Theology

People think that theology is dry and academic.

“I’ll admit that I’ve often thought so.”

Tell my why.

“All of those ‘–ologies’ at the end of long, abstract words, for one thing, you know . . . “

Hmmm. I guess some do think that way about theology—had enough of that sort of thing in school, and glad to get away from it, eh?

“Something like that.”

Do you think the same way about the Bible?

“No. It wasn’t written that way.”

Well, you’re certainly right about that. Let me ask you another question . . .

“Fire away.”

Here it is: When Luther remarked about Psalm 23: 1, “Thank God for personal pronouns!” does that strike you differently?

“Somewhat. Although I must admit I’ve forgotten what a personal pronoun is.”

OK. Then, let’s try this: “Jesus Christ is your personal Savior.”

“Now you’re cooking on the front burner! I can resonate to that!”

Why?

“It’s plain, everyday English.”

Would you be surprised to know that the statement is, in fact, about one of the most important and controversial theological doctrines of all?

“Doesn’t sound like theology at all.”

Ah. But it is. It is an affirmation of the doctrine of limited atonement. It states, just as Luther’s comment did, that Christ died for individuals in person rather than for people in the mass.

“Now, you sound like you’re talking half theology, and half Bible.”

Perhaps at times we need to use more pithy, clear, statements of the sort to which you resonate when introducing theological truths. Probably more people would understand them. Indeed, such statements might entice people into reading further in the more abstract information.

“Maybe so. At least it ought to help—somewhat.”

Theologians ought to consider the matter. Perhaps, if we set forth all doctrines in such short, pregnant statements we’d have better understanding of and interest in theology.

“Perhaps.”

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