Practicing Theology is an educational project dedicated to helping individuals explore the Christian faith through clarity, charity, and conversation.
Theology can be challenging to study, not only because of the required attention to nuance, but also the disruption of rhetoric and misrepresentation by others.
At Practicing Theology, we seek to provide a space for further clarity on these challenging topics that will set someone up for success to engage well with the topic.
Theology is wrought with mischaracterization and oversimplification which cultivates misunderstanding and unnecessary division in the body of Christ.
At Practicing Theology, we seek to provide a space for further charity on all topics, by allowing the topics to speak for themselves and to cultivate intellectual honesty.
Theology is often done in a vacuum, especially in the digital age, leaving us untested and overconfident in our already established beliefs and presuppositions.
At Practicing Theology, we aim to combat this by cultivating conversation across the theological aisle that will be challenging and edifying to the body.
A burden for unity.
At the very heart of this project is a desire for greater unity in the body of Christ. I firmly believe that we can maintain the beauty of unity portrayed throughout the New Testament while holding to different theological persuasions. Though it is at times a lonely hill, it is a hill that is worth dying on and a hill worth fighting for.
In my own theological journey, I have found that clarity, charity, and conversation have been foundational for a more ecumenical heart and by God's grace, I have become quicker to love and fellowship with other believers in Christ and spend less time magnifying our differences. Though there are moments where it is necessary to divide, my hope is that Practicing Theology can participate in this ecumenical project.
My name is Mark Sparks.
I have a beautiful wife and four children (#4 due in March 2023!)
We live in Cary, NC where I serve in Sports Ministry at my church. I also attend school at Shepherd's Theological Seminary where I received my M.T.S. and am now working on my M.A. in Biblical Literature and Languages Lord-willing I will go forward for a PhD in Theological Studies after this program.
The Lord has cultivated in me a deep love and appreciation for theology over the years. I'm most interested in patristic theology, theological method, and philosophy with special interest in how these three areas intersect and interact with one another.
I'm still in the exploratory stages of my theological journey and Practicing Theology is my invitation to all explorers to join me in this journey as I seek to listen to and understand the word of God and the teaching of faithful men and women that have come before me.
If you are looking for polemics, you won't find much here. However, if you want to understand the faith and to better understand and engage with the many important conversations being had by some of the brilliant minds of theology, then this is the place for you. My burden is for greater ecumenism in the body of Christ and through much prayer and personal experience, I have come to believe that this exploratory project is the best means to realize that outcome. I pray that it is meaningful and helpful for you as you continue on your theological journey.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube and in our Slack community, Practically Theologians.