Tonight I started reading the volume Vanhoozer edited called “Everyday Theology” and I just fell in love with his theological prolegomena in the first few pages. What is theology? Theology is faith seeking understanding of everyday life…man that’s something I can get my head and life around. How about you?

Listen to him play his tambourine; “theology and understanding alike are short-circuited if we are not able to discern (1) how our faith is affected by the world we live in and (2) how we are to embody our faith in shapes of everyday life.” (pg. 16) It seems like so much of what happens inside the Christian community is driven by a fear that the world might affect our faith and we must protect our faith from that infection. For Vanhoozer real theology is can’t be found alone in understanding or discerning how our faith has been affected, nor is everyday theology explored or expressed merely in protecting faith from infection. Though indeed there may be a latter need of vacination. Affection is reality for an everyday theology, not an obstruction to the expression and action of theology.

Vanhoozer isn’t finished yet, he goes on to say that theology in order to be real everyday theology must learn how to embody faith in the shapes of everyday life. What passes for Christianity in the public square can at times seem foreign and dated or mishappen by naive parodies of the culture around it. I’ve had more than one conversation with a non-Christian who was puzzled over why we immitate certain things. The world’s listening on IPod Touches while many in Christendom reload their batteries in their ‘trend-dead’ minidisc players.

Missional living isn’t alive without embodiment in the real shapes of our present culture. Like Bob Dylan says, “she told me to play the songs of my day.” The ‘everyday mission’ in the subtitle of my blog is seeking to emphasis this very point. We have to play the songs of our day, to play in a way that demonstrates that Christ is the singer, songwriter, difference-maker, radical that everyone knows is needed but is too afraid to publicly praise.

Vanhoozer goes on to say, “The reason why theology must study God and contemporary culture is the same reason why preaching must connect both with the biblical text and the listener’s context: because disciples do not follow the gospel in a vacuum but wend their Christian way through particular times and places, each with its own problems and possibilities. We can follow God’s word only if we know where we are and if we have a sense of where various ways lead.” (pg. 16) And we can embody and live out this theology only if we realize that it is for more than just us, that its path is a path for our neighbors to walk along side us in. Culture is not a tight rope that we walk with the world on one side and the church on the other always fearful of falling to side with no safety net. No, culture is a public sidewalk crying out to be chalked by those abnoxious bored kids and to be traveled on by the whole neighborhood.

You could say that there is no everyday theology without an everyday mission, and that every everyday mission presupposes an everyday theology beneath it. So just where are we? We’re in – every one of us – is in the missiological context God has intended for us right now. It is here where building for his kingdom takes place. Not five months down the road when you’re on an overseas, not five cultural feet further where you begin to feel comfortable with those around you, and not five minutes latter when the sin you and I have been beatin up by has passed.

Here, everyday…an everyday theology for an everyday mission.