What is Canonical Theism? It…
…is intimately tied to the notion of the canonical heritage of the Church. The Church possesses not just a canon of books in its bible, but also a canon of doctrine, a canon of saints, a canon of Fathers, a canon of theologians, a canon of liturgy, a canon of bishops, a canon of councils, a canon of ecclesial regulations, a canon of icons, and the like. In short, the Church possesses a canonical heritage of persons, practices, and materials. Canonical theism is the theism expressed in and through the canonical heritage of the Church.
Already, with just a bit of molding, you have more substance in that one statement than in the current Theological Task of The United Methodist Church. It is honest, historical, and provides a solid basis for theologizing. As Wesleyans, we are not sola scriptura, but prima scriptura. This is sort of the thought behind the use of Tradition in Outler’s quad. But, canonical theism (CT) goes beyond a single word and defines how we use Tradition — even what it is — in theologizing our current context.
John Wesley had a small canon of Church Fathers — the first 5 centuries or so. Likewise, he could parse from Tradition (even Roman) to build his theological case. Protestants usually recognize a few of the Councils. So you see, we already have something like this. Further, by having this system, this helps to expand our theological sources past that of one man but into the sources he used and into sources we all agree on.
I want to encourage the theologians and theological thinkers left in The United Methodist Church to engage with Abraham and to make use of his system. How might this look?
How would you fill out those line items (councils, books, theologians) yourself?