Doing theology in worship

In this evenings service we went pretty deep into John 4, the woman at the well. I tacked it in three sections.

First, recognising that this is a popular and influential passage for many people I asked the congregation to share how the passage had influenced them and how they experienced it.

Secondly, we looked at some of the issues raised in Sandra Schneider's excellent book "The Revelatory Text" which helps with understanding the 5 husbands as well as challenging views of this first evangelist and the only person that John records fully theologically engaging with Jesus (for example contrast to Nicodemus). On the way we looked at the typology of the narrative in terms of Bride and Bridegroom as well as the key importance of Jesus describing himself as "I Am".

Thirdly, I explored the relevance for us today of the way this showed Jesus at work. How Jesus worked around even the newly forming structures/roles and went to people (the woman in this case) with no power or authority. How Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit still uses ordinary people to bring real change as they discover him as living water and share with their communities.

At the end of the service people wanted to carry on discussing and were asking for to do more "deeper" theology :-)

4 thoughts on “Doing theology in worship

  1. Alan

    Could I ask why you are so concerned with New Frontiers?
    A friend of mine was recently at a Methodist church in South Wales where the preacher declared that Jesus was a sinner, and evidenced this claim by saying that Jesus had an affair with Mary Magdalene. In a post service discussion she also offered the view that the fact of the death of Jesus’s resurrection “depended on how you read it”. Perhaps you would do better looking closer to home for theological discussion.

  2. Dave


    Could I ask why you are so concerned with New Frontiers?

    That seems a bit odd on a post that does not mention Newfrontiers at all. The post was about theological discussion within a Methodist Church.
    It seems to me that a claim that Jesus was a sinner would contradict Methodist doctrines. All Methodist preachers are under the discipline of the Methodist Connexion and so if someone is preaching against Methodist Doctrine then of course I have a problem with that.
    I would however, not react to hearsay. If your friend heard teaching that is wrong then they should take it up with the local Circuit. If they want to contact me directly privately then I could help them do so.
    Such a problem is of course quite different to the situation with Newfrontiers. You claim one preacher taught contrary to the teachings of the Church. In the case of Newfrontiers it is the doctrines of the Church itself that are wrong. Very different.


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