A few months ago I learned about a set of beliefs, a theology, called Lordship Salvation. I had never heard of this theology before. As I read and studied about the theology I saw a lot of things I agreed with in the beliefs. Others referred to it as the most biblical theology, and advocated for it above other theologies such as Free Grace/Cheap Grace, or Arminianism.
Theology is defined as a system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions.
I have a problem with theology.
My problem with theology is that made by man who is finite to understand and make sense out of a God who is infinite. Theology is a system or school of man’s opinions concerning God. It is man’s way of trying to describe, contain, and relate to God.
Our theology forms the foundation of our understanding of God and life.
Last fall I met the man who is now my pastor through someone who is now a mutual friend. When I first met my pastor I did not know anything about him, but after just a few words from someone else I had just met he expressed great compassion and care to me. We saw each other on a few other occasions before sitting down at my favorite local coffee shop to have a discussion about life, ministry, and people.
We discussed how we view life. We discussed our theology.
We didn’t label it or put it in a box by calling it by man’s contrived names.
I asked my pastor some difficult and direct questions that day because I knew that if I was going to place my spiritual life under his care that I needed to know how he really viewed life. I needed to know his theology because his theology would be the basis of how he related to me, how he lead others, and how he handled stress in life.
I asked questions that cut to the heart of the theology, without ever asking directly about his opinions concerning God.
- Do you believe that there is a back door out of a relationship and it is okay to give up and walk away?
- Do you believe the Bible is THE source of truth?
- What is the purpose of the church?
- What do you believe is the purpose of community and how is it developed?
- What happens when relationships get messy? Do you stick to others?
- Do you believe leaders should cast vision, or develop vision in conjunction with others?
- How do you view women?
- What is the most important thing in your life?
- When you are stressed, confused, burdened, or overwhelmed how do you respond?
- Have you ever been broken in life? How has that changed you?
- Why do you believe Christ came?
- What is your greatest passion?
I do not have a theology that can be labeled with a man-made title. To do that means I have put God in a box and defined him in a way that won’t change. God doesn’t change, but my understanding of him is constantly changing. My beliefs, opinions, understandings, and acceptance of God continue to grow and change.
What is my theology based upon? In part, it is based on my experience. In part it is based on input from friends, family, pastors, youth leaders, and other leaders. In part is it is based on society. In part it is based on movies, books, podcasts, video clips, etc. Mostly though it is based on Scripture, and daily I am working to have it more based on Scripture than on any of the other parts.
I have a problem.
I have a theology.
There is a solution.
There is one God!