Over the course of this past weekend and my recent post about hell, universalism, exclusivism and other exclusive elititistic theological words and constructs, I’ve shared on numerous occasions both my deep appreciation for theology and simultaneously, the danger of theology. I wrote:
Theology is important. No matter what others may say or think, it has great value and importance. In fact, I would contend that one of the aspects that ails the Church is the lack of theological depth and substance. The [C]hurch are a bunch of lightweight theological dummies.
But my point is that while theology is indeed very important, it’s not the most important thing. If theology was the most important thing, we’d be screwed as salvation would rest in humanity’s ability to understand with absolute clarity.
Depending on how you approach the theological process, it’s understandable for people to formulate or arrive to the natural question:
“What then is the most important thing?”
and even more so…
“How do we arrive at the revelation of the most important thing apart from theology?”
Again, I’m not discounting the importance of theology. It is very important; It helps us to arrive at the most important thing but what I’m trying to convey is that “the most important thing” is not just a thing. It is the amazing and infinite God and God exists and endures apart from our theology. God’s existence, glory, and truth does not hinge on humanity’s ability to “theologize” and comprehend and this is good news because our human finitude cannot fully grasp the infinitude of God.
The good news for us today, tomorrow, and all the days of our lives is that Truth is not merely propositional.
God is not abstractual; God is not conceptual; God is not nebulous; God is not distant; God is not angry
God has become personal to us.
This Truth has become personified in the person of Jesus Christ.
God has descended. God has come to us. God, through his Son, Jesus, has moved into our neighborhood and into our hearts. Jesus who was fully God – yet chose to become fully human and in great love, chooses obedience – even unto death – so that we might be reconciled.
Salvation has been given so that we would be reconciled and and be compelled to live as agents of God’s work of salvation and reconciliation in the world.
And while we do arrive and continue to arrive and grow in that revelation through the humble process of theology, there is great danger when we place too much faith in the human process of theology – however robust, righteous, or right we might think of ourselves. This philosophical thinking puts us back to square one where – with different words – we’ve masked Christianity as humanity’s attempt and ability to understand. And thus, a Christianized version of religion.
The great remedy: We worship God and not ourselves.
Have I thoroughly confused you?
In other words, remember…
we love God…because God first loved us!
1 John 4:19
Listen to this recent sermon. Preaching from Philippians 3:1-7, I attempt to answer the question about the most important thing.
What makes us uniquely Christian…is the unique work of Christ.