Does Our Theology Define Us?
Have we ever said “What those people believe is wrong! We believe what the Bible says.”
“Those” people might say the same thing about us.
We organize our beliefs about God, religion and what we think the Bible says into a system we suppose is consistent and call it our theology.
Does Our Theology Unite Us or Divide Us?
If we base our theology on the Bible, then your theology and my theology should agree. Correct?
But we all know that probably none of us agree on everything. With that in mind, here are ten reasons why I never argue theology with anyone:
- I think I’m right. You think you’re right.
- I know I’m right. I attended seminary.
- I know lots about theology and can devastate almost any opponent in a theological “discussion.”
- Maybe I’m not always right. I heard N.T. Wright say in an interview that he is probably wrong a third of the time. I concede that he probably knows more about theology than I do. If he thinks he is probably wrong a third of the time, then maybe I’m occasionally wrong.
- I hate arguing with people. When I look back on it later, even though I may have won the argument, I never feel good about it.
- I’ve noticed that my superior theological knowledge never really changes anyone’s mind. They only pretend to agree.
- Arguing theology consumes too much of my time, time spent researching my position – wasted time. It leaves me little time to help or serve others.
- Arguing theology prevents me from really getting to know other people. It prevents me from hearing their stories and from knowing their joys and their sorrows.
- Arguing theology just doesn’t look like Jesus to me. Somehow I can’t imagine Jesus arguing theology. I can imagine him partying with sinners, forgiving prostitutes, healing people and dying for me. I can imagine him talking about the Father’s love. I can imagine him engaged in lively discussions with the Pharisees. But I cannot imagine him arguing theology.
- Arguing theology prevents me from loving my neighbors. When I’m trying to prove the correctness of my beliefs, I end up thinking I’m right and they’re wrong. That mindset does not help me love my neighbors as I love myself.
Why do you avoid arguing theology?
Do you love discussing theology? Why?