Why the disappearance of theology from the church?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Just started reading this book NO PLACE FOR TRUTH (Rippon I have had this book since 2006) and in the intro the author has been making a case on the disappearance of theology. He argues that theology is primarily meant to nurture the people of God, and not for unbelievers which I agree. One can tell that theology is vanishing given the little interest that so few christians have in deep Bible study and reading good books. Fiction, self-help, and bonehead type books dominate the reading interests of many, and churches seem to dive so shallow into theology. My own church for example keeps everything mostly application oriented which is good to one degree, but to another not everything in the Bible is application based. So what do you say of all this?
     
  2. plain_n_simple

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    Theology and doctrine are only good if you have a real relationship with Jesus. If we focus only on doctrines, the spirit life will lack. It is not enough to know about Jesus, we need to know Jesus on a personal level. The prayer closet is where it starts and should continue.
     
  3. padredurand

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    How does the author quantify the disappearance of theology? How does he quantify the lack of interest Christians have in Bible study? How does the author quantify 'deep'? Can you define 'bonehead'?

    Is theology really disappearing or is the author establishing his thesis without basis?
     
  4. go2church

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    Application is theolgy.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Well, you did ask .....

    In my Sunday School class, I have taught for years that if we cannot make the scripture applicable to our daily lives, then why study it. I believe that there are all sorts of life-changing doctrine, theology, knowledge, God-truths, or whatever word you want to use lurking in ALL scripture - including the begats, the law, and ALL of it.

    The Bible says about itself that ALL scripture is profitable for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.

    "rebuking" - that is teaching someone a truth so that can change their behavior .... and for that person to change or accept the rebuke, that person has to apply the rebuking to their daily lives.

    "training" in righteous - that's putting to practice what one has been taught. That's application, brother. And the Bible says that ALL scripture is useful for this.

    I'm interested in knowing how you have determined that people are not interested in theology only "bonehead" reading material.
     
  6. JamesL

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    If you watch late-night infomercials, you can find all sorts of "life changing" stuff for sale pretty cheap.

    Why study scripture if a $200 fruit juicer can change your life?

    Real estate investing can change your life with a $1,000 kit, so I've heard.

    A $120 vacuum cleaner can change your life.

    Hair implants, coffee makers, slim shaper full-body girdles, George Foreman grill, phone chatting, psychic reading, and so on and so on

    Every late night infomercial has the same promise - It'll change your life. And all the testimonials say - It changed my life.


    Christians need to STOP selling cheap infomercial Christianity. Scripture NEVER promises a "changed life".

    That thief on the cross next to Jesus didn't get a changed life. He still died that day. But he had a changed destination. A changed hope of eternity.
     
  7. plain_n_simple

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    Yesssss!:thumbsup::applause:
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    WOW!! I've been on message boards for 12 years and I don't think anyone have EVER twisted my words to the degree that you have done.

    WOW! Is THAT what you think I was saying? That the Bible will "change your life" the way that products on informercials will? That I'm "selling" a cheap and greasy Gospel that your life will be all hunky dory if you just read the Bible?

    Let me give you a concrete example of what I am talking about.


    • I have a woman in my Sunday School class that despises her mother-in-law. You know why? Because her MIL despises her. Her MIL is a miserable human being. This woman in my class has spoken of her struggles to me many times and I have tried to advise her to let her pride go and love the woman and always represent Christ in her presence. My counsel has done nothing. BUT, two weeks ago, when we studied Mordecai telling Esther that someone will be raised up to deliver the Jews even if Esther won't do it, but that it's quite possible that she was BORN for this - this woman in my class starting crying. I stopped and asked what was wrong and she said that God was convicting her at that moment that He wanted HER to reach out to that MIL in a way that no one else would and to see her as a woman in spiritual need and not her opponent.
    You see, brother, the scriptures CHANGED her life. It rebuked her and corrected her.


    I'm sitting wondering what it is about me and my posts and must give people the impression that I am swimming on the shallow end of the spiritual pool.
     
  9. HankD

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    I am wondering what you mean James, my life changed because I had the rebirth with a new heart and a new way of thinking.

    Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    My answer about the theology thing in the churches is that we have too many toys to play with and are distracted by the cares of this world.

    HankD
     
    #9 HankD, Dec 27, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  10. OldRegular

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    Scripture disagrees with you:

    2Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

    God through the Apostle Paul gets down to where the rubber meets the road. old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

    2 Peter 1:1-11
    1. Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
    2. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
    3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
    4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
    5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
    6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
    7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
    8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
    10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
    11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.


    You see God through both Peter and Paul say you are wrong. Through Peter God gets down to where the rubber meets the road and says if there is no change you should examine yourself and give diligence to make your calling and election sure:
     
  11. JamesL

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    No, I don't think you mean "changed life" in the same way that infomercials do.

    BUT...do those shallow swimmers get what you mean? What about unbelievers?

    When you set this "changed life" next to what the world is offering, do they get it?

    Cheap infomercial promises are ambiguous - It'll change your life. It places this "change" in the realm of the subjective, where the listener dreams and imagines what this changed life will look like.

    Much like the "change" our fine president offered on the campaign trail. Shallow, vague, ambiguous.


    I believe most who participate here would probably know what you mean. But what about the many who happen by and peek in?

