Everyone’s a theologian. Everything is theological. Just take a simple test. Pick any one of your daily struggles and follow it down to its foundational parts. Ask yourself why this particular struggle is so tough. Think about how you process it and work through it. Where do you find the resources to cope and fight through it? What is the hope that moves you when you face it? Inevitably, your answers will lead you to this or that theological conclusion. A belief about God and the way the world works. Everyone’s a theologian, everything is theological.
And yet not all theologians are equal. Among us helplessly theologizing homo-sapiens, you will find two basic types. There are those who are humbled under the awareness of the fact that we are faulty, and that we cannot create our own answers, that we must be taught those answers, and that there is much to learn. And there are those are content to cruise on with the answers that they have constructed.
“Oh I don’t want theology. I just want to know God, to know his love.”
“I’m not into all that doctrine stuff. I just pray and try to listen to what God has to say to me.”
“Some people are into all that ‘Bible study stuff’. Its just not my thing. I just want to live for God.”
Don’t you understand that every single one of those statements is deeply theological? Don’t you see that every one of those sentences is making a powerful doctrinal claim? These humble theologians are basically saying that their current view of the world is complete. That the answers they stand on are in no need of change. While so many “others” are trying to learn and understand the truth more clearly, these strong souls have already arrived.
Often times in our culture we see the people who use big words and write big books as prideful and stuck up. Within the church and christian history, I have had the opposite experience. I have seem that most of the people who spend their lives studying and writing about God and Scripture, do so with a quivering hand, understanding the greatness and gravity of the truth about which they write. They understand that they are little people and still have much to learn. They remember, that without God speaking into our lives, we are lost. They have seen, that the things that God has revealed have the power to open our eyes to a completely new life.
Everyone’s a theologian. But which kind are you? Do you live in the posture of seeking and learning? Do you fear your own ignorance and blindness more than anything else? Do you acknowledge the great grace of God in the fact that he has spoken, and continues to speak into our lives to give us the answers that we are helplessly lost without?