So Christmas Day is over for another year. The turkey is no more than a carcass and the recycling bin is full of wrapping paper.
But there has been one gift I have been thankful for all year – the good people of the Twitterverse and their theology.
I hear lots of people say that they don’t do theology. They think that theology is something done by Ministers or people with theology degrees – but theology is not just for such people – everyone who has ever thought anything about God has “done theology”.
Social media is excellent for the collective doing of theology. Where once we might have sat at home with shelves full of books to pore over, or when the internet came along a search engine to help our exploration, now we can have an instant theological discussion.
A question pondered and asked soon receives responses. We can hear the voices of those we would never have hear sat alone in a study. We can hear the full spectrum of opinions.
We can draw from a vast range of experience and tradition to inform our thinking. Together we can tease out meaning and application.
We Methodists refer to the Wesley Quadrilateral – that is that there are four things that inform our faith and the living out of it: Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience. The opportunity to discuss things via social media helps us to open up not only our own experience, but to hear the experience and reason of others. It stops us sitting in our own little corner with our own little prejudices, and makes us really think.
You do, of course have to sort out the sensible from the whacky, but it does no harm to hear all sides.
Let’s continue to share that gift together.