02 August 2007

Where Does "Theology" Stop and "Mental Masturbation" Begin?

I've been looking at the recent replies on Philocrites' blog to the "Isaac Newton's anti-Trinitarianism in the news" article.

Much of the discussion touches on speculation about Jesus and his relationship to God along with various competing christologies -- unitarian, trinitarian, etc.

Maybe I'm just too simple-minded but I'm finding most theological discussions to be "mental masturbation." The Urban Dictionary definition of this term is "The act of engaging in useless yet intellectually stimulating conversation, usually as an excuse to avoid taking constructive action in your life."

Personally, I don't totally like the term "mental masturbation" because it implies that masturbation (the physical sexual act ... not the "mental" variety) is a useless and non-productive act. I've blogged about the life-affirming and spirituality-enhancing aspects of this in the past:
However, I can accept this phrase as an imperfect metaphor.

So ... most theological discussions are a lot of mental fun but I find too much too much theology to be useless and non-productive for the work that needs doing in the world.

Certainly, too much theological discussion can be a real "Doritos syndrome" experience once you're done.

I'm really not that concerned about christology but I am concerned about practical soteriology.

How can Unitarian Universalists offer salvation and protect us from those things in the world that deny life or make life less whole?

To me, that is a more important question for us than the existence and the nature of God, the relationship between God and Jesus, and all the other questions that come up in most theological discussions.


Chance said...

Love the term "practical soteriology!"

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