Saturday, September 15, 2007

Table Turned

I was reviewing my blog and I noticed that there’s no post about theology for almost a month now. I haven’t done much “theologizing.” Maybe it’s because that as a Sunday school teacher now, especially for the men of our church, the table, somehow, has been turned. Instead of being the “asker”, I am now forced to become the “answerer” of other people’s questions about God and things that are concerned with God. And, as the Sunday school classes progress, I realized my inadequacies when it comes to Bible doctrines. I have spent most of my “theologizing” by reading theologians and very little of the Bible.

I am not saying that this is bad because I have learned a lot from these theologians; although, most of the times, I don’t even know what they were talking about. But, this has resulted in my faith becoming a…hmmm…mental…pursuit. I am by nature an inquisitive person. The problems I encountered with faith are more of the rational basis for having it. Looking back, I don’t know if I thought that way because I used to live a sinful life, or I lived a sinful life because I used to think that way. Really, it’s a spiritual emptiness subconsciously disguised as an intellectual...hmmm…what’s the word…hmm…wandering?

Anyway, it does not matter now because I’m back in the church.

I am humbled at the same time troubled and most of the times stumped because most of the questions asked in Sunday school were questions I never even took the time to consider and even think about seriously. Questions I took for granted because I was not that interested in them in the first place.

Examples are: Is man composed of three parts namely body, spirit, and soul? Or is man composed of two parts, body and spirit and/or soul? What is the difference between a follower and a disciple? Do angels have freewill? And etc. All I can say is what the Bible and what the books and commentaries say, but on the personal level, I found out that I don’t even have a stand on these doctrines! So what if humanity is composed of three or two parts? Who cares? Here are the views; you choose which one is acceptable to you.

That has been my attitude about doctrines and I am really surprised to find out that it is impossible to teach the Bible without the teacher, in this case me, having any stand and convictions on what is being taught!

I thought that teaching Bible doctrines would be as simple as teaching other doctrines like communism, or idealism, or materialism and other-isms, but it is not. It is teaching about faith--objectivity does not apply!

As I am teaching Biblical doctrines, I am also relearning them.


Arthur said...

Like you, I find myself reading theologians and accepting their insights more than reading the Bible and accepting what God is telling me directly from His words.

I guess I need to go back to the Word and start paying attention to my relationship with God and not adapt what other people (theologians) have.

This is really insightful. God bless you for posting this.

George said...


Joey said...

Of course, the Word is the primary source of theology and it should be where our knowledge about God should come.

Nonetheless, reading the works of theologians help me to see so many various interpretations and applications of the Word of God. We really don't need to adapt any people's view not even the best theologians. We have to wrestle personally with God and His words. Theologians helps us though to see new and wider horizon that those who ignore them will surely miss it.

George said...