Monday, March 19, 2012

thorn on theology

In Note to Self, Joe Thorn writes, "Theology is a way for you to know and respond to God. It is something you tether to God, not something you tether God to." This is further explored in chapter 10 of his book based on 1 Peter 5.5 ...

The more robust, the more detailed your theology, the more humble you should become. Why? Because you did not figure God out; he revealed himself to you. Don’t you remember the words of Jesus to Peter when the disciple correctly acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah? “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 16:17) The theologian owes his knowledge to God himself, who has not only made himself known in creation and Scripture but has also opened our eyes to understand and embrace the truth.

The proud theologian has somehow convinced himself, or at least acts as if, he discovered God. But you understand that you did not uncover the truth of God like some kind of rock star archeologist. He sought you, caught you, and gave you sight, knowledge, and life. Humility should be borne out of your theology because you are so entirely dependent on God for it.

You must also remember that your theology is not your own. Rather you are following in the steps of generations before you who have worked hard at knowing and making known the one true God. If you are a good theologian, part of that is because good theologians have gone before you and made a path for you to walk.

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