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Basic Christian Doctrines I: Acknowledging our True-Self.

Updated: Sep 12


Theological Worlds


Introduction


When I read over the Theological Worlds self-rating sheet, I matched up the worlds exactly the way the testing indicated. Overwhelmingly, my Theological perspective lies within World III: Emptiness and Fulfillment (101), with World I: Separation and Reunion (88), and World V: Suffering and Endurance (86) a distant second and third. I appear very far from World IV: Condemnation and Forgiveness (57) and World II: Conflict and Vindication (42).


After reading the information about the other worlds and looking over the test questions in light of my answers, I would have to say that I am a Theological World III person in both its obsesseio and the epiphania states, conditions which of course all Theological Worlds happen to possess.


Obsessio or Obsession


The author of Theological Worlds, W. Paul Jones defines obsessio as a basic deep spiritual longing. He describes the emptiness of this World and those who experience self-estrangement within it. I must say that, at my darkest moments, this is my World view. Self- doubt and a sense of inadequacy turns me inward to the rest of World. At times, I feel unfocused and undeveloped, afraid to end my life not playing any part in the betterment of my community.


My self-doubt lulls me into inaction. At times, I have a sense of comfort in idleness--where it is too late for action and to soon for regrets. Whether it is in the realm of government or religion or anything else, the world seems to me to be a place of indifference toward other people's pain. We really are a World of outcasts where most people feel paralyzed within their own condition of misery. However, I also understand the old saying that if you recognize the problem your half way home to the solution.


In Theological World III, the only solution to the problem of our existence is to take the challenges head on. The problem for so many of us is that we are afraid to take the risk. We don't want to lose what we have worked so hard for. However, if we want to break down the walls of injustice in our World and move from a place of Emptiness to a place of Fulfillment, we must take the risks.


Discovery


We must begin to look deeper into our life and the paradigms that we have set before ourselves. When we begin to know ourselves, we may better understand the world. We are awakened to our own possibilities usually by the support of a caring friend or group. As a result, Fulfillment also begins to occur within our faith community.


When we discover that our purpose in life is self-fulfillment and we want to move out of our malaise, we learn that we do better with the kindness and the encouragement of other people, who are sympathetic to our faith journey. In being accepted by others we discover that we are indeed not alone and the isolation begins to melt away. We are on the way toward fulfillment.


We, in the Christian community, are sustained not only by the familial encouragement we receive from each other, but also by the "Model life" of Jesus Christ who is brought to light through the Holy Scriptures and the Sacraments. Through Christ, we are free to experience wholeness. To Theological World III thinkers, prior Jesus the world was empty, and the Resurrection represented a liberation for every person who believed in Him.

Epiphania or Epiphany


God, who may have seemed apart from the world, is now part of our life through Jesus Christ, and today He is alive and active through the Power of the Holy Spirit. It is with the help of the Holy Spirit that we are inspired to resolve our spiritual longing. The epiphania begins with the realization that we are loved for who we are by our Creator. We are free to be our true self. by loving not only ourselves, but others as well.


By acknowledging our true self, we also become empowered to realize our potential and the potential in others. When we move from nothingness to self-identity, we are able to become active in the World. We see possibilities where there was none before. We are more Positive and Hopeful. We desire to share the possibilities of fulfillment for everyone. In reality, we know just who we are.


Certainly, that is what life is all about to the Theological World III person, who is clearly in a state of epiphany. There is no more emptiness, no more alienation and no more inadequacy. We are visible in the light of Jesus Christ and are revived by his Resurrection.


From Emptiness to Discovery to Fulfillment

Ministry for the Theological World III


It should be noted that I also understand that no Theological World has the prefect response to a sinful world and the weaknesses of my particular Theological World exists. I have a tendency to view people and things somewhat negatively. However, I also believe that courage is required in order to prevent these weaknesses from overcoming my hope for the World.


In learning to better understand my Theological World, I have moved from a state of obsession, through self-discovery, into a state of epiphany, and it has shaped my ministry. The goal of my Ministry is to help all people reach their full potential in life. Naturally, I resolve to exist alongside the other Theological Worlds within the Church, to bring those who want to come out of an alienated World and enter into a new World of possibilities. I fervently believe that this can only be accomplished with the help of the Blessed Trinity.


Note: W. Paul Jones was raised as a United Methodist and ordained in 1954. He became a Trappist Family Brother in 1989 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in 1992. Jones is emeritus professor of theology at St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and has published many articles and 14 books.


End


Originally entitled Theological Worlds: World III was submitted to Dr. William Close as a Master of Theological Studies course requirement 511v-Basic Christian Doctrines

Published on November 1st, 1996.

{Revised September 4th, 2023}

© Dr. Charles Warner 2023

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