Sunday, March 18, 2012

Be Humble in your theology


Be Humble in Your Theology by Joe Thorn

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." 1 PETER 5:5
Dear Self,

A good theologian is humble. You may be known as a theologian, or at least want to be known as one, but are you also known as being humble?
These two things should be inseparable.
The more robust, the more detailed your theology, the more humble you should become. Why? Because you did not figure God out; he revealed himself to you. Don't you remember the words of Jesus to Peter when the disciple correctly acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah? "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven." (Matt. 16:17) The theologian owes his knowledge to God himself, who has not only made himself known in creation and Scripture but has also opened our eyes to understand and embrace the truth.
The proud theologian has somehow convinced himself, or at least acts as if, he discovered God. But you understand that you did not uncover the truth of God like some kind of rock star archeologist. He sought you, caught you, and gave you sight, knowledge, and life. Humility should be borne out of your theology because you are so entirely dependent on God for it.
You must also remember that your theology is not your own. Rather you are following in the steps of generations before you who have worked hard at knowing and making known the one true God. If you are a good theologian, part of that is because good theologians have gone before you and made a path for you to walk.
It's possible to be technically accurate in your theology and yet miss the mark of humility. Be passionate for God, fight for truth, contend for the faith, but be humble. Your knowledge is a cause to be humble, not a reason to boast in your insight or tradition.

Note to Self: The Discipline of Preaching to Yourself Thorn, Joe (Re:Lit) (pp. 54-55). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books.

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