How I’m desiring to seek the true theology, without compromising it.
I don’t claim to be unique on this blog. A lot of what I write is expounded by many other writers, bloggers, scholars and people with three-letter titles after their names. But what I do hope is that through what I’ve learned/am learning, your mind will be opened to original Christianity. Not in some “new age” sense, but in the sense that discarded thoughts are picked up and re-examined in a new light. My perspective comes from seeking the ancient Christian faith and then I come back here to do a little “show and tell”.
I venture here to show everyday people theology from the ground floor, because that’s where theology starts -in the ground floor historically and existentially. It belongs to the common person. Theology is not only the study of God, but the encountering of Him. One cannot study something one has not encountered.
I could be an absolute expert in all things regarding the island nation of Tahiti. I could study Tahitian culture, history, diet, climate, etc. without ever stepping foot in Tahiti. It’s only when I would actually go to Tahiti and feel the Tahitian sand beneath my toes or look into the eyes of a Tahitian that I would discover the depths of Tahiti in all it’s richness. (And believe me…with single-digit Nebraska weather looming outside my house right now, I’d really like to know Tahiti right now.) Knowingness in this sense is almost inexplicable. It’s like a knowledge that is only retained in the soul.
Another example would be that knowing God is a lot like knowing your spouse. When I say that I know my wife, it means something quite different than when an acquaintance of Amanda’s says they know her. They know of her, but they don’t know her deepest secrets, loves and desires, like I do. And everyday I’m learning more about her.
So it is with God.
We may try with all of our might to search the deep things of God, but unless his Spirit resides in us, such knowledge is tertiary.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. (1 Cor. 2:9-11, KJV)
Going back to theology; does this all mean that I think getting a Masters in divinity, studying the scriptures, studying the canons, etc….is it all meaningless? No, it means that these are tools and some are quite effective tools. The Bible for instance is a tool that God gave us to search Him and teach of Him (1 Tim, 3:16). It is the footnotes of His expansive love story for us. However, just like if I were to only read the footnotes of Moby Dick, I’d come away with a scattershot view of the themes and meaning of the story, so it is with studying God. I believe the Church, the Spirit and the Scriptures help us in discovering the truth of God. Take one away, and you’re left with a hobbled, misdirected perspective of God. You leave yourself open to false teachings.
So, when you read this blog, know that I too am sorting things out. I am going to try and avoid negative, combative writing which only seeks to puff me up. Doesn’t matter if I’m really right or not. Pride is too volatile to let into my writing. People will only remember you as “the guy who took down _____” rather than as a lamppost for people to discover God through your words and thoughts. I don’t want to be the former.
At the same time, I don’t want to be some hippy-dippy, spineless wet blanket. Paul had a habit of calling out false teachers in many of His epistles. He saw the truth of the Gospel not merely as an opinion, but as life. I never want to reduce the Gospel to mere opinion. I want people to actually find something when they search the Christian religion.
You can’t go on “seeing through” things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. To “see through” all things is the same as not to see. (C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man)
There’s a point where Christians must stand steadfast in their faith in opposition to all that opposes the Gospel. The starting point would obviously be when it opposes holy scripture. However, I see some issues with relying on scripture alone (known as sola scriptura to some). But that’s for a different day and a different blog post.
In conclusion, I will make every effort to only cause controversy when I feel it is necessary to do so. I will try and keep you, the reader, with an eye on Christ and His work in the universe. This blog is in part about my life, but it’s also about your encounter with the Trinity. It’s about knowing God and the steps we take to get there.
Let’s walk together.
::cue sappy music::