What I meant and what I didn’t

I want to correct some misconceptions about what I was trying to say in my post, My love affair with theology, and what I didn’t say but which may be (and has already been) incorrectly inferred by people who aren’t familiar enough with me to catch my drift or by others who are too concerned about defending their own system to represent other beliefs accurately.

  • I did say that I am sick of endless theology debates over nothing.
  • I didn’t say that I am leaving all theological beliefs behind. Heck, my belief that orthopraxy is more important than orthodoxy is based on a theological belief.

 

  • I did say that I don’t think we can be 100% sure of anything in theology.
  • I didn’t say that all of our thoughts and understandings about God are inaccurate.

 

  • I did say that the Bible presents sometimes contradictory statements on theological matters.
  • I didn’t say that the Bible is useless for our pursuit of the truth about God — in fact, I also did say that I believe the Bible is a reasonably reliable testimony to the works of God by eyewitnesses who understood Him better than I do.

   

  • I did say that I have come to reject rigid theological constructs, especially when they’re used as shibboleths of spirituality, reason, or eligibility for fellowship.
  • I didn’t say that theological systems are innately evil and that no one should use them.

 

  • I did say that the tendency for Protestants in particular is to create complex theological systems that gloss over problems or unnaturally cram in more data than the system can hold up.
  • I didn’t say that there aren’t intellectually honest systems that are useful to help manage and make sense of data, as long as the conflicting evidence is honestly managed as well. By all means, if it helps you through the dark room, please do — just don’t try to convince yourself and others that the brick walls you bump into aren’t there.

 

  • I did say that my love affair with theology, by which I meant spending an inordinate amount of time gathering the right things to believe in rather than acting on the right things I do believe in, is over. And I meant it.
  • I didn’t say that I’m now an agnostic or an atheist. I will continue to look for good theology along the roadside, and take with me only the beliefs about God that I believe are helpful in making sense of His plan for me and for carrying out His will. 

 

Of course, all these caveats nonetheless leave me open to criticism from the theology crusaders. As if I needed any more proof that I’m going the right direction.

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