So in thinking more about theology I had to wonder when I finished writing did what I wrote about the greatest commandment really fit the role of theology? How I think about God...so I looked the word theology up again online. Wikipedia says, “ Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or seminary.” Systematic and rational!!!! God??? Systematic and rational...the study of God? I have to confess right here and now, my view of God is hardly one of how systematic and rational He is...how He just makes so much sense.
So in further looking the word “Theology” comes from the Greek “theologia” which theos, means God, and logia meaning, utterances, sayings, or oracles. Logia is related to the word logos which means word...are you bored yet? But we begin to see our theology is about how we talk about God or maybe better yet the study of God and what it produces in us. Our theology seasons our conversations and our thought processes. So we see theology when we hear our insurance company tells us something cannot be covered because it was an “act of God.” Really God dropped that tree on my car...that was not very nice was it? Notice an “act of God” is never a good thing...it has caused damage and there is no insurance against when God smashes stuff. Hmmm. Need to think about that a bit more I think.
So where could I possibly be going with this? Well I have decided to work out my theology, my thoughts about God, through what Jesus has shown me. Why? Well He is God and no one knows the Father the way he does...let me show you a couple of things.
In John He begins to tell the guys He is leaving and they are beginning to panic. Philip cries out, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Now was he expecting Jesus to pull a Polaroid of God out of His pocket and show them what He looks like? Jesus says, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.” Can you imagine the range of emotions in that room at that moment? They knew the Old Testament and the Law and yet Jesus said if you had seen Him you had seen the Father...How? How could that be? They were looking for a messiah and leader but not for God Himself to show up. And God seemed much angrier than Jesus, didn’t He? “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father...” Really?
Let’s see what Paul has to say; “He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Col.1:15 “For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him.” v,19 So it seems to me like Paul is saying the same thing...if you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father. My favorite is in the firs chapter of Hebrews...
“In the past God spoke to out forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He made the universe. THE SON IS THE RADIANCE OF GOD’S GLORY AND THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF HIS BEING, SUSTAINING ALL THINGS BY HIS POWERFUL WORD.” Heb.1:1-3 The radiance of God’s glory...not sure how you feel but makes me want to worship!
The life appeared; and we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.” 1Jn:2
So my theology is being shaped and molded as I look to Jesus to see the Father. I have to admit sometimes it creates more questions as I read the OT and all of the stuff in there. I am not going to ignore or explain away things I do not understand...really to wonderful for me to grasp...I am going to focus on what I can see and grasp...looking to Jesus to show me the Father. Trusting the Spirit to illuminate Jesus for me...reading the words of Jesus and acting on them rather than trying explain away what He meant when He said things like, “Love your enemy, blessed are the poor in spirit...pick up your cross and follow me.” Follow Him to die to myself that He might live. That the radiance of God’s glory could on occasion flash through my life for others to see...Jesus in me. And when I look at God through Jesus I don’t see limited atonement, limited grace, just for the lucky ones. I see “For God so loved the WORLD.” I see with Peter...”He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
(more to come)