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The Death of Theology God

September 10, 2012

If the title of this post already has you riled, slow down for a moment. I’m not talking about what you may think I am.

A few decades ago there was an Anglican bishop by the name of Robinson who created a new theology called “the Death of God Theology.” It made quite a stir for a short time. It was strange enough to draw attention from the media, but too strange to be sustainable. I won’t go into details.

But I like to say that I believe in the “Death of Theology God.” This does not mean that the we should not have any doctrine or any study to improve our knowledge of God’s word. No, what I am talking about is that each of us come into the church with a certain personal theology- what we think God must be like. Along the way we may even add to it by picking up other people’s ideas, ideas that do not come from the scripture and may just come from our natural desire for what God should be like.

It is this kind of theology that stands in the way of our Christian walk. If we are to grow in Christ, if we are going to have true fellowship with the Father, if we are to have productive Christian lives, if we are going to find true joy in the journey, this theology must die and so our fellowship must be in Him; so, also, it follows that God wants to put this theology to death.

Often, though, it is these very things that we hold onto most tenaciously. Sometimes it is because we are not even aware that we have absorbed them. Sometimes our denominations or churches are built around them- birds of a feather flock together. We are so much more adept in telling others what is wrong with them and their doctrine than we are at seeing through our own flaws. It is possible that our advice to others we disagree with may have transforming power in their lives while we remain unchanged. We are continually amazed at where revival shows up next. It seems to be the history of the church that whenever there is a revival, most of the believers sit on the sidelines, often proclaiming that it couldn’t be true revival because it did not meet their expectations of what revival should be and because they had been praying for it so long, if it were true revival, it would have happened to them. Often, in the beginning there have been many who have proclaimed them false revivals and the work of Satan. Only in retrospect have some revivals been honored for what they were.

But revivals are first works that begin in the church and then work themselves out into evangelism and missions. They transform churches. If churches are self-satisfied or unwilling to embrace change, then there can be no revival.

It seems that the only way that God can get our attention is through crisis. But when we have a crisis, we mostly believe that God has let us down, right at the moment He has chosen to lift us up. We can walk away from the opportunity that God has placed before us and go in a corner and whimper that we are not loved or turn our backs on Him and walk away. Some of us, hidden from view, have an “it’s my way or the highway” attitude toward God. Even worse, some of us become bitter, denying that we are, while the bitterness of our words give us away to all others. As bitterness yields its fruits- decline in emotional, moral, spiritual and physical health, we rail at God the more. Some even leave the faith, now believing that they were deceived in the beginning of their Christian walk and declare  themselves agnostics or atheists. But the problem never was God; it was their assumptions and attitudes.

That is why it is so important to be pliable before God, to allow Him to be God, to allow Him to turn our ignorance into knowledge, our knowledge into truth and our mourning into dancing as He has promised.

 

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