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Monday, August 27, 2018

Theology and Doctrine

I know. For some I just wrote two naughty words in that title. I mean, seriously, who needs them, right? Let's just love Jesus. We don't need mind games and wooden rules to follow Christ, right?

Turns out it's just not so. And not because the Bible says so. It's because the statements above are theology and doctrine.

When we hear "theology," we tend to think "some high-sounding school-driven description of God." It just isn't so. Theology is simply the study of the nature of God. Every one of us is a theologian; even the atheist. Their study (such as it is) leads them to believe that there is no such being. Everyone else comes to their own conclusions on the nature of God, but everyone has some. As such, everyone is a theologian.

Doctrine is defined most loosely as "a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated." Simple. You can have a doctrine about how to play football or how to make coffee or how to do government. Anything. In religious terms, then, doctrine is simply the principles, positions, or policies you hold regarding religion. If your particular position is "It doesn't exist and it doesn't matter," that is your doctrine on the subject. Everyone has religious doctrines. Some are generic or even unconscious, but everyone has them.

What's my point, then? The point is not whether or not theology and doctrines are of any value. Since they are everywhere and everyone has them, my point is are they right? Why do you hold them? What makes you think they're the truth? Dismissing theology and doctrine as irrelevant is simply your theology and doctrine and doesn't answer the real question: What is truth? Because if biblical theology and Christian doctrines are true, they become extremely important. Finding that out is critical.

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