My vocation has become clearer as the years go by: to study the unchanging God without something else to do, some pragmatic reason or result. This is what I feel most called to do: simply enjoy the study of God – not write about it, not view it in relation to its political residue or imagine that my opinions will have some visible social effect. The joy of inquiry into God is a sufficient end in itself, not only as a means to some practical consequence.Thomas C. Oden, The Rebirth of Orthodoxy, p. 95
It is only from one’s unique history of suffering that one can define accurately one’s own calling. Only from a particular history of special anguish and personal travail can one come to know how God is calling one to be present to the suffering world even as God the Son has become present to it.
— Thomas C. Oden, The Rebirth of Orthodoxy, p. 94
Plain theology delights in its very act of thinking, reading, praying, and communing – not for the effects, written artifacts, or social consequences … but for the beauty of their subject …. The study of God is to be simply enjoyed for its own unique subject: the One most beautiful of all, most worthy to be praised.
– Thomas C. Oden, The Rebirth of Orthodoxy, p. 96