Boy I need to get back in a groove here...and soon! Enjoying the summer, even though it not has been much so far. I had written a blog to post a week or so ago but not feeling like it is time to let it go out...so I have some other ideas to discuss today. I have been struggling a bit with my theology I think, which Richard Hooker defines as, “The science of things divine.” I have heard other definitions and I think theology is “our thoughts on God” and we all have one.
One time I sat in on a class on systematic theology and walked out blown away...they had figured God out! This is how He works and what He does...simple really. Really! You can figure God out...He works in a system. In this system I heard about things like “limited grace” or “limited atonement.” Now these might not be the exact terms used but the instructor taught we are predestined and selected so grace only covers those in that category...chosen and called. So how do we know who is in or out? If they fall into sin and walk away from God does that really mean they never knew God? The guy who did the most to point me to Jesus eventually walked away from God and lived a really bad life. So he never really knew God? Seemed to me like he did...then if he did know God where did he go when he died? And he did die...to early. How did this fit into my systematic theology?
One group tells me you cannot lose your salvation...another tells me we lose it quite easily and often. One tells me we are predestined to follow God...another talks about free will...our choice. There is so much more to this than I am touching on but you get the point. Theology...how we see God...how we think about God...how we talk about God. I guess I know we need to have some of this figured out but really can we have God boxed into a systematic theology? He can be figured out...no surprises? I guess I wish I had that. But for me so much of God is mysterious...strange...surprising. When I hear someone speak so certainly about their theology and how they know exactly how God works and it is just the way they believe it to be, I am envious on one hand...and I feel sad for them on the other. To know God is the most exciting adventure ever for one to be on.
I think as humans we want to know God and even more we want to know what He knows so badly we work hard to get Him inside some safe guidelines we say the scriptures teach us. I look in Genesis and the discussion between Eve and the serpent and the promise he makes that if she eats she will, “ be like God, knowing good and evil.” Knowing what God knows...having Him figured out and being on the same level as Him. The sad thing is she had all of that and so much more...she knew God...they walked with Him...communed with Him. What did she gain...the only thing God held back...the knowledge of good and evil...really she already knew good...she knew God. They were introduced to evil...which God was protecting them from. I am not at all saying having a theology is evil, I am saying man has always tried to figure God out...to get the inside scoop...to have Him under control. No mystery allowed...I love mystery...well sometimes. I have to admit it would be nice to have some pat answers available for life’s hard times. I just cannot find them or use them...actually I refuse to.
Sorry I cannot do it. There are many times I just have to say “I don’t know” when life hurts or does not make sense. So I put these verses as the foundation of my personal theology...”Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your heart. This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love you neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Not sure where this fits in systematic theology...but Jesus said it...and said it was important. That settles it. Now my other point is this...until I get this right how can I move on to the other stuff? What else is there to move on to? Never said I was deep...