Theological Reflection Includes Chris-Crossing Layers of Reflection

 I set out to illustrate (for myself) the reflective thinking process which connects themes like justice, mission, ethics, humanity, etc. with the process of theological reflection. The art journal page illustrates visually the frustration that someone new to the process of theological reflection realizes at a gut level: there is not clean-and-neat process for learning how to think theologically; just as there is not short-and-sweet process to "become" an artist. For both there are multiple layers which chris-cross back and forth. The suggestions for theological reflection methodology included here are from How to Think Theologically by Howard Stone and James O. Duke:
 Theological Method
1.       Where do you begin? [human/anthropological or divine]
2.       How do you proceed?
3.       How do you develop a theological template?
4.       How do you prioritize the issues of theology in their order of importance?
Two Modes of Thinking
1.       Sequential—linear thinking that gets one from A to B to C.
2.       Parallel synthetic thinking sees the total picture or Gestalt and the interrelateness of its parts.
For theology to be creative, the output of parallel synthetic thinking needs to be integrated with the conceptual constructs of sequential thinking and vice versa.
How Do We Begin—a Rudimentary Procedure
·         Examine the questions and struggles of our Christian lives.
·         Make explicit the theological understandings of the Christian message implicit in the discussion.
·         Examine those understandings and note their strengths and limits.
·         Propose what seems the most adequate resolution to the issue in light of the Christian message of God.
UltimatelyExplain in theological terms why what we propose is preferable to other options.