: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God’s relation to the world
It is one of those topics that makes many people uncomfortable. Like politics, theology is, by nature, divisive; most of the time there is no middle ground and it forces people to choose sides. Ironically, it often brings out the worst in people.
Still, I believe theology is necessary. In fact, I believe it’s unavoidable. Each of us has an opinion on God, or is in the process of forming one based on study or experience.
In light of that, here are 3 ways not to use theology. There are many more, but let’s start here.
1. Theology as a weapon
I’m right. You’re wrong. Nana-nana-boo-boo!
is cute in the mouth of a child, but when it comes from an adult, a supposed “mature” follower of Christ, it’s devastating, especially with the thought of Heaven and Hell looming in the distance.
Regardless of your seminary training or lack thereof, your take on eschatology, or whether you’re a Presbyterian, a Complementarian, or a hardcore Vegetarian, if your message is wrapped in pride it will be ineffective. Even worse, it will be repulsive
Quoting scripture to prove points and establish belief is great.I recommend memorizing this one first:
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. (Ephesians 4:15 NLT)
At some point, biblical truth has to flow from the mind (knowledge) to the heart (love for others) and out through the hands and feet (service and generosity). Read More…