ABSTRACT

Ordinary theology must be more than contemporary social opinion if it is to be theology at all. Jeff Astley accepts that, although ordinary theology is nonscholarly and non-academic, ordinary theologians ‘are inevitably engaged in doing their own theology if and when they speak and think about God, or at all events when they do so with any seriousness’ (Astley, 2002: 56, emphasis added). If the views and opinions of ordinary theologians are to be regarded as ‘theology’, then, there must be evidence of reflection on and evaluation of their own beliefs. What ordinary believers say about their faith is of value and potentially important for the wider faith community only if such talk about God is the result of some critical reflection, and not simply idle thoughts or unreflective opinion.