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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Who needs theology?


Everyone is already doing theology. Because everyone has their own thoughts about God.

Theology is 'what we think about God'. It is a basic but apt definition I got from a book I read a few years back, "Who Needs Theology" by Stanley J. Grenz & Roger E. Olson (great book, easy, fun read). The definition stuck with me because it seems that getting into 'theology' is laid aside for being cool, or practical. But good theology is practical and very hip (Biblically speaking, you're down with God).

But it is what you think about God that makes all the difference. A.W. Tozer said "the first thing that comes to mind when you think about God say everything about you".

When you have good theology (correct thoughts about God), then you live the best life possible, as Jesus said, "I have come so that may have life and have it to the full", Jn 10:10.

It isn't enough to merely have thoughts or just any particular understanding about God, but to have the correct thoughts. Because it is your thoughts that shape how you will act, and acting through incorrect thoughts about God will lead you to be grounded with your feet firmly planted in mid-air. In other words, it isn't merely practice that makes perfect, it is practicing the RIGHT things that make perfect, says H. Hendricks.

Grace and peace,


At 14 March, 2006 12:10, Blogger Ryan said...

Great post Mark. This is what critics of systematic theology miss. You are right on that the more accurate our thoughts are about God, the more our life will result in right actions and right living.

Keep up the good work.

At 23 March, 2006 13:51, Blogger David1Spirit said...

I agree, we all need more "theology", as opposed to "religion".
But it is also very hard to say who has the "correct" thoughts about God. I could say that my thoughts about God are, indeed correct.
But those thoughts could be very different from someone else who also believes that he or she has the "correct" thoughts.
I would say that anyone who believes in a kind and loving God, a God of love, omnipotence and tolerance for all would be choosing the "correct" God.

At 26 March, 2006 17:29, Blogger Mark said...

Ryan -thanks for the encouragement. I really enjoy your blog.

David, good to hear from you and thanks for bringing up some great points.

I agree with your listed attributes as being the correct God, as long as we are also willing to understand the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.

For me one of the major temptations, and unfortunately a considerable stumbling block, was to try to think about or try to understand God without first asking" "who does God say He is?"

God is loving, kind, longsuffering, knows all, unchanging, everlasting, everywhere at all times, and capable of anything. I like to think that it is exactly because of these amazing attributes He surely is the One to put our faith and trust.

Christianity is a religion, but not merely being religious. It is all about relationship. A relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Amazing and enduring love God has, He doesn't tolerate sin. If we believe on Jesus Christ, He doesn't leave us where we were in sin. The fact that He took the intitiative to restore the relationship gone astray since Adam and Eve and offers us what we can't get through being religious or on our own is testimony of His love. Jesus died for sin and was raised from the dead offering forgiveness and the liberating gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who changes their mind towards Him and believes. What great news!

It is written, "Anyone that comes to God must believe that He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek Him". So we have to ask ourselves, "Have we really listened to what God has said about Himself?", and how would we respond to the question, "What have we done with His Son Jesus Christ, the only mediator between man and God?"

That is the start to walking away from religion and into relationship.

Grace and peace,


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