“Theology is an excuse for grown men to spend their lives trying to convince themselves, and others, that ridiculous fairy tales are true... Theology is drivel.”
- Terry Sanderson - President, National Secular SocietyI recently read this article by Al Mohler in which he chronicles the modern secular mindset regarding theology. As you can already surmise, the modern intellectual regards theology as a body of useless knowledge that contributes nothing to society. The study of theology is, in their view, a fool's errand and a waste of time. Of course this should not come as any surprise, Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 :
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,
'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.'
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe."
So what's the surprise here? Am I shocked that a leading secularist believes that theology is a completely useless body of knowledge? No, that doesn't shock me. What does shock me is how many professing Christians don't care about theology or doctrine. Functionally, many professing Christians have the same mindset of the modern secularist. They give little thought to the subject and spend precious little time in Scripture.
Theology is the study of God, who He is and has revealed Himself to be. Although He has revealed Himself in creation, His primary revelation comes through Scripture. We are admonished in Scripture to pursue this knowledge:
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. - 2 Peter 3:17,18
This pursuit should not be burdensome to the Christian, it should be a joy. We see this in Scripture, the saints of God considered it a great joy and privilege to know God. In fact, it was their greatest joy and their greatest privilege. I pray that the same be might said about us.
I end with these two videos on the importance of theology and the joy of studying Scripture.
DugDownDeep_Carnahan.mov from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.