We Should Read the Bible Theologically

Instead of reading the Bible morally, we should read it theologically.  This doesn’t mean that there aren’t some moral examples to follow.  Yes, by all means, flee like Joseph.  Nor does it mean hunting for verses that support our favorite theological doctrine.  Rather, reading the Bible theologically means that we look first and foremost at what the passage teaches us about God.  What is God doing?  How is God revealing Himself?  How is God going to overcome our sin, keep His promises, and reestablish the Eden-like relationship He created us for.

– Sprinkle, Preston; Charis: God’s Scandalous Grace for Us; David C. Cook Publishing; Colorado Springs, CO; Kindle version; copyright 2014; page 27-28

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Theological Illusions

There is, to be sure, a theological illusion abroad…which conveys the impression that, with the Holy Scriptures in hand, one can independently construct theology…This illusion is a denial of the historic and organic character of theology, and for this reason is inwardly untrue.  No theologian following the direction of his own compass would ever have found by himself what he now confesses and defends on the ground of Holy Scripture.  By far the largest part of his results is adopted by him from theological tradition, and even the proofs he cites from Scripture, at least as a rule, have not been discovered by himself, but have been suggested to him by his predecessors.

– Abraham Kuyper

as quoted by Horton, Michael, Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World; Zondervan; copyright 214; Kindle Edition; page 71

The Problem is not Enough Learning…

It is impossible to know too much about God and his love for us in Christ.  If someone is into theology and not into loving others, the problem isn’t that he’s spent too much time learning about God; it’s that he never took to heart what he learned.  In fact, I John warns he may not even be a believer at all.

– Dever, Mark & Jamie Dunlop; The Compelling Community: Where God’s Power Makes a Church Attractive; Crossway; Wheaton, IL; Copyright 2015; Kindle Edition; Page 48

The Dark Truth about Justification by Works…

If I can do enough of the right things, I will have established my value.  Identity is the sum of my achievements.  Hence, if I can satisfy the boss, meet the needs of my spouse and children, and still pursue my dreams, then I will be somebody.  In Christian theology, such a position is called justification by works.  It assumes that my worth is measured by my performance.  Conversely, it conceals a dark and ghastly fear: If I do not perform, I will be judged unworthy.  To myself I will cease to exist.

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 567

Our Dreams are a Window into our Theology

Our dreams are a window into our theology.  We are a proud people, the inheritors of the American Dream – the pursuit of happiness is our inalienable right.  Like bratty, self-involved little kids, we push past the Giver to grab for the gift.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 153

Only This View Allows Us to Truly Love and Serve A Suffering Person

On a basic pastoral or relational level, a theology of the cross allows us to love and serve a suffering person independent of whether or not, or how fast, he is healing.  We can walk with these people in their present pain, as opposed to impatiently focusing on their future health.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 108