Friday, October 24, 2008

theology: Unsearchable?

Roms 11:33,34
33Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34"Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?"

Theology? hmm Let me first make this comment: that here Paul made this comment, not after a long list of guesses or of opinions but of a very systematic progression of theology concerning the gospel.
Paul often prayed for the saints in many of his letters that they would have a greater knowledge of God, Paul encouraged men to search the wisdom and knowledge of God. Yet Paul was certain that such search was unending- not useless, but infinite.
I must warn that our search MUST be limited to the written word of God, we don't gain 'new' insights beyond the word of God, and we certainly don't ever reach an end to our growth in knowledge from the word of God.
The word of God renews our minds, and i would suppose that new truths (that we personally didn't see before) become more evident because we read them with a more renewed mind. Of course the Lord has His timing in revealing things, yet we must not forget that often the lack of knowledge is more from lack of interest.
It should be simple enough to describe theology as the study of God (being the one true God, we study God through the scriptures). It has been to my increasing FRUSTRATION to hear the word THEOLOGY as a negative word, which makes no sense whatever unless you have no intention to teach ANYTHING from the word of God.
If you desire to grow in your love, pursuit, and conformity of God, then you MUST pursue theology, you must NEVER be satisfied with the knowledge you have. One thing you must have: You must want to know the truth, ANY truth God has chosen to reveal: NOTHING should be considered unimportant (hard maybe, confusing, complex, but not useless). Statements like: "well this has been debated for centuries!" should not deter you, for WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? NOTHING!!! Everything has been debated, that doesn't mean there's no answer- the deity of Christ, the trinity, and every other doctrine has been debated throughout time by so-called Christians, so WHAT?! Search anyways, let yourself be convinced there is no answer by searching for it, by digging for it.
I have my reserves about the benefits of most seminaries: and this partly is why, because some come out only knowing what they have been taught (carbon copys of their professors), well that's not good enough, the truths you hold dear should be truths you have wrestled on your own. NOTHING absolutely NOTHING should be blindly accepted, you must be continually praying "LORD is THIS TRUE, IF NOT SHOW ME THE TRUTH, I WANT YOUR TRUTH".
I do believe SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY is the BEST, it looks at the bible as written by ONE that one being GOD; and answers the question, "what does the bible say about ......?". The only problem is not the system but assuming that EVERYTHING will be concise and simple. Indeed there are things, that God has reserved for His mind alone, and has not revealed them to us perhaps because we are incapable of grasping such things. We run into problems when we reach an end of a revealed doctrine and attempt to go further by philosophy (this is what i in my ignorance thought all theology was until i learned better).
We must keep BALANCE: keep in mind that balance in the word of God does not mean 50/50, so to look at the word like that will have you constantly contradicting yourself. There are things that have clear overarching truths, or clear deep foundations: such as God's sovereignty OVER our responsibility, such as Faith under works (true faith producing works). We should seek to be extreme (to add emphasis) where God is, and to be softer (give less emphasis) to the things God does. We look for harmony in all things, while keeping in mind that we may be left without an end or an beginning. In fact we will often find that there are things that we aren't naturally comfortable with, truths or even replies that just don't sit well with the flesh. Statements like: Roms 9:20-21
20But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " 21Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
I'm God, I have the right to do as i please! Is that ok with You? Does that sit well, GOT OBJECTIONS? well get OVER IT!!! Does that shock you that i said that? Unfortunately as i've said before, we have a tendency to want to clean up God, as though we were image consultants for the most high. He's a King, and He has all authority and deserves all worship. When i'm asked a 'question' about some truth of God from a "skeptic": which has happened often in jail settings (with teens or adults), there might also be some who will interject 'you can't question God, you just have to believe' and to a certain extent they are right. Although i'll usually precede my answer by this: "This question may be what many of you are thinking and we're afraid to ask, God has no objections to sincere questions, but i'll tell you this first: there are two types of people or questions, One that is acceptable by God, which is asking because it really wants the truth and is ready to believe and obey that truth and the other is WICKED, some questions are an excuse to ignore what you KNOW is true and you're trying to avoid that TRUTH." Then i will answer quickly and move back to the subject at hand, let none off the hook, put sovereign (salvation) truths before them and don't let them distract you from that.
The EXTREMES have usually come from rationalizing one truth against another truth, which leaves you ignoring the examples or teachings of the apostles. This should keep you biblically balanced: The teaching of scripture AND the example of the Apostles. For instance, "how does the Sovereignty of God in salvation and Evangelism work?" Rest in the testimony of scripture, by upholding God's power and purpose while following the example of the apostles, who preached with passion and made clear declarations. Without this balance you'll either not evangelize ignoring the commands to do so and disregarding the examples of the apostles OR you'll think evangelism is a 'ART' of man and you'll (with the norm of today) use marketing gimmicks, psychology, entertainment, celebrities, and manipulation to GET decisions, ignoring the truths of scripture and the teachings of the Apostles.
In otherwords you interpret each text within it's narrow context of a passage, then of the book, and then of the bible as a whole, but NEVER forgetting the bible as a whole since it's harmonious an as I've stated ONE book.
Too be expected there will always be those who think that it's silly to try to study the word of God looking for doctrinal accuracy, and they make some reasonable statements, reasonable in a carnal sort of way, reasonable IF the BIBLE was not INSPIRED and SUFFICIENT. Too often these statements are made by those who don't study or cherish the word and have grown up on milk or popular phrases by popular teachers who give their popular theology which is no theology at all! (I touched some things i hope to give a lot more detailed posts to in the future-but it's late so: that's all folks!)

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