Monday, May 14, 2007

Theology 101 - Man-centered theology

I deplore/detest/despise man-centered theology. Harsh words? Maybe.

But when one considers the natural consequences of a man-centered theology and holds it up against Scripture, he/she too will come to deplore it!

Have I completely rid myself of all "man-centered theology"? No.

But because my greatest desire is to read, understand and know God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, I am confident that He, through His Holy Spirit, is able to thoroughly renew my mind and bring it into submission--that's called, sanctification. It's a long and difficult process, but it is His way and I will rest in that.

What is man-centered theology? Well, first of all it's an oxymoron! Because "theology" is the study of God (see further discussion here), it's very telling how easily man redirects the focus toward himself and away from God! Ahhh, the depraved mind! But, I digress...

A man-centered theology looks at God and asks, "What's in it for me?", "What will I gain from a relationship with the Thrice holy, sovereign creator of the universe?", "How do I explain the things of God without reducing myself?".

Some evidences of a man-centered theology:

God wants me to be wealthy.

God want me to be in good health--always.

God saved me because there was something in/about me "worth" saving.

God saved me because I "accepted" Him.

God owes me a life of ease and comfort.

If I follow a prescribed pattern or formula, God must grant me my wish/desire/demand.

I do not deserve to suffer.

I need (fill-in blank) in order to love God more.

I need (fill-in the blank) in order to serve God.

I must have certain elements available/practiced in order to "worship" God.

I want church/worship to be convenient.

I want church/worship to be entertaining.

I want church/worship to be "relevant".

I go to church because it makes me feel good.

I go to church because I like the music.

I go to church because I have friends there.

I go to church because my children like it.

I go to church because it "gets me through the week".

My God does not (fill-in the blank).

My God would never (fill-in the blank).

The list goes on, but you get the picture.

Man-centered theology makes the fatal error of filtering God's Word through MAN's gird, rather than filtering man's thinking through the grid of God's Word! It's an understandable mistake--we are fallen creatures.

However, those who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ must abandon their human understanding and strive to reconcile their will and understanding to that which has been revealed by God in His Word. THIS is why we need to and must study theology, so that we can understand and will embrace a God-centered theology!

For further thought and consideration follow these links:

God-centered vs. Man-centered Theology

Another Gospel - The dangers of the "seeker-sensitive", man-centered Gospel

Two Views of the Gospel:Man-centered vs. God-centered (chart)

Comparison of God-centered and Man-centered Worship (chart)


Kim said...

Oh, my...this is right up my alley...I can say I detest it, many fall for it without understanding what it does to their view of God....High man, Low God...We must stand up for the Biblical view of God and man. Which shows that we are nothing, but a sinner who does not even deserve this day...and a Holy God who chooses to show favor toward us through Christ's death. (propitiation)

A high view of God is my goal...sometimes I don't have it, I need more of God and His Word to help me get there.

Excellent post!

Kim said...


I am having trouble accessing Terri's blog-Keeping the Pace. I think it must be my filter and her picture slide show or something! I'm so sad since I love her blog and getting to know her. Could you tell her this and ask her to email me?


Elle said...

Amen! You may add my despising of man-centered -ology to your bucket as well. Having erred for so long under this burden and yoke, true freedom and true grace only came in mercy from God! Praise His Name!

Connie said...

kim & elle: Thank you both for your thoughts on this--"we are nothing",and "true freedom and true grace only came in mercy from God". Amen!

At His feet is still the "highest" place to be!!