Theology Thursday

It will be my goal every Thursday to share a little tid-bit of theology. Either something I am reading, or listening to, that I think would be beneficial.

This week I’ve bee reading “the Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” by Tim Challies . I will post a more extensive review once I’ve finished it, but so far I would highly recommend it. In the second chapter Tim expounds on how the importance of theology (the study of God) has been downplayed in recent years as the pursuit of fundamentalists, or intellectual elitist Christians only. His point is that theology should be the pursuit of every Christian, because as Christians we love God and desire to know him better. What does it say about us if we say we love God but have no desire to learn about him. Tim quotes Richard Phillips on this issue:

“Theology bore’s today’s Christians, which is another way of saying we are bored with God himself.”

Do you agree with this statement, or do you disagree? Have you seen this attitude in your own church or small group.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.

Posted on March 5, 2009, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think I like God better as a mystical, spiritual mystery than something that we can take apart piece by piece and study meticulously. As humans we can’t begin to understand God or the Creator or whoever is out there watching us. Over the years I have gone from being a believer, to an atheist, to an agnostic, to an apathetic person. I think that a lot of Christians like to go to church and just take things in, rather than study it on their own time. But I agree, if we are bored with the theology, than we are probably bored with God himself.

  2. Thanks for your feedback Joram, very honest and insightful. I agree that there are aspects of God that are mysterious and unknowable by human beings. Do you think that it is impossible therefore to know anything true about God?
    I definately agree that alot of Christians don’t seem to want to learn anything about God on their own.

    Also I’m curious about how apathey is working out for you as a worldview? Is it just a result of frustration, or do you think its the best way for you, and others to live their lives?

    • You know personally you’re one of the last people I thought would become a christian in high school. Just had to say that. But that’s cool, you somehow found Jesus. I on the other hand lost him, a long time ago. Towards the beginning of university my faith just started to fade away. I just think learning about God is so hard, because we have the Bible, but… wasn’t it just written by men anyways? How do we know that it was all ‘god breathed’ or inspired? Just because a committee of dudes got together centuries ago and declared it to be truth? I like believing there is a creator out there, but science seems to be indicated to us that everything happened by chance. The more technology and science advances, the less God seems to be a part of it. That is what made me start losing faith, other people talking to me about science and evolution.

      But you know what, I like Christians. They are fun to hang around with when you don’t want to get drunk or wasted, if you don’t want to hear dirty jokes, if you just want some wholesome fun, if you don’t want to listen to constant cursing, gossip, etc. I still hang out with Christians. But I feel like a hypocrite doing it, because I myself am not really a believer anymore. I also like going to the Meeting House, because I can just sit there and listen to Bruxy, he is very entertaining. And so is that church. I enjoy entertainment.

      Apathy, well, it’s not working out too well. I am very sad a lot, I used to be happier living in ignorant bliss. Now that I’ve heard other sides to the stories my whole world view is shattered and life doesn’t really have a lot of meaning anymore. But I go on, because I live for entertainment. I live for the next movie, the next videogames, the next technological gadget. That’s what keeps me going. I’m not sure it’s the best way to live life, but it is a life… sorta.

  3. Hey Joram,
    No one is more suprised that I am a Christian today than me. I wouldn’t say that I found Jesus, because frankly I wasen’t looking for him. I had just finished college and was pursuing my career and my own business, life was good. Then I was invited by a friend last minute to an Alpha course. Here is a bit of my story on their website.

    I don’t think you should feel like a hypocrite for hanging around with Christians, I’m sure they are happy you are there with them. Christianity is not a club that only welcomes people who are all on the same page with God, but invites everyone to come and discover who Jesus is. That would be my question for you at this point in your life, who do you think Jesus is?

    I always find it funny that when people are told that the Bible was just put together by a bunch of people and so isn’t trustworthy or true, but that science is really trustworthy and true. Isn’t science just a bunch of guys putting books together trying to tell people what is true? What makes them more trustworthy then the people that wrote the Bible? Don’t they keep changing the truth every few years, so why is it truth now? To me it takes alot more faith to believe in evolution (that nothing made everything) than to believe that God made everything.

    It really upset me to hear that you are sad alot. I also don’t really think you were happier because you were living in ignorant bliss, maybe you’ve lost touch with the source of that joy, and maybe you shouldn’t let people decide for you what to believe, but really decide to find truth for yourself. Maybe the truth will set you free.

  4. Adam,
    I think that you are right, Christians don’t study theology nor is there a great interest among many church goes in looking at the theology. Does being bored with theology equal being board with God, that I don’t know about. Some theologians are rather boring in the way they write and at other points they are just out of touch with what is happening outside the academy. Now, I don’t believe that is the case all the time.
    At one time I too read fiction now I read Theology. Part of the problem is that the study of theology has been disconnected from spirituality. Simon Chan makes a compelling argument along these lines, you may want to check out his work, “Spiritual Theology” it is well worth the time it takes to read. I’ve also found Bondi’s “To love as God Loves” very helpful.

  5. Kevin,
    Thanks for the book referrals, I will definately look into those more. I agree that theology can be become stale when it is made into purely and intellectual pursuit, motivated often by pride and not by a desire to know God more deeply and understand who he is as revealed in scripture.

  6. The main thought that occurred to me while reading this blog and the subsequent comments and responses was: why do God and science need to be mutually exclusive? At least that seems to be what the debate came down to in the end. Why couldn’t God have created the world to evolve and why couldn’t the discoveries of scientists be seen to reaveal the intricacies of God’s creation? The way I see it, the more I learn about the world around me, the more I am in awe and filled with faith. Perhaps in a way scientists are simply theologists by a different name. After all, there are countless scientists who have become spiritual only after learning that there is simply no way to explain some things other than to believe that there is a God or creator from which all was formed.

    • Hey Leah,
      I think you have a very important point. In fact historically science and faith have been much more closely linked than in the last century. In fact many of history’s greatest scientists were also men of faith, and as you also pointed out, many contemporary scientists have come to the conclusion that upon their observations, there is intelligent design to the universe; thus an intelligent designer.

      Of course this should be expected, the Apostle Paul wrote about this very conclusion in his letter to the church in Rome, almost 2000 years ago.

      Romans 1:19
      since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

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