David Russell Mosley
13 August 2016
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire
I’ve been putting some of the finishing touches on a class I’ll be teaching online in a few weeks’ time. The class is called Fundamentals of the Christian Faith and my take on it is to make it an introduction to theology. We go through all the “ologies” you might expect, Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Hamartiology, Soteriology, Ecclesiology, Sacramentology, Eschatology, etc. We also cover things like creation ex nihilo, the Fall, evil, etc. Rather than set this class up by taking each of the above categories in turn, I’ve organized the class into 7 units (since the class is seven weeks long). The first class is an introduction that deals with the sources of theology, creeds, the Bible, etc. But then the next five weeks are as follows: Creation, Fall, Incarnation, Redemption, Consummation. I wanted to organize the class around the economy of salvation because I think, and hope, it will help my students see the integrative nature of theology. That the above “ologies” are not merely discreet units but interact with and often build upon one another.
For the final week, I’m taking them through what I’m calling Theological Imagination, but could just as easily call Sacramental Ontology and Imagination. After six weeks studying things like why did God create us (that is, for what end) and what is the Church, I want to give them an opportunity for seeing and thinking theologically, and so doing from a rather sacramental point of view. I like to use other lectures, when freely available, as well as my own in these classes and have chosen to show them the below video, which is conversation between one of my PhD supervisors, Dr. Simon Oliver, and Dr. Tom O’Loughlin. In the video, which begins with a discussion of what is a sacrament, Simon and Tom eventually get into the notion that creation itself is sacramental and that we know this because there are sacraments. I’m hoping to do a short series of letters on this subject and thought that this video served as a good introduction. Watch and enjoy, and feel free to comment.