About Theologians   1 comment

Theology

Theology

The word Theo-logy comes from the Greek words Θεός – λόγος which mean “study of God”. We have theologians in most religions. These people studied their “holy books” to outline historical, philosophical, moral and spiritual aspects. Just like we have some doctors who specialised themselves in a particular field, so is it with theologians.
If you have a heart disease and your heart specialist diagnosed you with X sickness and you started to take Y drugs for years and it  happened that the specialist unwittingly made the wrong diagnostic, you’ll still be sick and may have incurred further complications due to this wrong diagnostic. Even specialists do mistakes and this can be fatal. I’m in the IT field and if happened that I made a mistake which went unnoticed in codes/scripts, a business can be ruined little by little.

The same applies to theologians. They are often regarded as people who know the religious books. We have about 6 billions religious people who believe in different things. In a way or another, they have their experts who support and defend their beliefs.

Buddhisms, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism  and any-ism don’t teach the same thing. When people start to ask question in a particular religion, the theologians are looked at to give an answer. But what if the theologians’ answers were wrong for some questions? That would give the believers a distorted view of who really God is.

Since I’m a Christian, I would like to discuss about Christian theology. Let me put it clear since the beginning that I do not have anything against theologians. I was personally blessed by answers/commentaries given by theologians like Andrew Murray, Alfred Kuen and Adam Clarke. Can you read Psalm 22 in the Treasury of David (Charles Spurgeon) without being blessed?   If I did not read how Andrew Murray exposed the divinity of Jesus, I would still be doubtful about Christianity. If there’s no evidence that Jesus is God, then Christianity is a man-made religion and filled up with lies from Genesis to Revelation.

I guess that a doctor will not intentionally make a wrong diagnostic. It’s based on his knowledge and experience that he’ll prescribe drugs. It’s the same with theologians, they read a lot and are regarded as experts by the layman. They often write books to teach/argue/defend a particular doctrine. Unconsciously, we often let these books influence the way we read the bible or even consider them authoritative.  I heard many times Christians saying that if this pastor/theologian taught that, it must be true. Let’s be always on our guard. If you have the privilege of knowing how to read, I would suggest to always validate in the light of the scripture if the Christian books you’re reading are biblical. If you see a genuine Christian who has a good testimony and believe in something different than you, why not doing a spiritual check to see if your belief is right? I don’t know about you but I like taking this kind of risk just to reinforce or correct stuff that I did not get right. It is somehow risky because if you’re not well rooted in the scripture, you can be confused and become an easy prey of false teachings. But what if you have some doubts about what you believe and think you’re somehow wrong? Would not a discussion with others be an interesting option? If you see that what other believe do not fit with the scripture, you can agree to disagree.

Be careful of not falling into the trap of reading the scripture with the preconceived idea that it should mean something that support what you have always learned. I have met many people who read the scripture with the preconceived idea that it should support what they believe. For example, the false teachers’ book about the prosperity gospel twist verses out of context and make the verses say something it never intended to say. This is an unfair use of the scripture. Immature Christians might consider this teaching biblical since these verses are quoted from the bible. I know a pastor who justified his adultery by taking Solomon’s example. If Solomon had many wives, why should he deprive him? If you want the bible to say something, I guess it won’t be difficult to get some verses here and there to support what you want.

Paul said:

Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.” Col 2:8

I’m quite certain that the Judaisers had strong arguments to make Christians follow the law and rituals of Judaism. They zealously quoted from the scripture and I’m quite sure that it was not easy to argue against since at that time Christianity was just starting to emerge. This is why Paul wrote to the Galatians. Some people wanted to make the believers add Judaism to their faith in Christ.

Still in Colossians we read:

You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.”

These teachings might sound really pious. Asceticism was a strict self-denial false doctrine. But, did not Christ said that if someone wants to follow Him he should deny himself? Yes, but asceticism does not give glory to Jesus because it rebels against God’s Holy Spirit who wants to be the One who molds man’s heart. False teachings are usually those very close to the truth.

I just read some books, followed some courses and do not even have a diploma in theology. Saul of Tarsus was a theologian who zealously defended Judaism. He even persecuted and killed Christians because he was so convinced of his faith. But when he became a new man, Paul, these things he regarded as precious became rubbish to him because he discovered the Messiah.

This is what he said:

I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault. I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ.For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.”

I saw many Christians wandering from the truth because of many stuff they read by theologians. They have now a distorted view of the scripture. Let’s always be on our guard. In the last days Paul said :

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. ” 2 Tim 3:3

If some people want the bible to teach that God wants every Christians to be rich, then they will have teachers like Joel Osteen and Benny Hinn. These are the kind of teachers many Christians are looking for because it’s what they want to hear. But this is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. The list of false teachings is long. If when you read the bible and you see that there’re some stuff contradicting what you believe, then it’s the time to start asking questions. I still have some minor questions that I do not have answers and don’t really expect to have an answer. But regarding central doctrines like salvation, the Trinity and the church’s role I no longer have crucial questions regarding these doctrines. I prefer to be sure of what I believe than living with doubts. I know in whom I have believed.

Like Paul said:

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day. What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” 2 Tim 1:12

Advertisements

Posted September 2, 2012 by Cedric in Theology

Tagged with , , , , , ,

One response to “About Theologians

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. very good!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: