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hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 THEOLOGY OR FAITH?




Does one need a Masters or PhD in theology to be a great man of faith, qualified to be a minister of God? Whereas studying is a very useful skill for a Christian, head knowledge should not be the basis of one’s faith. Today we have numerous bible schools, theological colleges and correspondence, devotionals. These things teach people many theological issues and viewpoints.

Sadly these have led to the replacing of faith with theology. Hence many study theology to the highest levels to prove their worth in the things of God; to prove their faith in God. Right division of the word of God, Faith in Jesus and guidance of the Holy Spirit are cast aside.

Theology is man’s attempt to be the source of all the answers about everything divine. It is an attempt to be all knowing as God. Being men, we are unable to have all the answers to all divine questions .Thus we need not to impose ourselves to be the final authority on any spiritual matter, but know and point to the true final authority, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God .We cannot please God with our head knowledge but with our faith in him which is based on his word and not head knowledge, ideas or feelings.

We are to have FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST to understand and have knowledge of God and his mysteries and his counsel. Know him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings. Having knowledge of theological viewpoints and jargon is NOT evidence of faith in Jesus. Nor is it direct qualification to be a minister of God. FAITH comes by hearing the word of God, NOT the words/ideas of men about God (THEOLOGY)
Unbelief can plague one who has head knowledge of the scriptures.

When Jesus went to raise Lazarus, Martha had unbelief of a present resurrection of Lazarus despite her said knowledge of Jesus as the Christ. The Pharisees and Scribes were the authorities when it came to scripture but could not discern that Jesus was the Christ! Their knowledge ensnared them, not because the knowledge was wrong, but because they used their knowledge to gain praise, power and prosperity instead of faith in God and the Lord Jesus Christ. In the end they fell into ignorance, vain divisions, arguments and disobedience to God.

This unbelief is present with many in Christendom. Some have discarded the doctrine of Christ to teach popular, man pleasing doctrines in bible schools .This is done by applying the Old Testament wrongly or crafting new teachings to suit their own lusts for wealth fame and power. Other scholars, after gaining world ideas of life mix psychology with scriptures to come up with explanations for things they do not understand .These things defiles one faith as one focuses on what man says and not what Jesus says in his word, hence creating false faith which leads to hell and destruction.

Theology fails because it is inspired by theories and ideas of men instead of the Holy Spirit who is the spirit of the truth. If theology was sound then we would not have the flood of ideas that have divided the church. The Scriptures are essential for sound doctrine as it is inspired of God; ANYTHING ELSE is secondary and is subject to being tested by the word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit.

While discussing about the last days with a learned pastor, I was tested by the fellow according to theological viewpoints such as premillenialism, post millennial, ad nauseum… My response was that it is not what the theologians say that should be the standard of testing one’s words, but the Word of God. Though a sincere man, theology seems to be his standard source of discernment and understanding God’s word. That is very sad.

The Holy Spirit teaches us all things and reminds us the word of Christ and not manmade theories. In fact some of the theologians delve into issues that they have no knowledge about which leads one to presumption and heresy! All that we learn and hear, say and teach should be tested by the word of God with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Anything else is vanity because it is only God who has truth .Our faith should not be based on our genius or man’s wisdom but on our Lord Jesus Christ in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge .


Grace and Peace
Arthur Owiti.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/7/7 10:06Profile
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: THEOLOGY OR FAITH?

Our theology must first of all be practical.
If it cannot be put in practice; it is of little
avail to us. Doctrine should be easily understood.
Jesus taught the mysteries of the kingdom of GOD
using things that were common and simple. Everything He taught is doable, practical, work-
able.

C. S. LEWIS


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Martin G. Smith

 2009/7/7 10:57Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4502


 Re: THEOLOGY OR FAITH?

Hello...

