Why You Should Care about Theology
If we want to be Christians who care about theology—and I hope that goes without saying if you are a Christian—then you must care about words. Recognize that you have a theology, even if you aren’t a Christian. You ought to care about your theology.
If you don’t, we can see it as one of the surest signs that a person, a church, or a movement is sliding into liberalism (I use that as an identifiable thing not just as a bogeyman). Sliding into liberalism is when you no longer take the time or make the effort to define your terms.
It’s a great expression of love to be clear about these terms, the things that we believe, the things that we hold true.
We live in a culture which is much more comfortable emoting than arguing. We like to shame people on social media more than we want to produce evidence and facts and actual arguments.
Be Crystal Clear
I’ve said before, Who needs dogma when stigma will do? That’s how we make “arguments.” We stigmatize people. We live in a cultural moment that is averse to careful argumentation. Even in the church, people often feel like it’s distracting from the mission, getting bogged down, or think it’s just divisive—so we settle for slogans.
Often social media perpetuates this because it’s sort of the medium that becomes the message. People resort to slogans and what can be in a Twitter soundbite or a short status update. We don’t take the time or have the patience to define and then defend what we’re actually saying.
Although you can certainly do it in a way that’s unloving and divisive, I think with the right attitude, it’s a great expression of love to be clear about these terms, the things that we believe, the things that we hold true.
We want to be crystal clear about the things that are most important to us, the things that touch on God and Heaven and Hell and eternity and the cross. We cannot settle for vague generalities.
God gave the commandments that they might be obeyed—not to earn salvation but because of who we are, who God is in himself, who he is to us, where we are, and what he has done.
We live in a time of high moral obligation. The question is who gets to determine what those obligations are?
Jesus didn’t set the Ten Commandments aside. He fulfilled them.