THE WORLD’S LAZIEST THEOLOGIAN
I’m the world’s laziest theologian. Most people might not even consider me a theologian at all because I don’t have a title, I don’t read a lot of books by a bunch of disagreeing authors, big words I can’t spell don’t roll off my tongue, and I have no elbow patches on any of my jackets. When highly educated people have come down on opposite side of the same issue for two thousand years, it seems rather pointless to waste time and energy arguing about that which is currently unknowable or to presume that I might be the one who comes up with the cosmos-altering, correct, tie-breaking third solution. I’ve decided I’m just predestined to be a lazy skeptic.
As the world’s laziest theologian I like bullet points. If I can avoid reading a book or taking a class or going to a conference on something that we all know will not resolve anything before it even starts, why waste my time? I’d much rather be shown the bullet point, meditate on it and then extrapolate and execute an appropriate action. Transparency compels me to inform you that I did muddle my way through enough college to eventually, after several schools and several interruptions, obtain a degree, although I skipped my graduation, opting instead for a dive trip in the Florida Keys. I have also studied at theological institutions that made me read books and gave me grades and everything and where the professors had so many letters after their names they reminded me of those Hawaiian fish. “Students, meet Dr. Smith, Humuhumunukunukuapuaah.” I do read a few books now and again, or at least I glance at the captions under the photos. I’m not opposed to formal education, unless it creates intellectual gridlock, fosters inaction by requiring additional studies prior to performing, or diminishes the value of those who have not taken the course or read the book but who are intuitively getting the job done. I do recognize that it is usually the really smart, highly educated people who share their bullet points with me, so I am very indebted to these smart folks and hope they keep burning the midnight oil so I don’t have to. I suffer from a condition called, in medical parlance, theologoparasitosis, a chronic condition in which I let others do the intellectual heavy lifting. As you may have surmised by now, I did not like school when I was a kid and to date, nothing has changed. My all-time hero in education, the man to whom I would light candles were I a Catholic and believed in such things, is Sir Ken Robinson (EDUCATIONAL HERO). Where was this superhero when I needed him?
So, in my pursuit of bullet point theology, I have discovered one short phrase that has become my number 42, the axle to my theological wheel, the North on my theological compass, the starting and ending point of much of my belief. This one short phrase guides virtually everything I do, think, or say. It is Genesis 2:18 –“It is not good for man to be alone”–one of the very first thing God says about people. Nine words – that’s all it takes to define my life’s current purpose, goals and actions. This short phrase helps define my view of sin – sin creates loneliness and separation. This short verse explains my view of Jesus’ death on the cross – to reconcile all things to God through his sacrifice. These nine words , four of them only two letters long, inform my view of eternity – we will be together with Jesus and each other forever. This little phrase explains my view of the church – it is the mutually edifying togetherness that builds us up, not the complex and expensive program we have allowed to be defined as church. This tiny phrase explains why I make disciples of Jesus – because disciples journey through life together. Why do I promote caring for the environment? It’s so people can enjoy being together in a pleasant place. Why do I start new gatherings of Jesus followers? Of course, you already know: because “It is not good for man to be alone.” Why do I help rescue abused women and children? – Go ahead and venture a guess.
So, in my role as the world’s laziest theologian I give you most of the theology you will ever need in just nine short words, only one of which is more than one syllable long. “It is not good for man to be alone.”
 Actually, I have been ordained, so technically I can be called “Reverend”; although there will be ice skating in Hell long before I ever let myself be addressed as “Reverend.”
 42 , according to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything.”
 I had to insert the word “inform” since all theologians are currently using this word a lot and I want to be counted among the smart people. The word “seminal,” once the rage, has now fallen into general disuse so I no longer use it. Using the right words helps theologians shift the “paradigm.” There, now that I have used the word paradigm , the most popular smart person buzzword of all time since a caveman uttered the first “Ugh,” I have confirmed the legitimacy of my status as a theological erudite.
 Jesus only used the word “church” two times in his recorded ministry, and when he used it, it had zero religious connotation. I would hope we could come up with a better way of distinguishing between the Sunday morning program, which looks a lot like school (shudder shudder), and the way of life instituted by Jesus.