With the growing epidemic of Biblical illiteracy and the constant barrage of religious perspectives being thrown around in the world today it is difficult for the honest God seeker to find a source of solid, reliable theology. Most of Christians lack the knowledge, training, or confidence to study the Word of God in depth for themselves and as such look to others to help them grow along the way. Part of this loss is a shame. God desires to connect and relate to us each in a personal fashion. Our own shortcomings and insecurities should not prevent us from seeking to understand His Word for ourselves. At the same time, it is a daunting task. Not much in this world carries the weight and significance of the Word of God so when we set out to study it on our own, the task can be overwhelming.
As a pastor I have often observed the guilt Christians place upon themselves for not knowing everything their is to know about the Bible. Anytime a subject came up they were unfamiliar with instead of approaching it with curiosity and excitement they were often overwhelmed with shame. Religious tyrants placed that baggage on them for years and now, they don’t know how to get rid of it. In 1 Corinthians 12 Paul talks about the body, that is the church, and how it is made up of many parts. It is not unusual for certain parts of that body to be honored above the rest. Preachers with any real skill are often honored to the near point of idolization by those who are not as gifted with words. The mouth, impressive as it may be, is just one part of the body. While it’s role is perhaps more notable as it has little problem drawing all sorts of attention to itself, it is far from being one of the more essential parts of the meat suits we call bodies.
Point is, one part of the body should not be ashamed that it is not the other. If we were all mouths nothing would get done. If we were all ears, nothing would get said. The purpose of the body is to have different parts carrying out their roles for the good of the whole being. This is the design behind church. In order to help harmonize if you will the various parts of the body I have decided to add this little section on theology.
Some of the things here will be issues that I am wrestling through. In no way is what you find here the absolute theology that must be accepted by every person every where. Many of these issues will be hugely and hotly debated inside and sometimes outside the church. What you will find is my perspective, an honest attempt to express what I see when I read the Scriptures and what I feel God telling me through His Word. As a man, I am more than capable of error. I can be wrong. So do not mistake my theological positions to be as concrete or inspired as God’s Word.
Two Types of Theology
Countries dont go to war over state borders. They go to war over national borders. There are various ways of making the same point but what we need to understand is that there are essentially two levels of theology.
State borders: These are your in-house debate items. Some of them are far more important than others but ultimately these are issues that have an acceptable margin for error. Issues in the state borders category would include gifts (not their existence but the how they work and what they are for), worship style, millennial views, and countless others.
National borders: These are the theological issues we fight and die for. There are certain theological positions that one must hold to be a Christian. Rejection of these positions is effectively a rejection of the message of the Gospel. Not a lot of room for debate here. Issues in the national borders category include but are not limited to: the deity of Jesus, the literal death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, salvation through grace alone, and faith accepting that grace.