Chad Lakies

My name is Chad Lakies. I currently serve as Assistant Professor of Theology at Concordia University, Portland, OR. I’m married to Bethany. We have a daughter, Anabel.

Visit my page. There you can find some of my publications, as well as download a copy of my CV.

This blog is mostly a place for me to put some of my thoughts into words. Hopefully in so doing, I might get some feedback from various readers. And people who know me might get to know me better.

For my PhD, which I completed at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO, I focused on Systematic Theology, Ecclesiology, Church Practices, and Cultural Theory. My dissertation was entitled “An (Enduring Ecclesiology: Beyond the Cultural Captivity of the Church.” My areas of interest span from contemporary continental philosophy and theology to pragmatism and the practical playing/living out of theology itself. I’m convinced theology is not merely a set of propositions or confessions. It’s a grammar that shapes our lives. My wonderings often reflect on how theology ‘looks’ in real life.

Too often in theology, there is a great effort to discuss what Christians should not do, while there is not much talk at all about what Christians as Christians do do. My interest in this type of discussion and distinction is strong, first because I don’t think an adequate account of what a Christian ‘is’ is actually given very often if at all. Maybe I can begin to do that in my present ‘muddling through.’ But the other reasons include the fact that I believe the Church truly is trying to understand again who it is, especially after realizing the utter inability of modernistic notions of ecclesiology and propositional theology to accomplish the task–neither takes into account either the ‘real life’ of individual Christians, nor their place in the ‘real life’ of the Church. Another reason is that the Church works with notions of what it means to be human that are severely inadequate–these notions are borrowed from other disciplines such as psychology and sociology which treat humans as objects to be studied rather than realizing that one of the first steps in understanding human nature is taking into account how humans understand themselves (I have been learning this from the philosopher Charles Taylor, who discusses this by what he refers to as embodied agency).

I believe that theology is not just a subject or a discipline, and therefore not just something which is studied or even learned. I believe it provides a framework for understanding all of life, and therefore is a language of life. Theology offers a narrative into which all of reality can be situated and understood. The grammar which is theology, as Paul Holmer says, is not one which is “about” faith, but it is the grammar “of” faith. I hope in my present musings to demonstrate this, not necessarily through argument, but that through my writing and thinking, others are formed to think in a different way. Theology makes particular kinds of people. It is not only informative, but also formative and transformative.

Thus, the title of this blog–Lived Theology. Not only is this a blog about theology, but it is a doing of theology. Hopefully this will happen in two ways. Readers will see something of a autobiographical development and reflection of how theology is shaping me. At the same time readers will be shaped in how they see the world and themselves in it, and will assimilate a grammar for describing their own lived experience.

Every now and again, I’ll throw in less theological/philosophical blurbs about what is happening in my own life or about something I’m interested in. Yet always, somehow, those things are never fully disengaged from my own life as a Christian who is trying to find ways to articulate the experience of life through the grammar of faith. Maybe I’ll mention how I see the connection; maybe not.

Thanks for reading.