|Posted by John on May 16, 2011 at 7:20 PM|
Potential Problems with Systematic Theology -(The Logos is complete, but not completely understood)
1: Everybody has one
2: Once a systematic theology becomes set, it is rarely adjusted by adherents
A)This results in closure to continuing revelation(Eph 1:17,18; 1Cor 2)
B)Knowledge of the system becomes the end point rather than a launching point(Heb 5:12-6:3)
C)Comprehensive knowledge of the system becomes confused with spiritual maturity(Romans 11:33-36,1 Cor 2:5-7)
D)The system becomes petrified and as such becomes law- the letter kills the spirit gives life(Romans 2:20)
E)The system is valued over love- knowledge puffs up, love edifies-builds up
F)The system becomes an idol through which believers separate and exalt themselves over their brothers(James 3:13-17)
3: Systematic theology usually becomes an entrenched paradigm, a horizontally viewed perspective that limits understanding,
A) When on the ground you can't see the forest for the trees
B) When in the air the whole forest becomes visible, with all of its characteristics
C) A change of perspective reveals previously unseen depths of reality
4: Systematic theology frequently insists on explaining in detail things,
A) That are, as Paul said, ".....seen through a glass darkly"
B) That, as John said, "...we know not yet what we shall be"
C) That Jesus said are, "mysteries hidden from the foundation of the world"
5: Systematic theology is rarely systematic, but frequently full of exceptions caused by the prejudices and limited perspectives of organizations because....
A) Members of systems fellowship primarily with one another (become ingrown)
B) Members of systems rarely consult openly in free discussions with other viewpoints
C) Members of systems have a personal stake in the preservation of the system that goes beyond "the love of the truth"
6: "The truth" is a person(Hebrews 1:1-3). The truth is expressed primarily in the character of that person, secondarily by the facts about that person
A)"Today if you hear His voice harden not your heart"
B)"I Am the way the truth and the life"
C)We have these great and precious promises that we might "become partakers of the divine nature"(2 Peter 2:4; Romans 8:29)
D) All word "dry up, all spirit "blow up", spirit and truth "grow up"
7: Our teachers ought to be those who have become partakers of the divine nature, which is the true maturity, rather than those who can lead us along a path of knowledge based "talking points" that are frequently imbalanced and misrepresentative of the character of God
A) Sound doctrine is inclusive of the meekness and gentleness of the master
B) The Pharisees crucified Jesus because He routinely violated their Systematic Theology
C) Sound doctrine is inclusive of continuing prophetic enlightenment, bringing larger dimensions and greater perspective to the "letter"
1) The Logos is complete, but it is not completely undestood
2) Systematic theology often takes its stand on incomplete, partial revelation- thus binding the body from completion in the "spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God"
8: A godly systematic theology is balanced according to the priorities of God and open to and inclusive of challenge and adjustment (Galations chapter two)
(Act 17:10,11) They, when they arrived, went into the synagogue of the Jews. And these were more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see if those things were so.
Act 18:25-26 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught the things of the Lord diligently, knowing only the baptism of John. And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. And Aquila and Priscilla heard him, and they took him and expounded to him the way of God more perfectly.
Even if correct, balanced and representative of the mind of Christ, systematic theology is not sufficient to remove the veil of darkness and empower the gospel of the revelation of Jesus as Deliverer, Lord and Messiah, unto the world.
1Co 2:1-11 And I, brothers, when I came to you, did not come with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. But, we speak wisdom among those who are perfect(mature); yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, that come to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God has hidden, predetermining it before the world for our glory; which none of the rulers of this world knew (for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory). But as it is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard," nor has it entered into the heart of man, "the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
The gospel is not designed to appeal to the mind of man. It must be spiritually revealed and empowered. It is the mystery of how God's love flows through the gospel that is revealed as we mature. It is as we come to know God in relationship that the Spirit of God unveils the mysteries.
Rom 11:32-36 For God has shut up all in unbelief, so that He might show mercy to all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who first gave to Him, and it will be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things; to Him be glory forever! Amen.
There is never a time when we have complete knowledge of God or fully understand the Logos. This will be reserved for the time when "we will know as we are known".
Eph 1:7-11 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He caused to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding; having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, for an administration of the fullness of times, to head up all things in Christ, both the things in Heaven, and the things on earth, even in Him, in whom also we have been chosen to an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His own will....
God's grace abounds toward us in the revelation of the mystery of the gospel.
1Co 8:1-3 But concerning the sacrifices to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any one loves God, he has been known of him.
But we don't know as much as we think we know.
Heb 4:11-13 Therefore let us labor to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of unbelief. For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight, but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
The Word of God is given (inpart) to reveal us, bringing "truth in the inward parts" -a self -revelation in the light of His glory that will humble us and allow us to be "transformed" and "conformed to the image of Christ" and "partakers of the divine nature". Jesus knows who we are. Before we can "rightly divide the word of truth" we ourselves must be rightly divided by the Sword of the Spirit.
Rev 3:17-21 Because you say, I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing, and do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I counsel you to buy from Me gold purified by fire, so that you may be rich; and white clothing, so that you may be clothed, and so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear. And anoint your eyes with eye salve, so that you may see.
Joh 9:41 Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin. But now you say, We see. Therefore your sin remains.
Brothers and sisters, stay humble...keep seeking.
Categories: The Potential Dangers of Systematic Theology