We live in an age where people wear their faith on their T-shirts. A whole lot of that theology ends up being a “Christianizing” of some popular marketing slogan. Here are some examples.
Having seen these, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce this reflection by using the T-Shirt found at the top of this post. People often shy away from learning any theology because it conjures up images of out-of-touch academics analyzing a simple text and turning it into a complex mystery. Or they believe that they believe in the Bible and if you know the basics of the Bible, what more is there to contemplate? Besides, if a religious thought cannot fit on my chest or into a sound byte, no one is going to pay attention to it anyway.
There is a world of difference between slogans and scripture. And there is far more depth to our understanding of God, what He requires, and how He operates than is contained in a thousand shallow Sunday School lessons.
Theology helps us see the big picture of working of God and to connect the dots in what is sometimes overly compartmentalized in our faith understanding. There is no merit in having a blind faith. “Faith is the evidence of things not seen,” the writer of Hebrews tells us. Things unseen are the person of God and the wind of His Spirit. But God in His work gives evidences of the meaning and application of His truth. Without theology it is easy for us to major in minors or ignore whole dimensions of the revelation of God. We cannot explain what we do not know but we can explain a whole lot more than we do.
This is where good theology comes in. Good theology is that which is rooted in the revelation of scripture. It is an explanation of God’s truth that is in awe of the grand mystery that is God and seeks at all times to be accurate in what we teach. Good theology rises above pop culture and religious tradition to find explanations that lead to lives transformed. Good theology is the result of a mind transformed by the grace of God and faithful to help us live by the pattern of God instead of the limitations of the world’s epistemological mold.
Too many Christians are content with their slogans and their shallow understandings. It allows them to live on auto-pilot without any thought focused, intentional, reflective. committed life of the Spirit.
Let us turn on our brains and grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and humanity.