Theology – The Study of God
How do you study God? How can human beings even pretend to come close to understanding God, much less explain how God works? Nonetheless, that is what pastors and preachers do. Every sermon, every Bible study, every act of the Church is rooted in Theology.
The sheer vastness of God is such that there is no one theory or idea about God on which all pastors can agree –not within the entire Church or even within denominations. On any Sunday in every congregation, there are as many ideas about God as there are worshippers.
Who is right? How does one determine who is right? Needless to say, there is as much disagreement among Theologians (those who have special training in the study of God) about what is accurate as there is disagreement among the practitioners of any profession about what is accurate.
Nonetheless, within the Christian religion there is a consensus over key points of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. This consensus is derived from an understanding of scripture, the traditions of the church which have existed for centuries, the thoughts of the scholars who have gone before, and yes, personal experience.
What follows below is the attempt of one pastor to explain my particular understanding of God to you because my understanding informs what I preach, the way I pastor, and how I live my life. It would be height of audacity to claim my views are right and those who disagree with me are wrong, because I am a human being and very, very fallible. I offer these posts and ideas simply to give you an idea of the foundations that guide my sermons and ministry. As always, I would appreciate the opportunity to share these ideas with you in person.
Blog #2 Jesus Human and Divine
Entire Blog #2 so far – Parts 1 through 7
Latest Post #7 “Internal Conflict” – Follow our discussion of what constitutes Truth, we explore the idea of our individual worldview. Jesus has a particular view of the world that Christians strive to follow.
#1 Introduction – Christians make the remarkable statement the Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, is both a human being and God. This is challenging to understand how this applies to everyday life. Yet it does.
#2 “Remembering the Christmas story“ – What is so important in believing the Jesus was a human being like us? Well, if you want to know what God is like, just about everything.
#3 “The implications of God’s humanity for us“ – By God becoming a human being named Jesus, God bypasses spiritual feelings and intellectual arguments. Jesus knows what we got through because he went through it himself. Isn’t that how we can relate to our closest friends?
#4 “How do we know Jesus is really there? “ – Is faith something that is confined only to “religious” people? What if faith is found everywhere in life, including in supposed fact-driven science?
#5 “What about the healings? “ -Jesus’ healing ministry is often misunderstood. Rather than focussing on “the what happened”, we should really be looking at the “the who it happened to.” It makes a huge difference.
#6 “What is Truth?“ – Pontius Pilate, at the trial of Jesus, asked him the question, “What is Truth?” It is a question we need to answer for ourselves before we can accept what Jesus teaches.
Blog #1 Why Jesus?
#1 Introduction – Acknowledging where the Church has gone wrong, the Power of Visions to change the World, and an offer to just listen.
#2 “Why the church has existed in the past“ – For the Church to survive and thrive in the 21st century it has to reclaim its credibility as a key part of meaningful foundation for life and living. One way to do that is to remember the significance of our Baptismal vows.
#3 “What does The Church have to offer in the 21st century?” – The church, despite it’s imperfections and failures, still has a unique mission. God continues to choose congregations and individuals to do God’s work to bring love and healing to a hurting world.
#4 “How the church can and should be building us up“ – The church, at its best, exists to assure you and build you up so you can be the marvelous human being God created you to be. We don’t do this perfectly, but we keep trying.