Why would anyone want to tweet a systematic theology?
I have at least three reasons for trying this:
- I have for some years asked students to reduce doctrines or historical texts to tweets, something I do to make them think about what is really crucial in the doctrine or argument. This project is a natural extension of that teaching practice, trying myself to boil down each doctrine to its core essence.
- Twitter, and the discussions around it, are full of claims that the form of the tweet trivialises everything, or makes serious discourse impossible; I understand this argument and feel enough of its force. There is no doubt that Twitter can be used to offer reflections of power and beauty – Gerard Kelly’s @twitturgies feed is a series of compelling examples of that. Can Twitter be used to construct a serious intellectual argument? Twystematics is an experiment for me, at least, to try to find an answer.
- This is, at least potentially, a chance to test and rough out some plans for a bigger project later.
- And a fourth: this feels like it might be interesting, and even occasionally diverting.
It might not work; after fifty tweets perhaps no-one will be following and/or I will be struggling to write things. But I’m going to give it a go…