procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Clear and Present Word Part I

Reflections, in light of the five key points from Mark Thompson’s new book (A Clear and Present Word: The Clarity of Scripture), as well as Peter Adam’s talks at this year’s National Training Event (NTE), all about Receiving God’s Word, Written for his People, by his Spirit, about his Son (check out this, or a shorter version here on youtube for the mnemonic).

Christian theology, at its most basic, is talk about God.

One of the things I struggle with, thinking about writing “theologically”, is what it means to do so.
Questions I have, for example, are “Can a Christian book be untheological?” as well as “how far from the central themes of the Bible do you have to stray before you cease to be theological?”
The second question in particular interests me, mainly because I’m easily sidetracked. For example, using your Strong’s concordance, you could trace every occurance of the word Hittite, and then work out what role the Hittites played in Biblical history, what they got up to, whether there were Hittites who converted to the God of Israel, and so on.
And I would probably find it quite interesting.

But at the end of the day, such talk is probably along the lines of what we are warned about in 1 Timothy 1:4, that is, it is fruitless, idle speculation, and of little, if any consequence theologically. Of course, historians, sociologists etc may be fascinated by this.

Christian Theology, however, is most interested in God. What this word study of the Hittites may teach us of God, I can only imagine. But if that is not the aim, then the searching of, and reflecting upon the scriptures is completely missing the point.

I guess there could then be things we think may tell us things about God, that, midway through the process, we need to actually jettison as unfruitful.

I therefore feel very sorry (and very soon probably empathy) for those doing 4th yr theses, as I fear they may have no choice in the matter...

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