Theology altered

TheologySo this past new years eve I spent the evening with a bunch of close friends who also happen to be part of my church family. My buddy Bryce was there and, as always seems to ensue when he’s around, we ended up in a theological debate. This has one of two effects on me. Firstly(thats for you Evonne!) what hit me was excitement at this. The scripture indicates that when we come together we are to think and talk about the things of God. I havn’t started slinging scripture because I’m at work and don’t really have the time but I do plan to put together a study at some point about this. More to the point I was excited because every time I get together with my Christian friends I always want to talk about those things but there doesn’t always seem to be the possibility.

Secondly the out come of the conversation/debate instead of changing my mind about the subject changed my view slightly of theology. Prior to this event I gave little weight to theology in general. Not to say I don’t get in to it my self but it just seemed to me that the majority of the time it seems to lead to debates that go no where and usually end up taking place in places that arn’t really appropriate. For example at Perkins. I’ve had more than a couple of debates of sorts at Perkins. It always alarms me because I know we’re having a debate but I have no way to know what the unbelievers in the booth next to us think. Do they understand that we’re debating and when its all said and done we’re still buddy buddy and love one another? Or do they think that we’re arguing. I’m very wary of this.

The other thing that lent its self to this view is simply put. The teachings of Jesus. He always had a way of bringing the scripture down and making it simple for the common man to understand. It was shown on occasion that the depth of his theological knowledge was obviously that of God All Mighty. Examples would be his discussion with Nicodemus the pharisee or some of the other run in’s with Gentiles and Pharisees through out the scripture. But the large majority of the time Jesus kept it very low level. Telling parables to illustrate even simple concepts and even simply quoting scripture rather than trying to explain it. So this you can see says to me that theology is something that should not have to much stress put on it and even that the learning of theology should be a very controlled, almost private matter.

So I guess as I re-read what I just wrote that my view on theology and how its used hasnt really changed. Just that it has been ammended or added to or expanded. Bryce made a comment which I believe was a quote. I don’t recall the exact wording or the person he quoted so I’ll have to paraphrase. He said something along the lines of learning theology is a step in the progression of sanctification or something along those lines. And so it is that I find my self finally reaching that point. I have the basics down and now I long to learn the deeper more rooted things of the scripture. I still hold that this theology should take a back seat to the simple knowable practicable things of faith and scripture but I now see in a clearer light the meaning and need for it.

That all being said and this new concept coming to light I have to urge you to be cautious about both the learning of and the debate of theology. As you do learn and grow and debate these things keep in mind the simple self sacraficing love Christ showed us. As we grow our view let us be wary of inadvertantly trying to push it on others and forget in the process that love.

“As the grace grows nearer my theology is growing strangely simple, and it begins and ends with Christ as the only Savior of the lost.” ~ Henry Benjamin Whipple

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