Tuesday, February 12, 2013

A Theology Worth Smuggling

Do you have a theology worth smuggling?

I read a book a few years ago that talked about this. I stumbled across a quote from the book I had written down a couple days ago.

"A theology not worth smuggling is not worth having. . . . A theology worth smuggling serves the church well because it is based on listening to God rather than just talking and writing about God - the kind of reflection that cultivates intimacy with Christ."
(Earl Creps, Offroad Discipline)

The author makes a bold point in declaring that if our theology isn't worth smuggling it's not worth having.

But maybe the place to begin is to define theology. It's one of those words that gets thrown around in Christian circles without being defined. And because it seems like everyone else is using it and knows what it means, no one asks what it means for fear of looking "stupid." We do ourselves a dis-service when we do this.

The way I've always defined theology and the way I'm talking about it in this post is as follows: Theology is the series of beliefs about God, the Bible, and life as a follower of Christ that changes the way a person lives.

We often think of theology as something academic that only biblical scholars study. But actually all of us have a theology and are students of theology if we spend any time studying Scripture and following God. The part we often miss is that our theology should affect the way we live our lives. If it doesn't, something is missing.

So, I ask you again: Do you have a theology worth smuggling?

If you study Christian history , it quickly becomes apparent that many have had such a theology. And there are people today who do as well. People - past and present - who are so completely sold out to what they believe that they will give everything - including their lives - for it. These people are those who are so transformed by what they believe and the way they live their lives so changed that nothing stops them - not even death - from taking their theology to others.

Now, that's not a call all of us have. Some of us are supposed to stay in places where our theology doesn't put us in danger of death. We live our theology is a safe place to do so.

But that doesn't change the fact that if our theology isn't worth smuggling, it's not worth having. For our theology to be worth giving our lives to, it must be something we would still believe and live even if it wasn't safe to do so.

It's something challenging to think about.

Do you have a theology worth smuggling?

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