When I was a freshman in college, I took a huge interest in theology. I spent countless hours researching different views, debating why I thought I was right, and sometimes even alienating people because I was so snub-nosed on the issues.
No, I’m not going into a soteriological or eschatological rant about why Calvinism or Arminianism is right or wrong or why certain end times views are stupid. That’s not the point of my Theology Thursdays, by any means.
If “theology” literally means, “The study of God,” then that’s what should happen when theology is brought up. Sometimes the study of God isn’t all about high philosophical concepts or deeply entrenched religious camps; it really should be about the practicality of who God is and how that relates to us in our everyday lives.
The truth of the matter is that our theology is deeply impacted by the circumstances that happen around us on a daily basis. Our view of God is determined by the authority figures, parents, friends, significant others, etc., that do good or bad to us. And that just isn’t right, in my opinion.
In fact, the situation needs to be flipped. God should be the one impacting our circumstances. God should be the one determining how we react to authority figures, parents, friends, significant others, etc., that do good or bad to us.
So, that’s where I’m going to land today: what’s at the center of our theology? Do we have a man-centered theology, or a God-centered theology?
That’s really high and lofty, even for a nerd like me. I’m sorry. Let me rephrase and get it down to the irreducible minimum: what shapes our knowledge and understanding of God? Does man shape it, or does God shape it?
When we hold a man-centered theology (aka when man shapes our view of God), we put a lot of responsibility for some huge things on our own shoulders. It elevates the position of man and says, “We’re kind of a big deal.” We become responsible for salvation, our futures, our everything, essentially. And God doesn’t really hold MUCH say in it; He can do certain things, but is really limited.
When we hold a God-centered theology (aka when God shapes our view of God), we put a lot of the responsibility for huge things on God. It elevates God’s position and says, “God is kind of a big deal.” He’s responsible for our salvation, our future, and our everything, essentially. We depend on God because He has most of the say in it; we follow what He wants and we don’t limit Him.
That’s really concise and quick, almost bite-sized. But, above all else, we should be making a big deal of God. Our theology should say, “God is a big deal.” I think we need to have a God-centered theology. We still have responsibility, no doubt, but God is the one who gets the credit if He’s at the center of it all. He’s in control of everything and takes care of us no matter what.
I challenge you to make a big deal of God. Like, a really big deal of Him. What do you do when your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/friend/etc. does something really awesome, like INCREDIBLY INDESCRIBABLY awesome for you? You don’t sit there in silence. You go tell someone. And excitedly.
Does this sound familiar? I hope so. God did something incredibly indescribably awesome for us, dirty rotten sinners who are spiritually dead, in sending Jesus to live a perfect life and die in our place in order to bring us back to life. So, what should we do? Go tell someone. Excitedly. About the life and love we have in Christ.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism says this about the chief end of man (aka the reason why we exist): “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”
What is one way this week that you’ve found joy in what God has done for you?