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The Beauty of Theology

Written by Susanna Cotter:

And why it matters.

One year ago, if you told me that I was to be a Reformed Charismatic that upheld the five points of TULIP and the five solas, who rejected antinomianism, a complementarian hendonist who believed in a post-trib rapture, and was almost over the line with covenant theology, I would have done two things. Firstly, I would have looked at you like you were on another planet, followed by an awkward laugh. Calvinism? Please. Everyone knew everyone had the power of their own destiny.

For one reason or another, I had the idea that theology was a stale study which legalistic bearded men did at 3 a.m as they wore pressed suits. Sort of a men’s club. Arguments would hotly fly as they would discuss the texture of Jesus Christ’s beard and the perpetual virginity of Mary.

Theology was enough to frustrate me, scare me, and make my blood boil in rage. For I looked at the people representing it, and all I saw was men trying to grasp a God that was too complicated for their minds. Chauvinistic men would be the faces of each section of theology, and the long words were enough to give me a migraine.

But you know, something was sparked deep within my soul. I hungered to know my Creator. I desired to know Him, as He knew me. After five months of irritation, I was determined to push against the words with seven syllables. I buckled up, started the engine, and learned.

My studies did not happen over night. I didn’t jump out of bed the next day with a mind full of superior knowledge, and a British accent to match. The journey merely started with one step. And nine months later, after I resolved to know my Lord more than what was given in Sunday school felt cut-outs, I can testify that it has been the sweetest, most beautified voyage.

I get it. People reject the notion of theology because of the legalism that charades over it. But theology is magnificent. Push past the predetermined reservations, and study your God. Simplifying the subject, that’s all theology is. The study of Adonai. Two Greek words—”theo” which is God, and “logos” which is a discourse (conversation). A conversation about God.

It is imperative to understand just how important theology is. Modern Christians today viciously stand that doctrine doesn’t matter, and theology doesn’t matter, and all you need is love. It’s unbelievable. Tell me, how do you know what God’s love is truly all about if you have not studied it? It is so foreign to our nature, so strange to our version of love and charity. Love, if it does not have a foundation, is nothing more than a fleeting wisp of air. Standing for the conclusion that “theology and the study of God does not matter” is absolutely ridiculous. As Paul Washer said, “People will say that they want Jesus, but no doctrine. What they’re basically saying is that they want all the benefits of Jesus, just not the knowledge of Who He is.” (paraphrase).

Theology does not come naturally to the carnal mind. But ask for wisdom, and the Lord gives freely. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Uphold holy reverence for Him.

Because I guarantee that the Christian life cannot be sustained with just a nice thought that a Man died 2,000 years ago on a Tree. Yes. That is so precious and of the greatest significance. But we must go deeper. We must be able to gradually say, “A Man Who was God in flesh died and rose again 2,000 years ago on a Roman Cross to cleanse the sin of His sheep that know His voice by grace alone,” or something similar.

A.W Tozer once wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” And this is unadulterated truth. Everything about us comes down to our thoughts about God. Everything.

Go beyond your reservations about theology. I know that there are legalists in the study of God, just as there are Antinomians on the other side of the fence who reject the law and the study of the Lord. Men use their knowledge of the Lord to bash other men with superiority. That is not right. But at the same time, it is not right to reject the idea that theology is wrong. Spend time asking for His wisdom to understand His nature, and He will freely give.

Because you cannot have love—God-driven love—without theology. Just as you cannot have theology without love. The two are inseparable. Know His character. Love His character. Study His character.

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  1. April 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm

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