There’s a popular attempt, even among self-proclaimed born-again Christians, to throw off the obligation to obey scripture with generous desire to not “box God in” to the constraints of the Bible. This form of liberation is similar to that which a skydiver would achieve by unstrapping his parachute at 10,000 feet. Deadly.
My husband, justly alarmed by the trend, wrote out his response. As I share his concern and believe his arguments, I’m lending him space to publish it here. —Stacy
A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” Whether you agree with that statement or not, what is certain is that whatever you think about God affects every part of who you are and what you do. Theology, or the study of God and of God’s relation to the world, has gotten a bad rap lately, but I believe that it is one of the most misunderstood and most important topics for our generation.
Believe it or not, everyone has a theology. Theology is not just for pastors and religious fanatics. The most militant atheist is a theologian. Put simply, if you have ever had a thought about God, then you are a theologian. And what you think of God is of infinite importance; this is self-evident. The person who believes in a God with infinite power and resources will act in a way that corresponds with that belief. The person who believes that God is malleable and uncertain, will be filled with doubt about God’s intentions and purposes. And the atheist theologians who believe God is not real will claim to live as though they are free from any divine authority.
Closely related to our theological beliefs is what we believe about ourselves. Who are we, and what is our nature? This understanding of ourselves also has a direct effect on how we live our lives. If you believe that people are naturally good, you’ll be more inclined to have a high view of yourself and a low view of your need for God. If you believe that people are just evolutionary upgrades in the history of life, you’ll likely have a low view of the intrinsic value and purpose of human life. If you believe that God created man, but mankind rebelled against God, this will also affect how you interact with God and those around you.
“Who is God?” and “Who are we?” are great questions, but another question lies behind them: How can we know? I might want to know God, but how can I know God? I might want to better understand myself, but where is this knowledge to be found? The world, and, regrettably, the Christian community itself, offers a variety of answers. Experience, Logic, Faith, Dreams, Visions, Psychology, Philosophy, Society, History, Literature, Mathematics, Science, Astronomy, etc… Some would suggest that these are all legitimate paths to enlightenment. But how can we know that we can know? How can we verify the truth about anything at all?
I am writing this specifically to those who call themselves Christians. While I hope to encourage everyone to think more deeply about God and themselves, this is primarily a plea to Christians to think deeply about God, themselves, and the source of truth. I am truly burdened, and I hope to start a conversation and hopefully bring clarity to these questions. I will post a new installment each day this week. Read each one and really consider what these posts mean for you. Tomorrow we will address the first question, which, incidentally, is the last question: How can we know?
What is your theology?
How do you know that your theology is correct?
©️Jacob Crouch 2020