The past few days I have had some interesting conversations, read some unique articles, and come to a few conclusions. Friends, we are an obsessive culture! Currently it feels like we are obsessed with intellectuals…the way we view intellectuals, wanting people to think that we are intellectuals, etc. We value knowledge, and ideas, and information. These things are not a problem in themselves; however, when we feel that we as mere, created humans have figured out God…that is a problem!
People have created complex, often contradictory, theology, each sure that they have figured out how to explain Christianity and the God behind it. Covenant vs Dispensation, Calvinist vs Armenian, Theistic Evolution vs 6-Day Creation, etc. I listen to it all,think about how I once let a “wise”man lead me (Gothard), and then look at my Bible. (This is a long passage because I have a serious problem with showing you just one verse to make my point…it’s called context!)
1 Corinthians 1:20-25 “Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
What if we are making everything too complex with all of our intellectual theology? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t search for answers or try to understand God as much as we can. But, when we come to the place where we feel like “we have the answers” and “they don’t”, then we have become foolish. I see truth in a variety of different theories about God and Christianity. Would you like to know my simple theological beliefs? Here they are:
- If it makes God seem bigger, then it is probably right. If it makes God seem smaller or more understandable, then it is probably wrong.
Maybe this sounds overly simple, but I believe in a God who in infinitely bigger, more powerful, more amazing, more unbelievable, wiser, crazier, and just MORE than I can ever imagine or understand. This is my problem with Theistic Evolution…so you are saying that God isn’t big enough to just speak everything into existence? He had to use a process that man “discovered” scientifically, that they can’t actually prove? And the only One who was there, and says He spoke it, is wrong…because created humans (who don’t want to believe in God) say so? Sorry, it just doesn’t add up in my mind.
- See the Bible for what it is: not a book of mystic wisdom, but the story of God and the people He created.
As I said previously in “Bill Gothard’s Bible”, I was raised to see the Bible as this mysterious, mystical book that I could open to any place, on any particular day, and gain a “rehma” for my daily life. Talk about yanking verses out of context! What I have discovered is that the Bible is actually God’s story of the world He created and the people He loved, lost, and redeemed. It is a beautiful story of passionate love, sacrifice, mercy, and grace. The Bible teaches us about who we are and who the God is who made us and loves us. But, we can’t write off parts we don’t like or understand, because they are ALL important! We need the Old Testament to understand how huge, holy, just, and perfect this God is who crazily enough decided to become a person and die for the sins of the world. Without seeing the holy, scary, fiery LORD, we cannot truly appreciate Jesus, the Savior and Servant King in the New Testament. I could say so much more, but that would be another blog post. 🙂
- Read the Bible book by book taking into account the type of literature each book is, who the author was, who they were writing to, the culture surrounding it, and what the author was trying to say.
If it is a history book, then I read it like history (Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, etc). If it is a book of prophecy to the nation of Israel, then I read it like prophecy (Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc), some of which has been fulfilled and some of which is still to come. Does this make sense? Here’s the biggest problem I see when it comes to the Bible and modern Christians: they don’t read it and are therefore unfamiliar with it. As a result, we become vulnerable to lies and teachers who take Scriptures out of context. We don’t know what the Bible really says, or how to read it, and so we don’t know how to filter what people tell us.
I really don’t think that Christianity is about being or looking like an intellectual. It’s not about having the right apologetics so that you can defend your beliefs against people who don’t agree with you. I think it’s more about being childlike, having faith, knowing the Bible, and believing in a God who is WAY TOO big to understand or fit into any box that we can make.