Quote:
Does one need a Masters or PhD in theology to be a great man of faith, qualified to be a minister of God? Whereas studying is a very useful skill for a Christian, head knowledge should not be the basis of one’s faith. Today we have numerous bible schools, theological colleges and correspondence, devotionals. These things teach people many theological issues and viewpoints.

Sadly these have led to the replacing of faith with theology. Hence many study theology to the highest levels to prove their worth in the things of God; to prove their faith in God. Right division of the word of God, Faith in Jesus and guidance of the Holy Spirit are cast aside.


This is a very good thing to consider. Knowledge (or a degree) does not make someone an expert in a matter -- especially in regard to faith.

I once read the story of Vivien Thomas, the man who pioneered open heart surgery during the Great Depression. Thomas was a highly intelligent but uneducated African-American man. He obtained various jobs (mostly as a handyman and janitor) until he obtained a position as a lab assistant for Dr. Alfred Blalock at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Even though Vivien Thomas' position was pretty much a glorified janitor for a lab that experimented on dogs, Dr. Blalock recognized Thomas' intelligence and propensity for learning about open heart surgery.

Over time, Blalock trained Thomas. At the time, Vivien Thomas was still required to use the back door for entrance to the hospital and university (due to his race). Eventually, both Dr. Blalock and Vivien Thomas transferred to John Hopkins University in Maryland. After years of groundbreaking research into the human heart, this African American lab assistant (paid the same as a janitor) pioneered the methods for open heart surgery (a taboo to many doctors at the time). He did all of this without a college degree. Interestingly, when Dr. Blalock examined the near perfection of the test dog who had received the successful surgery, he told Thomas, "[i]Vivien, this looks like something the Lord made[/i]!"

While a college degree will certain assist a person with getting a job (and is required for many, many positions), I have known many highly intelligent men who have not earned a degree. In addition, I've met people in college who worked four years (or more) to earn a college degree in a certain field who never used that knowledge in a job or career. They earned the degree...possessing the knowledge from all of the effort required to obtain it...but chose to enter a different line of work.

Some degrees are work specific. Engineers usually use their degrees to become engineers. Medical degrees are used for those who wish to practice medical treatment. Other degrees are less specific. A person with a history degree can find employment in a range of job openings simply based upon his bachelor's degree. However, there used to be a joke regarding Philosophy majors. Philosophy degrees were jokingly regarded as a "gateway degree" for those who didn't realize that it might not help them find a job and will probably end up working on another degree in college. This was usually because the amount of knowledge in the degree itself has been subjected to interpretation.

The same can be said of those who earn degrees in Theology. I've known men who earned degrees in Theology in the hope that it would help them obtain a position in a church. In my experience, the men who have simply and sincerely sought the heart of God have a deeper and fuller understanding of who God is...more than most of men who have earned a ThD. While a Theology degree might help a person understand some book knowledge about Christianity, it can never give someone insight into the heart of the Lord. That is only found by spending time at the feet of Jesus...through sincere prayer and study of His Word.

Paul earned the equivalent of a "Theology degree" via his years of study. While some of his education was important to his life and ministry (his ability to read and write, know the Old Testament, and his understanding of the Roman legal system), much of it was just a knowledge of religion. In Philippians, Paul counted all of that study (and his supposed advantages) as a loss and as "dung" compared to KNOWING Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:7-10). In other words, the KNOWING of Jesus Christ -- the intimate relationship that Paul had -- was entirely greater than any knowledge that he had ever learned.

Paul said it best when he said, "[i]That I may KNOW Him[/i]..." (Philippians 3:10).

:-)


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Christopher

 2009/7/7 12:24Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

Quote:
While a Theology degree might help a person understand some book knowledge about Christianity, it can never give someone insight into the heart of the Lord. That is only found by spending time at the feet of Jesus...through sincere prayer and study of His Word.



