Enquiry and Faith

Concluding that theology is not a science, at least not in the way that science is used modernly, we must ask what we can call theology. Theology is the study of God and His relationships. From this, we have two things that emerge. First, we cannot study this subject in an impersonal way. It affects us. It must be birthed out of the truth that we are no longer cutting asunder our connection to God. We are no longer foreigners and outsiders looking in. Rather, from the very zenith of God’s relationship to us we are able to wrestle these things. Secondly, we find that faith itself produces increasing interest. Our faith itself is the very medium by which we are brought in, through Christ, and that faith causes an enquiry. Our curiosity is no longer a mere question, but now an ever-growing perspective.

Faith that brings salvation is truly what we mean by faith. With faith comes regeneration, and the issue of speaking or writing anything in theology from that point onward is the issue of conveying the very mind and heart of God. God has come down and made Himself known. We are no longer lone vessels left to our own clever devises. As true as it might be that some of the theologians of the past are genius, it was not the genius that wrote incredible revelation, but the genius that conveyed the revelation. God Himself invests in man, and it is that investment that is to be conveyed.

Preaching itself is a sublime mystery, that by him who is sent the word might be made manifest. How shall they hear unless one preach, but how can one preach unless he is sent? And it is in this context that faith comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. We aren’t talking about a word that is written in a particular version of the Bible. This is a living and animated word, something that has crashed into flesh and blood through this sent vessel. God has imparted into the one who is sent a perspective and reality that is beyond time and space. The prophets of old saw the throne and Him who sat upon it, and they were witnesses to an eternal paradigm that all of God’s commands and choosing were patterned after.

Our enigma is that we are too casual in our seeing. The second chapter of Isaiah begins with the word that Isaiah saw. This wasn’t a vision, but a word. The spoken message and prophecy here was something that Isaiah was able to see and perceive, and that reality was so real to him that his words were no longer his own. This pressing enquiry into the very mind of God, and into the very eternal dimension in which God relates from, is not for the sake of the theologian, the pastor, or even the students and pew sitters. This glorious transmission is for the glory of God. It is for His own name’s sake that He would ruthlessly seek for a representative in the earth.

It is for this reason that theology is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of revelation. It is not the opinion of the theologian that matters at all. It is the revealing of God, and the unveiling of His heart, mind, character, and perspective. God must first break in upon the consciousness of the theologian before the theologian can communicate that God. True theology is a heralding of the throne. We are ambassadors of heaven, seated with Christ in heavenly places, beckoned to come into the Holiest Place by the precious blood, and once we’ve entered in past the veil, we are asked to never leave. God has called us, as His people, to come up the mount and be there. Don’t be looking for how to get back down, and who you’ll first tell all of these great things to. Come up the mount and be with me.

What shall we say, then, of the theologians who debate various texts and concepts, but they themselves have never experienced these truths? Are they promoting error or heresy? For the sake of “getting it right” they debate the letter of the law, albeit New Testament law. These legalists and Judaisers are at the same time condemning the legalism of the Pharisees, and the Judaising the Galatians faced. How ironic that the very thing they hate the most is the very thing they endorse. It is exactly here where you can find the plumb line. They who speak from faith and reality actually have something to say. But they who have never been apprehended by the subject, while they might have a lot of arguments and a lot of thoughts, they are left only debating and reasoning. That communication from heaven itself lacks in their words, and the whole tenor of the speaking is left dearth and wanting. Their pristine theology is lacking, not because they are incorrect in their conclusion, but because they have not been gloriously captivated by something they’ve actually seen and experienced.

Faith itself leads to enquiry. Enquiry often leads to the discovery of things we know nothing of. New concepts flow through our minds and hearts, and at the first, we’re excited. But when did it become something so tedious? Where did the zeal of our youth go? Why is it that many find the debate to be the most fulfilling thing, as if discussing subjects is the actualizing of those subjects? I don’t see theology as a science, because too often science is left as an impersonal subject that we can quibble about, sometimes quite passionately, and yet always be looking for some new thing. Theology is instead an enquiry. Specifically, it is an enquiry into the very mind of God, where we are most concerned with “on earth as it is in heaven”.

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