Have you taken a theology class? A better question may be, have you taken a class that teaches you how to think about theology? Or better still, have you learned how to do theology?
Though many may shy away from the prospect of taking a “formal” theology class, we all must admit that influences on our theology are everywhere.
My wife and son are watching “Lost” again, preparing for the new season. One of the characters is a priest and ensures a young mother that if she and her newborn are baptized, they will both go to heaven. The baptism was done by sprinkling. Is the character’s statement true? Is baptism in this form acceptable? No matter what your answers, these questions and the acceptances of the ideas presented cause you to assess theology.
I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap. It’s a great product, but if you ever take time to read the label, you’ll be surprised. The label is full of theological statements and assertions. The untrained eye might well read this, and because of the references to scripture, receive this as truth.
I live in the Bible belt and prominent are the signs. You know the “God Signs.”
Again, is the statement true? Is the idea true? How does one receive marriage counseling from God and when exactly is He available? If you say via the preacher or the church, then is the church God, or is the preacher speaking directly for God?
“Real Men Love Jesus,” reads the bumper sticker. “No Jesus no peace, Know Jesus know peace,” reads the shirt. “Touched By an Angel” was full of theology. So were “Joan of Arcadia” and “Highway to Heaven.” Media never stops teaching theology. The song “Jesus Walks” teaches theology. You get the point.
You could say, “I’m not ready for a theology course or class.” You could say, “I don’t need all of that.” You could even say, “I’ll listen to my Bishop and that’s good enough for me.” How do you know what’s true? How do you determine what’s true about God?
Learning how to think through, struggle with, or do theology properly is every Christian’s responsibility. What have been the biggest influences on your theology? How certain are you about what you hold to be truth? How convinced are you that there is such a thing as truth?
There are people everywhere claiming that their theology or their perception about God is the truth, bloggers included. Shouldn’t you know how to figure it out?