10.04.2006

More Bad Theology

Michael Foster has been leaving some pretty stimulating comments in my post about "Bad Theology and Salvation." In that post I said, "All that's required for salvation is faith in Christ--even if the theology about Christ may be off-base." To which Michael responded:

I have a hard time accepting this in light of the following passage:

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed."
Here's what I think Paul is saying. First of all, the primary onus is on the teacher, not the followers. The ones who Paul says ought to be "accursed" are not the Galatian believers, but those who preach a "gospel contrary to the one we preached."

Face it. People are gonna have bad theology. Even good, loving, Christ-like believers will get some things wrong. Some will get things way wrong. But I don't think Paul is cursing those people. Paul is cursing leaders who lead people astray with bad theology.

And I don't think Paul is telling the Galatians that they are losing their salvation--he is saying, "Don't have bad theology! Trust what we taught you. And don't believe these new teachings which are contrary to what we taught you."

But the fact that the primary responsibility lies with the leader raises another point. Just because someone can have bad theology and still be saved, I don't think that excuses their bad theology. As Christians grow spiritually, that bad theology needs to become good theology. That's where we as leaders come in--part of our job is to help people develop good theology.

We need to help people understand that God is sovereign. We need to help them understand that we were enemies of God because of our sin. We need to help them understand what was accomplished through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and what continues to be accomplished today through his Body in the power of the Holy Spirit.

So, here's what I think in a nutshell: I don't think we need to have good theology to be saved. God's grace isn't about theology, it's about faith ("whoever believes in Him should not perish," not "whoever believes the right doctrines should not perish"). However, as Christians we need to strive to develop what we would call good theology.

And if you're a teacher or leader who is teaching bad theology--yikes...

3 comments:

Michael Foster said...

I think your line of reasoning will ultimately lead to the inclusion of JW, Mormons, and nearly any person who has Jesus as a "savior." I acknowledge that isn't what you're saying but it is the inevitable conclusion.

I want to move away from the tag of "bad theology" because it is way too general and say that "bad Christology" would be my primary concern. I believe that a right view of who you invest your faith in is crucial to someone being in Christ. If your Jesus wasn't human then he isn't the Christ. If your Jesus wasn't God then he isn't the Christ. If your Jesus didn't die on a cross for the sins of men and rise from the dead in bodily form he issn't the Christ. These are simple things and are the heart of the gospel. (read this in a friendly tone)

Michael Foster said...

I think your line of reasoning will ultimately lead to the inclusion of JW, Mormons, and nearly any person who has Jesus as a "savior." I acknowledge that isn't what you're saying but it is the inevitable conclusion.

I want to move away from the tag of "bad theology" because it is way too general and say that "bad Christology" would be my primary concern. I believe that a right view of who you invest your faith in is crucial to someone being in Christ. If your Jesus wasn't human then he isn't the Christ. If your Jesus wasn't God then he isn't the Christ. If your Jesus didn't die on a cross for the sins of men and rise from the dead in bodily form he issn't the Christ. These are simple things and are the heart of the gospel. (read this in a friendly tone)

Anonymous said...

酒店經紀 酒店打工 酒店工作 酒店上班 酒店兼差 酒店兼職 打工兼差 打工兼職 台北酒店 酒店應徵 禮服酒店 酒店 經紀 打工 兼差