You may have been wondering “What does it take to be a freestyle theologian? What are the skills required to do engaging freestyles for the 21st Century? Well there are two basic requirements for doing good theology (in my opinion). One of them are obvious, however the other might not be so obvious.
I’ve always believed that we all need to have a good understanding of what God wants from us. We need to be a people that are thinking about God. Specifically about what God has done in the past, helping us to understand what God is doing now, and what He will continue to do. In some sense, we all need to become unofficial theologians (meaning we don’t all have to go to school for theology). We all need to be taking the time to understand how God is at work today, and how He has revealed himself and is working through His son Jesus. We need to be thinking about the nature of the Spirit and how it unites us, empowers us, and guides us. We are all called to reflect on God’s mission for us in community.
I’m also a firm believer that we need to be students of society, culture and people. We need to be able to understand the trends, interpret systems, and be relevantly engaged with the culture of the community we serve. What do people eat? Where do they hang out? What’s the music? What are the needs of the community? Who are their role models? What do they think about Christians? Basically, we all should become unofficial sociologists (again not necessarily going to school for it). Some might think this is unnecessary “hype” in an attempt to be “cool”. However I understand this attempt at being contextual to be directly drawn from incarnational ministry. Jesus came down and became like us in every way. Paul talked about becoming all things to all people to win them. Yet we refuse to even take the time to understand our neighbors. We are all called to reflect on the culture and society in which we want to see subjected under Christ’s Lordship.
A great example of both unofficial theologians and unofficial sociologists were the Men of Issachar. In 1 Chronicles 12:32 we see that they were “men who understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” They understood their situation, context, and cultural problems, while simultaneously having the answers for those problems that were relevant and appropriate for their context.
Just wanted to make sure people were not sleep’n on Freestyle TV. There are a few videos available to be watched. Also from time to time you can catch live footage provided through the technology of Qik.com and my cell phone. Enjoy the videos and let me know what ya think!
Keep your eye on the Freestyle TV page. Tonight I will capture some live footage of an event called HANG out, which will include Holy Hip Hop performances from local Philly artists. Ill be taking video at various points between 7 and 10pm. Enjoy it live and in freestyle or later at your own convenience.
I want to make sure that you are not sleeping on a great book that is refreshing and also exemplifies freestyle theology at its best, through the use of Jazz as a metaphor for life. Robert Gelinas’ Finding The Groove: Composing A Jazz-Shaped Faith is one of the most relevant books I have read recently (and I have read plenty)! It reads like jazz, flowing and improvising on our faith and its implications and praxis for our time. Buy it through amazon here.
If you have not noticed, I have joined the twitter community and have added twitter to the top right hand of my blog as well. Follow me now on twitter under the name Freestylogian and stay up on freestyle in the moment.
Want the desktop web browsing experience on your smart phone? You are going to want to cop skyfire then! I’ve had it for almost a year now in beta form. It allows you to watch videos, its blazing fast, and it is like surfing the web on your regular computer. Oh, did I mention that it is free? Yes, so go head and put the mobile IE and Opera mobile to shame, and enjoy skyfire. What are you waiting for, start freestyle browing now! www.skyfire.com.
“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the richly ornamented robe he was wearing— and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. (Genesis 37:20-28)
Does this sound familiar? How does Joseph play a Christ like figure in the story? How does this text point us to the life of Christ?
Luke 24:27 “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
Seems as though, Jesus suggests that the Law and the Prophets point to him, refer to him, and concern him. Freestyle with me… What are your favorite Old Testament passages in which Jesus is seen emerging out of the text? Have you seen these scriptures that foreshadow either his birth, life (word and deed), death, or resurrection?
Timothy Brindle once said…
“What the deal with Cotton Candy Christians
Who demand blessings but can’t stand afflictions
Compared to other things they barely love the King
Wanna be like Christ but not share in sufferings”