I’ve just been thinking about a situation where I had reservations about what the underlying theology of a course of action was, and indeed, whether there even was an underlying theology. I was in conversation with some other Christian people about an aspect of social action and I was reflecting to myself about whether it matters what the underlying theology is if there are good results. I was thinking about social transformation and a desire to transform the world from the way it is to the way it should be.
It’s a bit like motherhood and apple pie isn’t it? Who in their right mind would speak against transforming the world from its current state into something better? But as I started to think about that idea I realised that theology does matter. Theology tells me what is actually wrong with the way things are and tells me how it should be, and that will be different to someone with a different world view. That doesn't mean that we can’t work together to tackle social issues, but if we do, then I think we need to understand where we’re coming from otherwise we might find ourselves at odds somewhere down the line.
For me theology does matter because it underpins everything I do. It shapes who I think I am, who each young person I work with is, and what it is I am trying to do with them. It also tells me what the transformation I’m wanting to bring about and the hope that I’m holding out are. Without that foundation I’m not sure what my work would be.