Wes - can you explain why theology is really important for all Christians? Do you think it only serves to strengthen our faith? Or - Do you think its merely a responsibility? I'm not playing devils advocate here - I'm just curious. Also - what advice would you give to people on building or learning theology? And if people go off to learn more about theology - how to ensure they don't head down the wrong path with it? I have other questions but this is enough for now.
WES ELLIS said...
Flip,I'll try to answer all your questions but be patient with me.
First... Yes Theology is important for Christians but not just Christians... everyone. Wheather you realize or admit it or not you and everyone else has a theology about something and it directly effects your life. For example If you believe that there is nothing greater, no God abd that everyhting is product of chance you have a great ammount of faith to believe that and you will live life never looking outside yourself for anything. Theology is what guides your understanding of things and sets you where you are.
Second; theology is not God. It is not merely a default respondsebility. We must understand that theology is flexable and it is there to push us to a fuller understanding of ourselves and of God. Take the Trinity for example... if you believe in the trinity and, let's say, it's true. You will have a fuller understanding and a deeper experience of God than someone who doesn't. Can someon who doesn't carry a trinity theology still love and follow God...? I think so. our faith does not crumble at the questioning of theology but through it we're better off to put it lightly. We cannot mistake the "Cart for the path," so to speak. We cannot see the theologies as God, they are the avenue throuh which we articulate and understand God.
My advice for someone getting started is DON"T GO IT ALONE! God meant for us to seek Him in community. There are some, very few, but some essentials to Christianity. You can question these un nogotiables but not draw away from them and still claim to floow christ. You decide what the non-negotiables are but the one that stands strongest for me is the Charachter of God. With all the things I question and mess with my Beliefs will always stand firmly on the fact that God is Good. Also to call yourself a Christian you must take seriousely the teachings of Jesus. Find some people who are open minded and work through things with them.
I trust that as long as we are truly seeking God first our theology will not lead us in the wrong direction. Remember we are seeking not to know about God but to know God.
Great post Wes.
I know you have a mile long list of reading material, but a book I just had to read for my foundations of Ministry class was Who Needs Theology? by Grenz and Olson. I really recommend it. Not the most interesting, but certainly helps in understanding what it is and really how important it is. Hope all is well. I will get you thoes link how too's ASAP, I promise!
Thanks Wes! I'll read over this a few times and will think on it. Ashley - thx for the book suggestion (and yes I do have a mile long list of books to read :) ).
I may come back and comment more on this - but I have some stuff to digest.
Great dialogue going on here. :)
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