Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Christian Musician Explains the Importance of Theology!

I have been a fan of Steve Green, the Christian recording artist, for a long time. I appreciate and have been greatly blessed by his music. To my surprise [1], Steve Green on his online journal was discussing a question from Michael Horton's book Christless Christianity. One person responded that "Paul condemned theology. What has theology produced? It has produced nothing but confusion, divisions, and denominations. What has theology produced in you? Only distractions from Jesus." The following is Steve Green response.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. To some of your ideas I would say a hearty ‘amen’. You are right in suggesting that much of the church has shied away from the simplicity of the gospel, the message of the cross. John Stott wrote a great book calling for a return to the centrality of the cross.

Where I would differ with you is in your opinion about theology. Historically, theology has included faithful knowing, thinking and acting. Bromiley wrote that, “theology is that which is thought and said about God. True theology is thus given by the Bible itself as the revelation of God in human terms.” While God’s Word is objective, our reflections of God’s Word are always human and thus relative and not infallible or inspired. Still, we must wrestle with the difficult questions of life, thinking through our faith. It is true that some theological environments have been sterile and cold. Others have specialized in questionable and secondary concerns. There are also those who think it’s all just subjective interpretation and no one really knows. These objections should remind us of our utter dependence upon God, the need to hold our views lightly and humbly, but at the same time, not deter us from the hard task of diligent study. Martin Luther stated, “The primary purpose of the truth of theology is not to divide, nor to unite, but to discover and protect the truth.”

Our faith is in Jesus, but when we talk about Him we are concerned with doctrine. Doctrine is not about ideas, but about realities, persons and events. As we study God’s grand story as revealed in the pages of Scripture, we are bound to reflect on God’s declaration of His character, will and ways. While my theological perspective must be open to correction, I still hold that theology is a disciplined study that seeks to proclaim the truth about Jesus, but also studies the proper response to who Jesus is [2].


Pastor Jeremy Lee
Twining Baptist Church

[1] I was surprised because in my limited experience it is normally Christian artists who are decrying doctrine and theology. Steve's response is refreshing.
[2]Read this journal entry and others here:

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