One of my favorite things to teach in a seminary setting is Christology, particularly the early church’s development of what would become “orthodox” understandings of both the person and work of Jesus.
The most pernicious theological temptation is projection. As grand “masters of suspicion” such as Ludwig Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud have reminded us, we Christians often read the Bible within a specific cultural context and then impose the standards of that context onto the God of the Bible.
In recent years, some very good cautions have emerged concerning talk of “heavenly cities” and dissatisfaction with our “earthly” home. Preaching in such a way that emphasizes a city to come brings with it a host of dangers.
One of the few reliable maxims in theology is that the simpler the question, the tougher the answer. Volumes of scholarly articles examining centuries of intellectual struggle emerge from questions that are strikingly stark: Who is Jesus? Why does evil happen? What is salvation? What is the point of the church? The less these questions are adorned, the more pressing they become.