Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Theology 101 - Should the Average Christian Care About Theology?

Here's a good question, and an even better answer provided by J.I. Packer:

Should the average Christian care about theology?

A fair question! - but there is, I think, a convincing answer to it. The questioner clearly assumes that a study of the nature and character of God will be unpractical and irrelevant for life. In fact, however, it is the most practical project anyone can engage in. Knowing about God is crucially important for the living of our lives.

As it would be cruel to an Amazonian tribesman to fly him to London, put him down without explanation in Trafalgar Square and leave him, as one who knew nothing of English or England, to fend for himself, so we are cruel to ourselves if we try to live in this world without knowing about the God whose world it is and who runs it.

The world becomes a strange, mad, painful place, and life in it a disappointing and unpleasant business, for those who do not know about God. Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfold, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.
J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.17


keepingthepace said...

I whole heartily agree we should be involved in knowing and understanding the character and attributes of God. I especially realized the importance of this a few years ago when I was reading through the book ‘Doctrines that Divide’ by Lutzer. I was amazed at how much I believed blindly about God and theology. My Christian attitudes and faith system where built solely on what I had been taught and exposed to growing up. I didn’t realize how short changed I was by just blindly accepting the teaching I had grown up with and even worse I was in err concerning a lot of issues. What needs to change is our attitude toward theology. What needs to be considered is how theology is not there just to tickle our intellect. But it is there to insight us to action, to encourage us and to especially strengthen us against those who would lead us astray. A particular sobering verse is the warning found in 2 timothy 3:6 ‘For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighted down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth’ I can’t express enough how the study of theology has equipped me as a mom and friend in trials, counseling, and evangelism.
Soli Deo Gloria, Terri

Clarissa said...

So true,friend.

I have heard a well-known apologist say many times as people called him to ask what he thought about one doctrine/theologial point/preacher or another, (I'm paraphrasing here) "I can tell you what I think, but what matters is what GOD says. You should study the Word so that you know what God has to say on the subject and so that when you hear a lie it slaps you in the face and you KNOW it is a lie." And I love that. I love that it isn't just the "learned men" who may study and understand the scriptures, but that God has imparted to me his Holy Spirit so that I may read, mark, and inwardly digest His Word. May we never grow weary of it, may we always hunger for it and may we go beyond knowing ABOUT God and KNOW God.

4given said...

Very good, Connie. To GOd be ALL the glory!!!