The Sad State of Theology

Before I say anything else, I need to say THANK YOU. Thank you for reading this blog post. Because I used the word "theology" in the title!

The word "theology" is an immediate turnoff for some Christians. It shouldn't be!

Theology is The Study of God. That is its literal translation.

Theo = God + ology  =  words or study or knowing or thinking.
Theology = Words about God.

And not only God himself (his nature, attributes, and his work). Theology includes

the study of creation,
the study of humanity,
the study of sin,
the study of evil,
the study of suffering,
the study of God's people (first Israel and now the church),
the study of salvation,
the study of morality,
the study of mission in the world,
the study of the end of the world,
the study of destinations (heaven and hell),
and more.

Theology is loving the Lord your God with all your mind (part of the greatest commandment).

In the Book of Acts, the Bereans were described as more noble minded because they eagerly studied the Scriptures to discover the truth (see Acts 17:11).

In the Book of Acts, the Ethiopian didn't understand what he was reading in the prophet Isaiah, and needed someone who knew the truth to explain it to him (see Acts 8).

Those who are called to teach and preach are to study the Word of God and do their best to accurately understand the Scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15).

Theology is thinking great thoughts about our even greater God. Ideas matter. Ideas about God matter most of all.

YES, theology matters.

And theology is in trouble today. Big trouble. The trouble theology is in is simply that Christians are less informed about God's truth than ever. We strongly believe things that are completely wrong and other things that are somewhat wrong. We are also unaware of many truths about God.

The Ligonier Ministry Center "State of Theology 2022"

Every 2 years the Ligonier Ministry does a survey to assess what Christians believe and don't believe. Here is a PDF of this year's report. You may find it cumbersome, but the conclusions are clear. Our theology is weak, deficient, and increasingly just unbiblical.

And that is a problem, because theology informs everything we do as followers of Jesus. Bad theology is going to result in bad spirituality and bad spirituality will result in a bad life.

Our teaching and ministry team at Living Word are committed to getting you the ideas and resources that shape a Christian worldview. We work hard to create resources for you to use, that will grow your knowledge of God and your discernment of how that truth will make a difference in your life.

We launch your learning with messages and times of teaching. We advance your learning with the devotional resources. They are designed for you to take the message deeper inside, as you personalize it for your life. Wrestle with God's truth. Think about how it applies to your situation. What correction does it provide? What encouragement do you find?

And then, do it again and again and again.

It works like food. You need daily food for your body to survive and thrive. You need daily spiritual food for your soul to survive and thrive. You don't eat food once a week and get by on that. You eat every day and throughout the day. Unlike too much food, which is NOT good for you, you can't get too much spiritual food. 
Here is one more practical suggestion. Most of us spend many hours every week watching our favorite TV shows, listening to talk show hosts over and over, podcasts, and more.

Try to set aside ONE TIME SLOT PER WEEK that is longer. Start out with 30 minutes and every week add 5 more minutes until you get to 1 hour. During that time, do extra Bible reading. Or get a solid Christian book on a topic of interest. Any of our church staff can help you with recommendations. Spend that time in reading and reflection, learn and grow, put it into practice.

As the weeks go by you will see the difference it makes.

Blessings and grace, and may the eyes of your heart be enlightened.
Pastor Brian
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