Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Theology vs. Love: Which is more important?

One of the major questions/issues in the church today is what role theology has in the present church. Many of the emerging Christians of this generation boldly claim that theology has been abused and it needs to be relegated to the periphery and Love placed at the center. Christians need to stop systematizing God with theology and focus on the Love, Grace, and Mercy of Jesus.

I think there is a flaw in this logic. The flaw is that people say theology should be replaced with love...

I think that the difference in what is being talked about is what place should theology take in our faith. There seems to be a trend in this generation of post-moderns that love, acceptance, and inclusion of people is central to Christianity and theology is and should be on the periphery of importance.

I don't think this is the way things should be, nor do I think it's the way things are done, even for those claiming that this be the case.

I say this because our world views shape the way we perceive and do everything, our beliefs about life and God define everything. The way we define Christianiaty, love, acceptance, and goodness IS our theology. So though many people claim that love is more important than theology, it's apples to oranges. What we believe about God and how we define love towards others is our theology.

So the question or the issue at hand is not whether theology is central to Christianity, the issue is whether God-centered, bible defined theology is the theology we use? Or do we use a culturally defined, relative definition and application of love, inclusion, mercy etc.

I think that far too often we say theology is abused by Biblical brow-beaters (which often happens) and so our response is to redefine God, Love, and Jesus with culturally appropriate definitions that people "feel" better about.

The issue at hand which is dramatically affecting the entirety of the church and all of its denominations is where we get our definitions of Christianity, God, Love, Jesus, and Grace. For example, the Lutheran church just split over the issue of ordaining homosexuals. It was a theological issue, and half of the church defined "Grace" from the culture which says that homosexuality is a different lifestyle and to be gracious and loving, the church must not discriminate in its pastoral representatives in regards to sexual orientation. Most issues facing the church are theological in nature and the conflict comes in when it comes to where the definitions come from.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, most issues dividing the church ARE theological. That's why the question underlying the debate about homosexuality and homosexual persons (or about anything else) is about who GOD is, what is GOD saying and doing? Is God's revelation on-going? "Where the definitions we use come from" is ONE aspect of the problem. Why is it impossible for God to speak through culture? The church supported or ignored slavery for far too long, and the culture led the church to the truth of its own gospel.

    But the main question, as always, is "who is God?" That is what theology tries to answer. How does the One we call Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer respond to homosexual--and all other--persons?