Was talking with a friend of mine yesterday about the prevalence of those who maintain sound doctrine but have anemic theology. These two things are not always identical. By it very nature the study of theology requires that the student live their lives a certain way. Doctrine, on the other hand, can be isolated in a vacuum of theory and rhetoric. If done correctly, doctrine is theology.Theology is the study of God – who he is, what he does, how he interacts with his creation. By virtue of our study of the Creator, the creature is succumbed to hs knees to acknowledge the power, majesty, grace, control, knowledge, transcendence, and immanence of the divine.
Many people I have encountered over the the past few years can speak of God and his work, but care more about standing at the gates rather than at the doors of the Temple. They have only delved into the sphere of the other-world, but they have not entered into the smoke-filled throne room where God’s jaw-dropping supremacy makes us cry.
Have we, as theologians and Christians, settled for the gnat-filled doctrine of precision while not incarnating said doctrine? Has election been a cause for boasting in our meager beauty or does it cause us to go out to the highways and by-ways to plead with people to come to the wedding supper?
It is telling that Jesus did not incarnate as a Pharisee. Rather, he came in the form of a servant. He was born in the home of a simple carpenter who wanted to please God in his life – a righteous Joseph. His learning did not take place by mere meorization of the Torah. Rather, he learned at the side of his Father. The disciples were not learned men, but they stirred people’s hearts because they had been convinced during their living with Jesus.
We would do well to go back to the elementary doctrines insofar that they lead to the worship of God. True theology will lead to doxology. If it does not, then we have not grasped what we are saying. Merely because a “t” is crossed and an “i” is dotted does not mean that it is holistically correct. Why do I use the word “holistically”? Since God (Theos) made every cell of our body, he owns us. Because he owns us, he has rights to demand how we live.May God prevent us from arguing from the Scriptures without first being griped by the practce of true theology.