I have to write a paper and think through my “theological heritage/tradition”. I feel a bit lost trying to think through what it is.
- I grew up in a pentecostal (apostolic assembly/latino) church until my early twenties.
- In my twenties, I was part of a small congregation that was in part getting influenced by the “shepherding movement” in a charismatic setting.
- Late 20s to early 30’s, I was part of a non-denominational church that was in part connected to PCUSA.
- We did a stint with the Vineyard.
- We’ve been most consistent at North Coast Calvary Chapel for the last 6-7 years or so.
- I studied theology (spiritual formation) at a Catholic University and did my masters at a baptist seminary!!!
So how does someone like me begin to name their theological heritage and tradition?! aaackk!!! LOL!!! At this point, I feel like I have a strong “ecumenical/theological” heritage and tradition.
I also feel like it’s important to name movements, beliefs, and people that have influenced me:
- Henri Nouwen (catholic)
- NT Wright (anglican)
- Walter Brueggemann
- Stanley Hauerwas
- Lesslie Newbigin
- Justo Gonzalez
- Miroslav Volf
- Ronald Rolheiser (catholic)
- Eugene Peterson (Presbyterian)
- Vineyard Movement
- Gifts of the Spirit for present day
- Kingdom of God (here/not yet)
- eschatology: a redeemed and renew creation (literally)…heaven coming to earth/not taken out of creation
- world of psychology (brene brown, john gottman, hargraves, harville hendrix, and more)
- Dallas Willard
- Leadership theory
And the list goes on. I wasn’t sure how to capture all of this as a heritage until a friend gave me some advice. He said to “make the same list focusing on the practices of faith (both personally and corporately) that you actually embody and the intersection is likely your actual theological heritage.”
So here’s an initial try at listing the practices:
- wholeness: learn from different disciplines and streams to integrate principles for flourishing. I support therapists, learning from different theological streams (i.e. Catholic church, charismatic movement, etc)
- integration: I know this sounds like the first one, but I try to learn from each discipline and pull ideas together. I read something from each discipline every week.
- mission: I deeply care to participate in God’s mission for this world. I care about the stranger being included and invited to the table. I believe that God is deeply hospitable, making room for the destitute, misunderstood, and excluded ones. I engage in God’s mission for the world by serving the marketplace.
- formation: we are all shaped and formed into the person we envision. Our upbringing, beliefs, mentors, influential people, habits and practices, and God all contribute to the person we’re becoming.
- Holy Spirit: reliance on the Spirit to guide, heal, transform, empower
- wisdom: we seek insight from the God who knows all things.
- incarnational presence: being in the daily life of the people we serve, making a home where they live and work.
- worship: the full expression of praise to God, expressing gratitude to God, confessing to God, fellowship with one another, communion, and proclaiming the word of God.
- community: serving and being in relationships with one another for the sake of encouragement, growth in Christ and for Christ.
- justice: seeking the justice of God’s heart in this world.
- multi-ethnic/cultural expression: seeking how to incarnate the gospel in the setting of the people–who they are (racial/ethnic profile, cultural practices, etc).
My heritage is a composite of the journey I’ve been on to serve Jesus and be a disciple.
Thanks to all of these people/movements/ideas for helping me on the journey.