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Acton, CA 93510

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Theology

Theology. Look at that word: theology. It’s not really a big word, but some believer’s eyes roll up when they hear it. That’s understandable, because theology books can be full of very big words, and jargon, and unknown languages.

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“Why can’t we just stick with the Bible?” some will ask. Well, in some places the Bible is very clear and direct: Believe in Jesus, love your enemies, obey the commandments. Seems simple, but someone will ask: which commandments? All of them…like in Leviticus? Or, what does it mean to believe in Jesus? It starts getting complex, and other parts of the Bible are very complex. God is an infinite being. He is one God in three persons. He transcends creation and even time itself. He interacts with humans. Humans are marvelous creatures made in God’s image, but they are very wicked and rebellious, too. Why? Whose fault is that? Can they be good if they want to be? Do they want to be? What’s going on? Is there a plan? Is there a purpose? What is that purpose? Good questions, but it’s getting harder now, isn’t it? We want to have some right answers, yet there are a lot of wrong answers out there. So we have theology.

Good theology attempts to answer questions based on God’s perfect Word. It rigorously examines biblical texts by looking at words, grammar, the flow of arguments in context, and then comparing all the relevant texts on a given topic with one another. Bad theology picks and chooses, ignores key texts, studies with biased eyes based on emotion, or personal opinion, or human wisdom. All of that has to be humbly cleared away to do good theology.

Wow! Sounds like hard work to do good theology. Yes, it is. Hard work. Good thing I don’t have to worry about that! Oh, but you do. Good theology is the key to right thinking about God, yourself, your neighbors, and the world you live in. Not only that, if you belong to the church, you have a moral duty to uphold good theology. Members at Acton Faith Bible Church have signed their names to our Church Covenant. By signing this solemn document, members promise to “sustain” the church’s “worship, ordinances, discipline, and doctrine.” Doctrine. That’s theology. We have a doctrinal statement. That’s our theology. To sustain our doctrine means to support our doctrinal statement. It’s a moral obligation and a solemn duty. We know people might disagree on some points, and that is important for the church’s leaders to know that when people join. The elders have an even greater responsibility to protect the doctrine of the church.

We encourage you to learn theology, and let good theology shape your thinking so you will be a better servant of Jesus Christ and a contributing member of the church.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Wayne Wilson

Originally printed in the Acton Faith Bible Church Pony Express. Vol. III, No. 1, January 2010.

 

“Give ear and come to me, hear me, that your soul may live.”

– Isaiah 55:3