Why We Need Doctrine

A good quote from an article by R.C. Sproul:

I like the point he makes in general, and also how the italicized sentence (my italics) speaks to the Osteen fad.

Sound theology is what drives the practical, the nitty gritty of how to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. A theology which treats God as a means to the end of personal peace and affluence will give rise to viewing others as means to the end of personal peace and affluence. A theology which views God as a spectator in history will not allow me to offer the comfort of Christ in times of sorrow. It is because we have done our theological homework, because we have striven for theological integrity, that we can say to those that suffer, 'The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.'

The distinction then between theology and practical theology is a false one. We must and will always preach what we practice. I labor as an editor to help people understand who God is so that they can better love Him, and those whom He has effectually called. And I labor as a pastor to help people obey these two great commands. I pray that my teaching, my practice, indeed all of my life would reflect the truth of who God is. My integrity is what is on the line with theological integrity, and the integrity of those under my care. Theology is not a parlor game, nor an academic exercise. Rather it is the study of the God who is, the source and sustainer of all things, and He who calls dead men like me to life. How can I, or anyone, play fast and loose in such a holy endeavor? 'Theology doesn't matter' is a lie, straight from the Father of Lies. Don't believe it.


John Schroeder said...

It is very easy to offer someone some self-help advice. It is very hard to ask someone to come to a God that wants to tear off their skin. That; however, is our call. I have done a whole post on this related topic, with quotes from you, here

John said...

Pardon me for getting up on this tired old soapbox, but the decline of doctrinal knowledge is probably the direct result of the decline of Bible reading and Biblical literacy.