Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Why I Am the Mad Theologian.

On this, my 100th post on this blog, I thought it good to pause and ask, "Why I am writing this, anyway?" Obviously, it is because I am convinced I have something to say. But it seems reasonable to inquire as to what that is and to present it in a summary, rather then piecemeal. The following, then, is a statement of my basic convictions:

1. I am convinced there are solid reasons for believing historic Biblical Christianity is true and that it is a mistake to desert the realm of objective truth for a realm of fuzzy subjective feelings, where anything can be justified. No one comes to Christ without a supernatural work of God in their lives, but that does not excuse our not upholding objective truth. see and see

2. I am convinced that if Christianity is true, then it is necessary for all believers to be grounded in this truth. Not that everyone needs to understand all difficult theological terminology, but it is the duty of the teacher to make clear the truth of God in terms people can understand. see and see

3. I am convinced that Scripture is the ultimate authority in the church, both in terms of what it teaches and does not teach. I believe the present divided state of the Christian church is contrary to Scripture, but the solution is not vague broadmindedness and good feelings, but asking what the Scripture itself regards as important. see and see

4. I am convinced we need to trust in God's power rather than our human ability and gimmicks. God did not promise that the world would respect us or make us comfortable, and we should not expect it, but rather persevere in God's service. see and see

5. I am convinced it is wrong to minimize God's grace. Rather, it is the person who has a clear understanding of that grace who will respond to God based on love for Him. Granted, some may distort this truth for their own ends, but we should not lose sight of our fundamental need of grace. see and see

6. I am convinced that the church is the people and that the organization exists for the people, not the other way around. This does not mean it is not important to distinguish between what people want and what they need or that we can ignore reaching out to the unsaved. But it does mean the welfare of the organization cannot be put first. see and see
7. But most of all I am convinced that the Christian life is a growth process, in which the Spirit of God works to transform all true believers over time. I therefore oppose all quick fixes and magic formulas for instant spiritually. They can lead to inadequately instructed people rushing frenetically around, trying to lift burdens they are unable to bear. Or it can produce complacency, where people sit around passively, feeling they have attained spirituality and leaving it to others (usually the pastor) to do the work of serving God. see, see and see

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