Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are a theologian. You hold beliefs about God, Jesus, salvation and life.
A big part of my journey has been choosing to, intentionally, work out what I’ve subconsciously believed. With all the competing world views out there, is one of them true? What does it look like?
Is this pursuit important?
I was doing some reading for an assignment the other day and came across a copy of “Religious Affections” by Jonathan Edwards. I’m not sure if you’ve ever heard of him or not (here’s a video if you don’t like reading), but as someone often referred to as “America’s greatest theologian“, I shouldn’t have been surprised that his very first sentence boldly got my attention:
“THERE is no question whatsoever, that is of greater importance to mankind, and what is more concerns every individual person to be well resolved in, than this: What are the distinguishing qualifications of those that are in favor with God, and entitled to his eternal rewards? Or, which comes to the same thing, What is the nature of true religion? And wherein do lie the distinguishing notes of that virtue and holiness that is acceptable in the sight of God?”
I always liked maths because it worked in building blocks. You needed a foundation to build walls and walls to build a roof. The bigger you want to build, the stronger the foundations needed to be.
I think that faith is similar in many ways. Theology doesn’t need to be some huge fancy thing that we need degrees to begin to think seriously about. It is something we should be engaged with, yet not consumed by.
Here is C.S Lewis: “Theology is like a map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and less exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God–experiences compared with which many thrills of pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further you must use the map.”
This feels like a kind of side project to me. I don’t expect these posts to be popular, just simply my reflections wrestling with the essential theology of the bible. I’m feeling like this might be a healthy place for me to develop my thoughts as well as hopefully engaging with you guys – Please keep letting me know your thoughts, or if there is anything specific you’d like me to explore, particularly if you disagree with me!
So this is the start of a kind of a series of blogs attempting to explore and communicate the theology that I’ve been thinking about. I don’t plan on covering every aspect of every topic, just setting up a foundation for deeper thought. Here’s a few of the topics I’m thinking about starting with (I’m going to try be a little bit systematic, but not overly):
- Who is God?
- Why were we created?
- What are our sources of theology?
- What do we give highest authority to in our lives?
- Is the bible true? How can we trust it?
As always, keen to hear your thoughts