theology coverKosuke Koyama's asking, "Was Luther baptized for you...was Wesley baptized for you" is so revealing regarding the way people identify themselves by denominational labels rather than by the name "Christian," indicating not only an identity but actual belonging=possession!? Possession by the UCC, the ELCA, the UMC? Wouldn't that mean being owned, possessed by an institutional structure? At least this chapter is more directly accessible than the previous ones!

Professor Koyama seems not to think very highly of denominationalism and at times I don't think highly of denominationalism, either.

Do Methodist Christians study Wesley's theology, do Lutheran Christians study Luther's theology? Many Christians study neither Bible nor theology and most members of most local churches aren't remotely biblically or theologically literate and instead pride themselves on "inherited" Christianity and sometimes even affirm their polity as their foundation! In other words, "The confessions and doctrines which are the historical basis of these world confessional organizations" aren't "living realities" in the lives of the majority of people in these confessional "families." But I also feel different from and divided from (against, at times?) fundamentalist Christianity; I'd like to protect our unique contribution and "save" people from that distortion of the gospel fundamentalist Christianity plainly is.

"...an organization built around that truth..." gets back to my earlier asking whether the organic Body of the Risen Christ can coexist with the institutional church.

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