    Also, if this were the only place you speak of this ambiguous "changed life", all might be well. But this has become the hallmark of catch-phrase Christianity, where unbelievers are bombarded with a form of godliness that denies the power thereof

    Let's throw your "changed life" in the midst of what the world offers:

    XYZ Career Institute will change your life
    Crest teeth whitening strips will change your life
    Bosley hair treatment will change your life
    ProActive acne medicine will change your life
    Tony Robbins real estate course will change uour life
    Jesus will change your life
    Cancer Treatment Center will change your life
    Magic Bullet juicer will change your life


    They're all laden with ambiguity. But when left to the imagination of the natural man or shallow believers, most would rather have their life changed by money than God.

    That ambiguity places the "changed life" in the same arena as cheap infomercial products, thereby reducing Christianity to a cheap sales pitch


    I'm thinking less about what you meant, and more about how it's received.

    What good is it if 100 people agree with what you say, but only 1 understands what you mean?
     
  12. annsni

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    The Gospel will absolutely change your life. You are now assured eternal life. You now are indwelt with the Holy Spirit. You are now a child of God.

    You also will be a target. You will have to carry your cross daily. You will be fighting sin until your dying day.

    But there is a purpose and that's what makes a difference. When we almost lost my daughter 3 years ago, we didn't know why we were dealing with this but we knew that God was in control and we didn't doubt him. Now looking back after the fact, we think we know why we went through it but we could be wrong. However, God matured us, perfected our faith just that little bit more and created an incredible testimony to the medical community that were involved in my daughter's care to just how GREAT God is! :)
     
  13. JamesL

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    Seems you have one idea of what this "changed life" looks like, while others have a different idea.

    You seem to be speaking of a change in hope, destiny, etc, and hatred from the world

    While others seem to be speaking of a change in lifestyle, behavior, and such

    Others are peddling a "changed life" gospel that amounts to a promise of relief from physical ailment, financial troubles, etc
     
  14. Scarlett O.

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    Then praytell, help me out. How should have I have said that the scriptures are applicable to our live and change our lives.

    Give me an option here.
     
  15. JamesL

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    Be more specific as to what "life" is supposed to mean.

    Change in perspective? Change in circumstances? Change in status? Change in health? Change in finances? Change in behavior? Change of hope? Destiny?

    "Changed life" could be translated as any of those. The ambiguity is what makes it cheap.

    Don't leave it open to interpretation. Get down to brass tacks.
     
  16. annsni

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    But as I've seen through the years, God changes each person differently. Of course what is the same is the heart change and the fruit should reflect the tree but from there, what will change will depend on the person and their life situation.

    For someone, it could mean that they change their status - better OR worse. Could be that suddenly they are healthier - or less healthy or even just the same. Hopefully it is behavior unless the person was a decent person to begin with - and then you won't see much change. Destiny is a given. Going from hell to heaven is a big one. ;)

    To give some examples of changes that I've seen:

    Alcoholic partier now on fire for God, no longer drinking, dedicating herself to other people and helping them in any way she can.

    Businessman who was greatly successful now using his skills in the mission field.

    A child who became driven to become a doctor in the Congo and now runs the only Christian hospital there.

    A rough, drunk biker who is now a pastor of a biker church.

    A very angry guy who had quite the chip on his shoulder - now leading the children's ministry at church.

    Oh man, I could think of a ton more. Each one has a definite change but in each one, that change is different but the bottom line is that they gradually change to be more like Christ. :)
     
  17. Deacon

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    JamesL probably had this in mind.

    Christians can change themselves.
    Christians can even reform themselves.
    I think the word that best describes the "change" Scarlet was writing about is transformed.

    Transformation is something God does in the lives of those who desire to live the devoted life of a disciple (Rom 12:1-2).

    Rob
     
  18. JamesL

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    As you've noted, tangible change is very subjective. And tangible changes can be achieved in the flesh, even by unbelievers.


    Before I became a believer, I "gave my life" to God. What that translated to was I quit smokjng, drinking, gambling, smoking pot, cussing, and a few other things.

    I had a "changed life" by subjecting myself to a rigid standard of conduct. But I had not the Spirit, for I had no hope in Christ.


    Too many times, we see somebody who had a change in behavior, is now "serving the Lord", and assume they've been changed on the inside.

    They'll even talk about a "changed life", how God saved them from certain behaviors or relational disasters, etc.

    But start getting down to brass tacks, and you'll find - all too often - that many don't even believe upon Christ.


    Yeah, I'm not a fan of this ambiguous "changed life" nonsense. Changed hope, changed destiny, I can get behind that.


    That doesn't mean I'm against tangible changes. But those changes, in and of themselves, are worthless. If those changes haven't come from a changed inner man, it's all for naught
     
  19. JamesL

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    Awesome analysis
     
  20. annsni

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    The big difference I've found is when the flame hits the pan. SO many people I know were like what you said - changed on the outside but not on the inside. When a big trial hit them, their true hearts were revealed and they left the walk they said was their Christian life. I know people who "left God" when things happened that weren't even that terrible in the grand scheme of things. One guy I met on Facebook says that he hates God because God let his grandparents die. Honestly, what kind of faith falters because your grandparents die? But then I know those who's entire lives were shattered and yet they continued to walk with the Lord. A man at our church had a wife and 3 daughters. The girls were quite young and he went to the store to get milk late one night because they were out and the baby needed it. He came home to his entire family burned to death at the hands of an arsonist. Did he have a struggle through this time? Absolutely. Did he cry out and question God? You bet. But what did he do in the end? He trusted God and knew that God was still God and He was still good. Man, every time I see this man, I can't get over the pain he went through but he still held on.

    I definitely agree that a changed life doesn't always mean a person is saved. And I think there can be those who are saved and yet don't show a changed life just yet. But God is working on them and soon we would see something change. The change comes from the new heart. It's an amazing thing to see.
     

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