Just a few years in the past, I used to be having dinner with a household from church. Realizing my penchant for theological inquiry, the matriarch of the household determined to ask a real theological query: “David, I know Jesus is God, and I know the Father is God. When Jesus was on the cross, though, why does he pray to himself, saying ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”
I proceeded to elucidate that whereas we’re monotheists (i.e., believing in a single God), our God exists ceaselessly in three individuals who’re the identical in essence, co-equal in energy, glory, and authority. From there I defined the distinction between individuals and natures and the way, on the cross, Jesus, the everlasting individual of the Son made incarnate, prays to the individual of the Father—although Jesus is, in his essence, the exact same God. At which level her son, a seasoned pastor himself, chuckled and stated, “You have more to say about that than the Bible does.”
That bothered me. As an alternative of becoming a member of the refrain or rejoicing in theological instruction, he threw up his mental white flag and inspired everybody else to do likewise. Moderately than doing the arduous work of greedy the entire of Scripture to grasp the half, he appeared to recommend theologians complicate issues past the fundamentals of the gospel.
Possibly you are feeling equally. If that’s you, let me first say you’re not flawed. Theologians are the primary to affirm the perspicuity of Scripture, a doctrine that claims in the case of issues of religion and salvation, the Bible’s that means is obvious.
The gospel is certainly easy: God created the world, we sinned, Jesus saves, and we have to belief and comply with him. Some issues, although, just like the writings of Paul, are difficult to understand, as even Peter conceded (2 Pet. 3:16). The gospel is easy, however theology usually isn’t.
Doctrine is the foundational constructing block for all we are saying and consider. Religion and not using a bedrock of orthodox perception is akin to constructing your own home on shifting sand. And but the enterprise of studying theology could be onerous.
If you wish to eat meat, it’s important to be taught to chew.
Theology introduces a bunch of latest phrases and ideas (sanctification, penal substitution, verbal plenary inspiration, and so forth). Delving into the deep issues of God could be mind-bending. It forces you to wrestle with ostensible contradictions (cf. Deut. 28:63 and Ezek. 18:32). Finding out to indicate your self accredited is time-consuming and might even be grief-producing (Eccles. 1:18; 12:2). Doctrine can’t be watered down or simplified. If you wish to eat meat, it’s important to be taught to chew.
Theology Is Price It
With all these occupational hazards, I perceive the rationale to retreat and “leave it to the professionals.” Earlier than you run for the hills, although, let me level out one thing a smart man instructed me once I had comparable impulses. In each different space of our lives, after we consider one thing has actual import, we rise to the problem.
Give it some thought. When one thing impacts our cash, we rise to the problem. Even in the event you don’t know the distinction between a monkey wrench and a rolling pin, you’ll by no means pay the mechanic $1,000 to alter your oil. You’d watch movies, ask questions, borrow instruments, name a buddy for assist, or be taught to do it your self.
When it impacts our family members, we rise to the problem. Even in the event you failed high-school biology, when a cherished one will get sick and it appears the physician is talking miles over your head, you write issues down, ask for definitions, analysis remedy choices, and calculate attainable uncomfortable side effects.
In each different sphere of life that we consider has actual impact, we rise to the problem. Why, then, will we so simply throw within the towel in the case of issues of God, religion, and doctrine?
In each different space of our lives, after we consider one thing has actual import, we rise to the problem.
Possibly the problem isn’t whether or not studying theology is just too tough. Maybe the actual query is whether or not or not we truly consider theology may have any actual impact on our lives. Buddy, it would. Deep and vibrant theology will consolation you when tragedy strikes, anchor you when the waves of doubt swell, add that means to the mundane, give substance to your work and objective to your relaxation, and put earlier than you the hope of God’s kingdom towards which to stroll.
When many disciples walked away as a result of issue of his instructing, Jesus requested the twelve in the event that they wished to go as nicely. Peter answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Peter understood that whereas theology is tough, it’s all the time price it. Might we as nicely.