Three issues ago I drew attention to what I called the “designer collection” in theology. Make up your own. Use the Bible to do it. Who knows what you might end up with.
Well, as I thought about this, there’s another approach to biblical theology which is also bad. It’s as bad as the “designer collection” approach. And it is equally endemic in our churches. Here’s how it goes.
We all know that Christianity is divided. If it’s in Presbyterian/Reformed circles, they want to make sure you have the TULIP formula correct. If it’s in Charismatic circles, they can get into arguments over whether you speak tongues in the right fashion or even do it often enough.
There are some other churches, however, which figure that any kind of argument that disagrees with their opinion should be dealth with in a particular way. This is how they respond.
These folk figure that avoiding the discussion with a “well, the world is divided on this view, no one can be sure” response addresses the matter satisfactorily.
As I said earlier, systematic theology requires sytematic thinking. This response is like the atheist who says “nothing is true.” But he expects us to accept that his statement is true, therefore providing his own self-contradiction.
Well, the theological “agnostics'” claim that “no one can be certain” is itself a contradiction. If no one can be certain, how come they are certain no one can be certain? Do you get the idea?
This is anti-intellectualism at it’s most vicious. It castrates the biblical notion of knowedge and wisdom, but still expects rigorous intellectual performance from its adherents.
The interesting thing, though, is that some of us were raised in those kind of churches. If you want to see real miracles, sometimes you just need to look at yourself and ask how come you ever made it this far.
And then you realize that God really is an overcomer!
God bless you as you serve him this week.
Ian Hodge, Ph.D.