Theology and Methodology—Are They Equal?

At the latest Southern Baptist Convention, an outgoing chairman of one of our Southern Baptist committees remarked:

"Our Conservative Resurgence voted to go back to our roots theologically, but as I read the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report, it is as if we are voting to go away from our roots methodologically. We are who we are because of our theology and our methodology.”

As I heard this, I thought to myself, “This is exactly what’s wrong with much in our denomination.  We’ve equated traditions and methods with our theology, and giving up our particular methods and ‘the way we’ve always done it’ should never be equated with our theology.  Our theology shouldn’t and mustn’t change—yet our methods will as we minister in the culture, not a vacuum.”

What do you think?

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One thought on “Theology and Methodology—Are They Equal?

  1. Kenneth Clayton

    I think are methodology has some flexibility but not unlimited. If your theology teaches that a person is justified by grace alone and it is a real work of the Spirit in changing a heart then your methodology can’t be doing whatever it takes to get a person to say a prayer or come forward to an altar call because your theology doesn’t allow equating an emotional response with true conversion.

    Theology may affect your methodology in something like serving the Lord’s supper, a church may see having a whole loaf being broken in front of the congregation as helpful in showing one body in the communion aspect and also Christ body being broken for them. Their previous methodology may have been pre-broken pieces. Something like this may not be right or wrong biblically either way but the methodology was changed based upon a deepening theology.

    Certain methodologies ought to change though even if your theology hasn’t such as ministering in a large city you will have different outreaches than you may in a very rural agrarian part of KY.

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