Doing theology is like driving your car

Doing theology is like driving your car

Our understanding of God is always changing

     It is my belief that one’s understanding of God and the things of God is constantly changing, shifting, adjusting, and being refined. Due to the fact that God is infinite and we are finite, we need to accept that we will never totally understand all there is to know about God. He chose to reveal Himself (in His creation, His Word, and His son) so we are obligated to study and ponder Him. It is a task which we need to spend the entirety of our lives (and the afterlife) studying.  We need to be almost obsessed with comprehending God’s character and person.  If He was a god who existed but chose not to reveal to us who He is, then we would not need to study His Word to gain more knowledge of him.  But He did choose of His own free will to reveal to His creation His character and workings.  So we must spend time learning and worshiping the creator of the universe.  But because of His infinitude we will never fully understand Him.  Our specific understanding of God’s character (in my opinion) should always be changing or in a state of flux.

In my upbringing it seems I was taught to not change my theology

I was raised in a conservative Christian home.  We were somewhat legalistic (you don’t drink, you don’t smoke, you don’t chew, . . .  you don’t go with girls that do) but I did not think at the time that we were hyperlegalistic.  But thinking back I recall pondering the mysteries of God and indirectly being told to not change my understanding of that God.  I guess the idea was that we read the Bible and have a concept of God and if we then ‘change our understanding of God’ this means that we are changing who God is.  For example if the discussion was about God being truth, and then I grow in my understanding of what exactly that means, then some might think that you do not believe God is truth.  Which is totally inaccurate, I just understand better the concept of truth and how it applies to God.  I assume when you say ‘my theology has changed’ that means I was wrong before and am believing something totally opposite of my initial belief.  This cannot be further from the truth.  What I am saying is GOD DOES NOT EVER CHANGE, BUT MY UNDERSTANDING OF HIM DOES!

Doing theology is like driving a car

     As I pondered this idea of my theology always being in a state of flux, I tried to come up with an analogy to illustrate what I was saying.  Here is the analogy I came up with (see if you like it and if it can help you think a little better about this issue).

         Imagine God is represented by a totally straight road.  And my understanding of God (theology) is represented by a car.  As I drive my car (do theology) I am constantly adjusting the wheel to keep the car on the road (stay in line with what the Bible says about God).  The road never changes but the steering wheel of my car is constantly being altered to stay on the straight road.  If I were to lock my steering wheel (not adjust my understanding of God) it would not take long for me to drive off the road.  I must be persistent in evaluating my situation in order to keep moving along the correct path.  If anyone who has driven and fallen asleep they know it is a very short time before they are off course.  We must be vigilant to keep our theology in line with the Bible.

I have had people throughout my life seem to say they know who God is and therefore they should never change how they think of Him and I just think this is a poor way of doing things.  We need to be using every day to better understand our creator and savior.

Good night, and God Bless

Let me know if this analogy makes sense to you.

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What’s left to say about Martin Luther?

What’s left to say about Martin Luther?

Has it all been said about Luther and the Reformation?

I put off writing a blog post from this last Saturday (supposedly my normal posting day) until today due the fact that October 31, 2017 is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.  I decided I would wait until ‘Reformation Day’ to give my thoughts on Luther and the beginnings of The Protestant Reformation.  So what is there left to say??  Has not everyone everywhere (those who care about this topic at all) said whatever needs to be said??

I guess to some extent that is true.  A plethora of books, articles, sermons, videos, and commentaries have been produced to talk about all aspects of Luther, his life, and his significance.  So what is it I could say that would be ‘different’?

I want to encourage you (and me) to periodically refocus our lives

 Of all the great things that one can discuss about the Reformation, the one that is important to me is the idea of self-evaluation.  Consistently and periodically all of us should take a step back from our busy lives and see if what we are doing is matching with what we are believing.  We often get so busy with our hectic lives that we sometimes stray off the path, but because we are still on a nature hike we think we are doing OK.  I think of all the contributions to Christendom that can be credited to Martin Luther the single thing I applaud him for is taking a stand (no matter what the cost) to show people the church needed to refocus its priorities.  Luther was so singularly dedicated to biblical truth that he was willing to be not only an outcast but an enemy of the majority of Europe, if he knew he was OK with God.  In essence he told himself he would rather be accepted by God and rejected by everyone else than vice versa.  The church needed to examine what it did and why it did those things to see if they had wandered off the path.  Martin Luther was one (really among many) to stand before multitudes and declare that he was right and the church was wrong.  He encouraged them to refocus their faith in order to be good and faithful servants.

Are we in need of a person (or cultural) reformation??

I believe all followers of Jesus Christ need a ‘periodic personal reformation.’  We have difficulties sometimes ‘going through the motions’ and living our faith the way we have always done them, when what we need it to have a serious talk with ourselves to see if we are living biblically.  We also need to have the courage to accept our inconsistencies and change what needs to be changed no matter the personal discomfort.  As Luther did we need to take an honest look at ourselves and say to whomever will listen, ‘things need to change and I am willing to change them, no matter what’ (OK, I know that’s not a direct quote from him but I was attempting to pretend I know what he thought).

So What’s the point?

Here’s the point – Martin Luther compared his final authority on theology (the Bible) to his next highest authority (the Church) and decided the two did not match up.  Either the Church needed to change or the Bible needed to change.  The answer was a no-brainer – he decided the Church needed to change, but they refused so he changed himself, thus sticking with his ultimate authority: God and His Word.  I wonder if we need to change our understanding of God, Jesus, outreach, giving, and living by faith to better match what the Bible says??? Hmmmmmm, could be!

Let me know what you think.

Comment and tell me a story of how you evaluated your faith journey and changed it to be more pleasing to God.

Good night, and God bless