“It’s not about what you know, it’s about love. Theology/knowledge doesn’t matter, we are to love others.”
I agree that love is important – the greatest commandment is to love God and others. But without knowledge of how to love and Who we love, how can a relationship grow? If you love someone, you want to know more about them. What they like, don’t like, etc. You cannot love someone properly or fully without knowing them.
Knowledge of God develops through studying His Word and learning what He has to say to us. Theology is the study of God. Without knowing God, we cannot truly love Him. Yet without loving Him, we won’t have the desire to know more about Him. Theology is dry and boring without being accompanied by love. Love of God gives us the desire to know Him more and study Who He is and what He has to say.
Theology, studying about God for the sake of knowledge alone is not enough. Our motivation should be out of love and wanting to know Him more. But without knowledge, our love cannot grow and a relationship cannot develop and grow deeper.
This seems to sum up much of American Christianity these days. Excerpt taken from The Intolerance of Tolerance by D.A. Carson.
“Two sociologists have given us the category ‘Moralistic Therapeutic Deism,’ which, they say, largely dominates the religious life of American young people from a wide variety of religious affiliations. I suspect that MTD, as it is called, captures a much wider span of ages than youth alone. The five tenets of MTD are:
(1) A God exists who created and orders the world and watches over human life on earth.
(2) God wants people to be good, nice, fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
(3) The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
(4) God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
(5) Good people go to heaven when they die.
“In other words, utilitarian narcissism reigns triumphant: God exists, but only to make us happy and nice, which is the aim of existence. Otherwise God minds his own business. That’s how I read the Bible, and who are you to say something different?
“By contrast, the truth of the Bible, as we have seen, focuses on our rebellion and need as God sees them, and on God as the ruler, sovereign, judge, and gracious Savior who alone can rescue us from our sin and reconcile us to himself. These things can be tested by the systematic study of Scripture. Those who hold, for instance, to MTD, or the essential equivalence of all religions, simply cannot make their case out of any holistic reading of the Bible, but only by the most egregious and subjective proof-texting.”
20 years ago today, I graduated from high school. While this is a momentous occasion for anyone, what made it especially momentous for me was that I was not only leaving high school, but my family, my friends, my culture, my country and home. Graduation from high school for a Missionary Kid is a much bigger deal than most high school graduations. It usually means leaving the country that has been our home to go back to the country that is our parents’ home.
I attended a Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya for my last 2 years of high school, where I graduated as part of a class of 19 students. We were the 2nd graduating class for our school, Rosslyn Academy. Being in Kenya, we were able to graduate outside (fortunately the weather held), and the bell choir played our processional. I was the salutatorian of the class but didn’t have to give a speech as that was left to the valedictorian and the class-elected student speaker.
My mom’s mom and some family friends were able to come to Kenya for my high school graduation. My Grandma’s birthday is also today, so for her 74th birthday she got to watch one of her grandchildren graduate from high school. Today she turns 94, is still living, and has quite a legacy. When I returned to the US after high school graduation, her home became my permanent address and the place I would go to for school breaks since my parents remained overseas.
As I look back at that day 20 years ago, and that time in my life, so much has changed. I’ve grown so far since that 18 year old girl, just starting out on her adventure in life. Yet, even at that age, I had experienced so much and was enriched from all the traveling and experiences that I had gone through to that point. Those experiences were the foundation for me as I headed out on my own. That day 20 years ago was a life-changing day, a turning point in my life. So thankful for all that God has brought me through since that day and thankful for His faithfulness as I look ahead. The journey continues.