I am not a theologian.***
In fact, despite growing up in a conservative Christian home, attending Sunday School and AWANA on a regular basis, attending and working at a Bible camp for my entire life, and graduating from an evangelical university, I have a difficult time placing myself in one camp on most theological issues. For a while, I have considered myself less of a Christian because I don't have the Biblical knowledge to take a stand anywhere on the continuum from Greg Boyd to John Piper. (And, in a sense, I suppose that might be true.)
But there is a reason that I haven't found a place to anchor my feet on a theological view. Many people seem so certain in their interpretations of the scripture. Where does that certainty come from?
I have been following the Farewell Rob Bell drama that has been unraveling on Twitter and blog posts over the past few days. What bothers me about both sides of these debates is the same thing that bothers me with every theological discussion I have ever witnessed. It's the "I'm right, You're wrong" point of view that everyone seems to take, even though they are reading the same Bible, and have the same genuine interest in interpreting it correctly.
On a blog by Jason Boyett, I read the following (Note: I do not agree with his entire blog post. However, he stated my theological frustrations well):
The truth is this: In order to be an everyone-get-saved Universalist, as Taylor claims Bell to be, you have to elevate some biblical passages and ignore (or explain away) others. Because there are definitely some passages that seem to be about eternal punishment in hell.
In order to be a predestination-style, God-saves-the-elect reformed Christian -- like Taylor and Piper -- you have to elevate some biblical passages and ignore (or explain away) others. Because there are definitely some passages that seem to contradict predestination.
In order to be a free-will Arminian Christian, you have to elevate some biblical passages and ignore (or explain away) others. Because there are definitely some passages that seem to confirm predestination.
Who is to say which biblical passages should be taken as more important, more correct, than others? Do we pick the passages that are most comfortable? The passages that make us feel like we are on the right track? The passages that set out the path of least resistance between us and heaven?
I really don't know. I'm not a Calvinist and I'm not an Arminianist. Not because I'm too lazy to spend time reading my Bible, but because I just don't know how to pick and choose. Someday, I might dig deeper, and in turn find a place to take a stance. But for now I will live out what I feel is most important.
Love God. Love others. Everything else will fall into place.
*** That's right, I said it. I am not a theologian. Those of you who are will inevitably disagree with me on my thoughts and/or opinions in this post. While I welcome any comments that you might have, please don't try to convert me to "your side." As Christians, we're all on the same team here.
Monday, February 28, 2011
I am not a theologian.***
Posted by Emily Grace at 5:07 PM