Monday, July 30, 2012

Do you think of yourself as a Theologian?

“Theology” is, succinctly, the study of God. By this definition, we are all ‘theologians.’ But believe it or not, some theologians do not use the Bible as their source, but try to figure God out through sense or science. Of course they will never know God this way (1 Co. 2:14). Pity the poor theologians who try!

As soon as we come to Jesus, we are automatically enrolled in His school of theology—“Come and learn from me” (Matt. 11:28). And as His students, we have a responsibility to make sure our beliefs are Biblical (1 Tim 2:15). And, as in any school, we should expect to be given tests to validate that we are really learning.

One of the more passionate theologians in Jesus’ day was Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. Sitting at His feet, she learned theology from the One who called Him Father. Her first theology test came when Jesus didn’t come in time to save her brother Lazarus from death. Her disappointment was crushing. Would her theology hold up?

As theology students, we can expect many tests. And evidently, these tests will increase at the end of the age. Daniel predicted that good theologians would face severe tests in order to be “refined, purified and made spotless until the end” (11:35). Will our theology hold up?


  1. Hi Dr. Greg,
    Good post. Thanks!
    Because of scripture's testimony that the firmament declares the handiwork of God (Ps19), there was a time in church history, when attempts at learning more of God through His creation meant that there was study of creation to see what it could say of God (a theology of spiders, or a theology of trees). But back then, theologians realized that anything that spiders or trees could tell them about God would have to be validated in the bible, which is why that kind of study has been significantly diminished. Whatever a person could postulate about God from a spider could only be true if the bible also declared the same thing.
    We are missing that point of anchorage today. People believe what they want to believe, because they do not want the consequences of the truth. Just as truth brings freedom, so falsehood brings bondage. In that self-centered (prideful because a person is now a god who judges the validity of what God has communicated) paradigm, sin is not evil but merely mistakes. God does not punish evil or judge sin, but gives more time for correction, even after death.
    But here is my question, "Am I willing to let my soul hang in the balance based on my opinion that shades, re-interprets, or disagrees with what God has communicated in the bible?" If so, the presupposition that underlies that willingness to go counter to what has been written is that though God may be powerful in creation and communication, His power is limited in His ability to edit that communication. Rather than update His communication to us and remove ambiguity, God would rather leave the communication ambiguous and leave us befuddled. Scripture has declared the opposite: God wants us to know and act in accordance to His written instructions.
    In that sense, as you have aptly noted, we are all theologians. Even non-believers are theologians, but the problem will be that their god (little G) will not be able to save.

  2. And worse, Larry, both non-believing theologians and Bible-believing theologians are guilty of trying to create God in their own image. Thank you, as always for your cogent comments that give us more food for thought.