the theology we need is like an OPEN SOURCE OS
open source OS (like linux or ubuntu) is a user-interface created by geeky guys in their bedrooms that will do everything you want on your computer for free. it will run every program (including making programs - for free - that typically cost upwards of $1000) and any problem you ever have can be solved by receiving free advice from other open source users.(they help because they are sooooo excited that yet one more person has discovered the wonder of an open OS.)
open source OS will do anything you need it to. it will run anything you need it to. it's harder to understand...waaay harder to use...but the rewards are infinite.
unpacking the metaphor: we need to be less concerned about making everything "fit" into one system of thinking and more concerned with being open enough to embrace the movement of god...even (or perhaps especially) when it's confusing, mysterious, or unexpected.
we need to read ALL of the bible in its original context in mind of its original audience...not just pieces of the bible that say things we like, or bits of the bible that seem (at first) like they were meant just for us and our friends.
we need to read the bible with our traditions, allowing scripture to edit those traditions when we discover that some of our favorite things actually have no basis in scripture.
above all? we need to realize that the WHOLE POINT of any OS (read "theology") is so that we can use the programs (read "gifts"and "fruits" of the spirit)...so we need to constantly be evaluating ourselves (and our OS/theology) on the basis of whether or not we're loving people better, serving god more wholly, and being more useful in god's mission to save the world.
and dangers? are there any big dangers to this open source theology? YES...absolutely. the biggest danger comes from anyone who latches onto an idea that is neither biblically substantive nor open to testing by other leaders and thinkers (i.e. their idea is complete crap but they refuse to acknowledge it...so they become a cult leader). without systemic accountability anyone can run with any idea regardless of how kooky it is...the only way to avoid this danger is to open ourselves to dialogue, attend to our critics, and lean on the creeds as pillars of our orthodox confidence.
but - even with this very dark danger in mind - the rewards for faithfully following jesus are worth the risk of turning into a weirdo.
it's better for us to uphold the values of studying the scripture and opening ourselves to a more robust and deep-feeling experience of god through prayer and the guidance of the spirit...than simply memorizing a bunch of retread theology done by the swiss and the germans five centuries ago (or the italians and the french one millenia ago).
contemporary examples of the good OS: rob bell, tom wright, peter rollins, michael frost & alan hirsch, len sweet
historical examples of the bad OS: david koresch, jim jones