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Centralist Theology

By: Metropolitan Archbishop +Joseph Thaddeus, SSJt., Ph.D.

What do we mean by the phrase and term "Centralist Theology"?

We have coined the phrase for the purpose of teaching. "Centralist" means to be at the center or to teach from a central point of reference. "Centralist" is to be center from that of the "left" or the "right". "Centralist Theology" is to center our focus on what is CENTRAL and germane to why we are called Christian, and what and Who is important in our Faith, which is Jesus Christ! The "What" is His teachings. The Who, is Faith in Him and His teachings, for our salvation to come is central to life itself!

Many Christians are first taught with the Old Testament of the Holy Bible, with (at least) a story about the Life of Jesus Christ, then proceeding into the Old Testament (again), proceeding onward into the Epistles of Paul which leads back into the Old Testament. Why is that? The answer is simple, but not for this writing. Those who teach in this fashion or manner, place strong emphasis on the Epistles over and above the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This method of teaching has not maintained its center on Jesus Christ, but on that which is more commonly termed as following a "Pauline" doctrine (Paul's doctrines of understanding were based on his extensive involvement in, and understanding of, Old Testament Law as practiced by the Pharisaic customs in Jesus' time. These Pauline doctrines are more Old Testament in scope and depth than being of Jesus Christ's Gospel.

A Centralist Theological approach would be to place everything in comparison to what Jesus Christ said and did as recorded in the primary Gospels accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as other manuscripts not included in the Holy Bible but equally as important because they center their teachings and practices on what Jesus Christ did and said. The traditions of the early church, the Holy Fathers, existed long before manuscripts were brought together which formed that which we have today as called the Holy Bible. The Church came about not because of the Holy Bible. But, the Holy Bible came about as a direct result of the early Church.

Studying historical facts reveal that there were many manuscripts not included in what we have today as the Holy Bible, some of which are used by scholarly people. There are those who have claimed, over the centuries, that what we are referring to was excluded as not being sacred by Holy Spirit. But again, referring to historical facts, we learn that much of the actions taken to decide the formulation of what we have today as the Holy Bible, was dominated not by the Holy Spirit, but by the political actions of that which is today called the Roman (Latin) Catholic Church and its hierarchy at the time. Some of these facts will be explored and evaluated in various courses of study.

Centralist Theology then, is to place everything that is contained in both the early traditions of the Holy Fathers, and the Holy Bible, in comparison to what exists in the Holy Bible concerning the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Our approach is more holistic, involving how it will benefit one's personal life, as well as one's relationships with others. This is a more true Christian approach since we call ourselves "Christians" as being followers of Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are Seekers of Truth!

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