Five Theologies

Journal 2005. I can’t remember the source or author, but I found this in my files. I’d be happy to attribute it correctly if anyone knows who wrote it.

The author listed five types of theology and stated a local church must have at least three of these to be balanced and effective.

  1. The mystical (emphasis on inner healing, Holy Spirit)
  2. Suffering (third-world countries often live here)
  3. Sin-Salvation (fundamentals of the faith)
  4. Social injustice warriors (feed the hungry, heal the sick, anti-abortion)
  5. Self-fulfillment (typical American, those who live in peace and prosperity)

To make it personal, I wonder how these apply in my own life. I’m moving toward the first one. I’m acquainted with suffering vicariously through my clients and African roots. I’m intimately familiar with #3 because of my MK upbringing. I agree with the need to address social injustice but don’t do much about it. And I have the luxury of living in peace and prosperity. Does this mean I’m balanced and effective? I’m not sure.

Where does your local church fit in this list? Where do you? Do you agree with the author?

A 2021 update. I have become more laser-beamed toward #1 because of my ministry and #5 because of my current culture. Perhaps I’m a little imbalanced, according to this author, but I think I am more effective because I understand my gifting and calling. But when the church body works together, we can partner with others who live out a different theology.

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