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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Theology: The Christian Talmud.
Most of what we call 'Theology' today finds it's roots in apology. The doctrine of the trinity for instance, grew out of various apologetic dialogs regarding the person of Jesus Christ, and later the person of the Holy Spirit. In answering hard questions about the very nature of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, the doctrine of the Trinity was born.

Given that this is the case for most theology, I am always amazed/amused/baffled by those Christians who read about ten books for every page of the bible they digest. Somehow these Christians have overlooked the fact that that most of the foundational theology they are studying was written by men who were not trying to produce theology, but rather, being skilled in scripture, were giving answer to theological questions such as "When is the soul created?" or "What does it mean to be 'in Adam'?" etc. Recall that Jesus Christ reproved the Jews for consulting tradition (the Talmud) rather than scripture - it should be clear that God intends to teach us personally - through personal study of God's word. There is room for godly counsel - don't get me wrong - but theology for the Christian has begun to hold the same place as the Talmud for the Jew.

Sadly, instead of being discipled, most Christians are being commentaried - that is, instead of learning to walk in the Christian faith by being discipled by a brother or sister who is walking in faith - they embark on a purely scholastic effort to be a Christian. This is due In part to a watered down gospel being preached in a dead church - but there is more to it than that. Where once the religious spokesmen of the day were spirit filled and scripture driven pastors and evangelists - today the authorities are seminarians - men who are exalted for their academic and scholastic aptitude rather than their walk with Christ. This change in Christian culture is having an effect both in the pulpit and the pew. The average seminary graduate can give you an summary survey of the various theological systems, but couldn't tell you which King of Israel removed the bronze serpent from the temple or why! Those few rare Christians who do read and believe their bibles are being taught to consult a commentary rather than the Holy Spirit. Theology, commentaries, and human wisdom have become the Christian traditions that are not unlike the Jewish Talmud of Christ's day.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that theology is wrong - or that Christians must cloister themselves away in a closet with only a candle and a Bible. Hardly! I am saying that the there is an attitude about scripture that it is wrong to trust God to teach you - but certainly okay to trust a commentary. Likewise we now enter into that abominable practice of studying theology rather than scripture to learn about truth - as though truth were an intellectual persuasion rather than a person.
posted by Daniel @ 10:32 AM  
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