Welcome to Pub Theology Charleston! We will be gathering at the Kickin’ Chicken (1175 Folly Road, James Is.) on Monday May 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm. Come out for food, drink and conversation about things that matter.
For each of our gatherings, we’ll have a Topic Format (printed–everyone gets a copy at the beginning of the evening). The Topic Format will provide the Trending Topic for the evening, Background for the topic, and several guide questions to serve as Discussion Starters.
The Topic Format for Monday May 22 will look something like this:
Pub Theology Charleston — May 22, 2017
HARRY POTTER THEOLOGY
Trending Topic: Theology of Salvation, Part 1
The theology of salvation has two major components, 1) the problem of sin affecting all humans, and 2) the solution that corrects the problem, resulting in salvation. As we saw in the sessions on the theology of sin, there are several ways of understanding the problem, so we should not be surprised that salvation must be explained in several ways as well. In the following sessions (11-15), we will examine five of them. In this session we focus on Jesus as our satisfaction and Jesus as teacher.
- Introduction to the Theology of Salvation
- Jesus as our satisfaction — Jesus pays the debt that humans owe to God as a result of sin. Jesus saves by sacrificially satisfying our debt.
- Jesus as teacher –Jesus provides a saving ethical framework for humans to follow.
- Jesus as moral example — When humans follow the moral example of Jesus, learning to love as Jesus loves, they help usher in the saving reign of God’s love and peace on earth as in heaven.
- Jesus as champion and liberator — When people work together with Christ to alleviate the suffering that results from corporate sin, they participate in the fullness of salvation God intends for humanity, helping to usher in the saving reign of God’s love and peace.
- Jesus as final scapegoat — Jesus exposed the lie that we can justify ourselves by sacrificing others. Salvation is realized when humans take responsibility for their own wrongdoings, accept God’s grace, and ground their relationship with God and one another in faith and love.
- Do any of the Harry Potter characters demonstrate anything like the satisfaction for the debt that humans owe God as a result of sin? Can humans participate in this aspect of salvation, besides accept God’s grace, or can God alone wipe away our debt? Are any of the Harry Potter characters God?
- Could either Dumbledore or Hermione represent the Teacher of Knowledge, providing an ethical framework for others to follow?
- Dumbledore and Hermione are both very intelligent and provide needed knowledge at key points. Does Dumbledore hold the edge in this regard? Doesn’t Hermione look up to Dumbledore?
- Who provides Harry with the most information for defeating Voldemort? Consider teachings on the power of love, Voldemort’s biography, and the secrets of the Horcruxes and Hallows. Dumbledore even anticipates future needs, as when he gives Tales of Beedle the Bard to Hermione, the deluminator to Ron, and the old snitch to Harry.
- What makes the difference for the Teacher of Knowledge who provides an ethical framework is the work toward fostering true, inclusive community for all people, God’s way of love. Again, don’t we find both Hermione and Dumbledore at the forefront of this effort? Hermione with S.P.E.W., and Dumbledore constantly teaching the dangers of intolerance, and advocating for Mudbloods and Muggles, et al.
- In Harry Potter, Dumbledore, and Hermione, both seem to parallel Jesus as Teacher of Knowledge. Can you think of other characters who may also parallel the saving work of Jesus in this way?
- Do the ethical teachings of Dumbledore, Hermione, and others help bring about a kind of salvation in the wizarding world?
- What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Those are just a few of the kinds of questions we might like to consider. We’ll probably come up with a lot more questions before the evening is over. Come join the conversation. It may well be your insights that the rest of us sorely need to hear.