I agree, a degree in it self are not evil or bad, but today in christendom we have substituted this sitting by the Lords feet and learn with a degree. It is sad, I think one reason we need so much schools is because the church system is flawed somehow, Jesus did not send the "sheep" to a school, he taught them, and our churches fail in teaching, both practical and in doctrines, and often in a one man show church, with a pastor, most people are only spectators to the man who earned his degree and his "right" to stand and preach. If we took a more practical approach to training the followers in church, schools would not be necessary to the extent it is today.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/7/7 14:23Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4502


 Re:

Hi hmmhmm...

Yes, I agree. There is only so much that a theological seminary can teach. Often, like a typical college or university, students only get what they actually "take" out of the experience. Some can coast by, while others spend time trying to find something more. However, it is encouraging (in a way) to realize that all men are flawed. From Martin Luther to Matthew Henry to David Wilkerson to Leonard Ravenhill: All men are confined to an existence on this side of Eternity (with all of the speculation that comes from seeing through a glass darkly).

Moreover, I am often reminded of the verse that asks who has known "the mind of the Lord" (Isaiah 40:13, I Corinthians 2:16). I have found that those who are so convinced about every last matter are often the ones who equate it to supernaturally knowing the mind of the Lord (and the first to accuse other like members of the Body of Christ of NOT knowing the mind of the Lord during disagreements and disputes). Ultimately, I prefer to simply try to seek the Lord...to know Him in truth...but not try to figure out every last issue that doesn't really matter in my relationship with Him.

Theology, I think, would be better if people truly spent time seeking Jesus without trying to ascertain His intentions or reasoning. Do we even pretend that we can know all things in the mind of God? I would rather be that child who simply clung to Him because he loved Him without feeling the need to understand every last mystery (or pretending that we somehow DO understand every last mystery).

:-)


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Christopher

 2009/7/13 13:16Profile
InTheLight
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Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2749
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re: THEOLOGY OR FAITH?

I am reminded of something that Watchman Nee wrote in [i]The Normal Christian Life[/i]...

The normal Christian life must begin with a very definite `knowing',
which is not just knowing something about the truth nor understanding
some important doctrine. It is not intellectual knowledge at all, but
an opening of the eyes of the heart to see what we have in Christ.

How do you know your sins are forgiven? Is it because your pastor told
you so? No, you just know it. If I ask you how you know, you simply
answer, `I know it!' Such knowledge comes by Divine revelation. It
comes from the Lord Himself. Of course the fact of forgiveness of sins
is in the Bible, but for the written Word of God to become a living
Word from God to you He had to give you "a spirit of wisdom and
revelation in the knowledge of him" (Eph. 1:17). What you needed was to
know Christ in that way, and it is always so. So there comes a time, in
regard to any new apprehension of Christ, when you know it in your own
heart, you `see' it in your spirit. A light has shined into your inner
being and you are wholly persuaded of the fact. What is true of the
forgiveness of your sins is no less true of your deliverance from sin.
When once the light of God dawns upon your heart you see yourself in
Christ. It is not now because someone has told you, and not merely
because Romans 6 says so. It is something more even than that. You know
it because God has revealed it to you by His Spirit. You may not feel
it; you may not understand it; but you know it, for you have seen it.
Once you have seen yourself in Christ, nothing can shake your assurance
of that blessed fact.


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Ron Halverson

 2009/7/13 13:29Profile
hmmhmm
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Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991
Sweden

 Re:

good word brother, childlike faith.... the way up is down, the way to maturity is to become like a child.


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CHRISTIAN

 2009/7/13 13:32Profile









 Re:

Quote:
Theology is man’s attempt to be the source of all the answers about everything divine. It is an attempt to be all knowing as God.



I think that statement is just foolishness. Like many things it's an OVER reaction to a fault the writer of the article see's. To want to understand what God has revealed to us in His word is not to want to be all knowing as God like the writer states. The truth is anyone reads the word of God and seeks to understand it and reconcile scripture they are involved in theology whether they realize it or not.

And the truth is the question is not "theology or faith"... it should be "both".

IN Christ,

Sean

 2009/7/13 13:43





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