A discussion held at the site Christarchy! under the topic "RANT!"
Too much time is spent on theological sidelines, such as a debate on Cavinism. It's entertaining, but does it really get to the heart of the gospel?
So often we ask "what is true?" when we should really be asking, "what is significant?" It is so easy for us to get caught up in Bible trivia, or theological interpretaitons. We really don't have time for that. There are people dying out there without the gospel, so we need to focus in on significant truths.
What are these significant truths? What needs to be done is rather than have "Bible studies" in general, we should focus on what is important to Jesus. After all, it is Jesus who is our Lord, not Calvin, not Augustine, not even Paul. And what is important to Jesus is that which He spoke about.
Jesus said that we should call no one "teacher" for we all have one teacher and that is the Christ (Matt 23). So a Christian Bible Study should be led by Jesus. And those who are the moderators should be those who are well versed in the teaching of Jesus, not the Law, not theology, not politics, not social reform. Let's let Jesus himself teach us about the True Law, the True Theology, True Politics and True Social Reform. We need to stop beginning with the world's ideas and just stick with Jesus.
theology doesn't really cook my grits if i can be honest here. if someone want sto zing me with their reaons why i'm wrong i'll greatfully read it, but i don't get any satisfaction from studying who someone else thinks God is through over analyzing a re-defined rather than re-contextualized obscure passage. i only have a problem with theology when people start to worship their idea of who God is rather than God, the unknowable.
i am working very hard to make the best of this time when i don't have a full time job and i can walk carefully in the dust of my rabbi.
In Theology it isn't what you know, it's Who you know!
That Who is a source of ideas & wisdom for knowing Him better! As it says in James' letter, it helps to pray for more wisdom & understanding. We don't necessarily have enough otherwise!
I find a lot of people in the Quaker thing lately who don't think they should be praying for anything, but should be rather leaving it all up to God. But I don't think we're supposed to see God's will as altogether independent of ours. We need to ask so we can think about what's worth asking for. We need to ask so we can take our part in the process, practice our dependence on God and at the same time practice taking part in what God does with us. (God can give a person muscles, but there are reasons He normally makes doing something with them a requirement for that.)
A good theology is a kind of a poem, not a sort of tech manual! If you read it in that spirit, you can understand it better and have less risk of putting it to bad use.
The basic Quaker thing (& a basic Sufi thing, for that matter) is to recognize God as our teacher. God can teach us through the Bible, but also through anything else in our life. If you look for His classroom hints, they're there!
"You need to keep paying attention. If you aren't paying attention, you miss all the jokes!"
You hit it exactly right Forrest. This is why my next sermon series is about knowing God, but I'm going to talk about our relationship to God, how He communicates to us and we communicate to Him. The term "love" in Scripture that we are to have for God is the same word love as between spouses. Thus, there is an intimacy, a communication that is just missing in theology.
Theology has it's place, when done correctly, in giving us a short-cut to some basic principles of the Bible. But when theology takes the place of the relationship we should have with God it becomes a heresy, an abomination. God doesn't want to drop us tracts, He wants to dwell with us.