A Thesis In Action
April 10, 2012
Sometimes you’re at school so long that people know to come search for you at a certain table by the fireplace. “Oh, that’s Denise’s spot,” they say. “She is pathetic and always in that spot. Whining and typing and feeling sorry for herself because she’s in school. If you want to feel better about yourself, go visit Denise’s spot. She might share some of her Skittles with you.”
Sometimes that happens.
Also, I forgot to take any pictures yesterday. I’m so bad at this photo challenge, you guys. Oh, wait. I just looked it up. I was supposed to put up a picture of a “younger me.” Luckily Facebook and scanners and Auntie Faye exist. Tada!
I liked short skirts.
My mom and I had a motto: “Bangs. The taller, the better.”
Here is my post for Boundless this week. It’s about old friends.
My thesis proposal is pretty much done. Except it needs editing. And probably someone to rewrite it. But other than that, it’s done. So basically I’ve decided to write my thesis on the idea of faith as belief and action in the Bible. The very opening words of Scripture reveal a God who is active and dynamic — “In the beginning God created.” (In fact, in the Hebrew, the verb — the action — comes first.)
From the very beginning, a variety of Hebrew action verbs let us know that God creates, speaks, calls, makes, builds, blesses, gives and sees. Immediately he involves himself in the physical world — walking with humanity, speaking to those he created, asking questions, fashioning garments. God questions Cain, calls Abraham, argues with Moses, covenants with David. Over and over throughout the Old Testament, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness because of what he has done. And ultimately, the activity of God is incarnated, fleshed out, a living, breathing example. God becomes a man and lives out divinity, reveals what it looks like to be active completely and fully.
The revelation of God is dynamic and active, not linear or systematic. So, through my thesis, I want to understand theology — understand God — as defined by action. I will do this by studying the acts of God, the response of individuals Scripture remembers as faithful, the community’s response demonstrated through law, festivals and liturgy, and the Hebrew language itself, which expresses the story of God in a uniquely active way.
I want to form an argument for a biblical theology that truly understands faith through action rather than just mental assent to a particular set of beliefs. Active faith is not relegated to the preferences of the God of the Old Testament, or even to the particular worldview of the Hebrew mind. Faith in action is core to who God is, which is clearly shown throughout the Bible. It is not antithetical to grace. Action does not equal legalism. It is in the very nature of God — it is how he shows his love to us and how he asks us to show love to him.
So, that’s what I’m working on. We’ll see.
Have a fun times day, friends!