Monday, October 18, 2010

The Deep End of God's Word

When I take my younger children to the public pool, one prefers to hang out in the shallow end, which is easier on my nerves. And the other enjoys jumping into the deep end (using the spring boards and high dive) and swimming about, which tends to make me a tad uneasy.

Sunday, I bought a new book and immediately my mind took me back to my college years. If you saw the literature I purchased you would know is well over 1,000 pages in length! Why in the world would one buy reading material such as this for enjoyment? Because, like my youngster, I love spending my time in the "deep end"… of God's word.

I know it is not for everyone and makes some (especially those without a faith commitment and perhaps even baby believers) feel uncomfortable. Unlike my coffee, which is very frou-frou and almost unrecognizable as a "coffee" beverage, I prefer scripture straight up. I do not want teachers watering it down on my account. Just tell it, to me, like it is.

Wayne Grudem, author of SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY appears as though he is going to do just that. In reading the preface, I have already found myself nodding in agreement however I'm pretty certain there will also be points on which I will not agree. But, I plan to be in it for the long haul...all 1,000 plus pages!

Grudem states,
"True theology is 'teaching which accords with godliness' (1 Timothy 6:3), and theology when studied rightly will lead to growth in our Christian lives, and to worship." (SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY. Zondervan. p.17.)

Further, he reasons,
"I am convinced that there is an urgent need in the church today for much greater understanding of Christian doctrine, or systematic theology. Not only pastors and teachers need to understand theology in greater depth - the whole church does as well. One day by God's grace we may have churches full of Christians who can discuss, apply, and live the doctrinal teachings of the Bible as readily as they can discuss the details of their own hobbies - or the fortunes of their favorite sports team or television program. It is not that Christians lack the ability to understand doctrine; it is just that they must have access to it in an understandable form. Once that happens, I think that many Christians will find that understanding (and living) the doctrines of Scripture is one of their greatest joys." (p.18.)

And, he goes on to say,
"It is scripture alone, not 'conservative evangelical tradition' or any other human authority, that must function as the normative authority for the definition of what we should believe." (p.25.)

Grudem also has a new publication POLITICS ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, regarding church and state, which I will be looking into next.

Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:1-2. ESV.)

¡Cuán bienaventurado es el hombre que no anda en el consejo de los impíos, ni se detiene en el camino de los pecadores, ni se sienta en la silla de los escarnecedores,2 sino que en la ley del SeÑor está su deleite, y en su ley medita de día y de noche! (Salmos 1:1-2.)

Heureux l'homme qui ne marche pas selon le conseil des méchants, Qui ne s'arrête pas sur la voie des pécheurs, Et qui ne s'assied pas en compagnie des moqueurs,2 Mais qui trouve son plaisir dans la loi de l'Eternel, Et qui la médite jour et nuit! (Psaume 1:1-2)

Beato l’uomo che non cammina secondo il consiglio degli empi, che non si ferma nella via de’ peccatori, né si siede sul banco degli schernitori;2 ma il cui diletto è nella legge dell’Eterno, e su quella legge medita giorno e notte. (Psalm 1:1-2)

복있는 사람은 악인의 꾀를 좇지 아니하며 죄인의 길에 서지 아니하며 오만한 자의 자리에 앉지 아니하고2 오직 여호와의 율법을 즐거워하여 그 율법을 주야로 묵상하는 자로다 (시편 1:1-2.)

と彼の法律上の彼は昼も夜も口ずさむ。 (詩篇1:1-2)

不 从 恶 人 的 计 谋 , 不 站 罪 人 的 道 路 , 不 坐 亵 慢 人 的 座 位 ,2 惟 喜 爱 耶 和 华 的 律 法 , 昼 夜 思 想 , 这 人 便 为 冇 福 ! (詩 篇 1:1-2)

Блажен муж, который не ходит на совет нечестивых и не стоит на пути грешных и не сидит в собрании развратителей, 2 но в законе Господа воля его, и о законе Его размышляет он день и ночь! (Псалтирь 1:1-2)

طوبى للرجل الذي لم يسلك في مشورة الأشرار ،
ولا يقف في طريق الخاطئين ، ولا يجلس في مقعد من المستهزئين ؛
2 ولكن سعادته هو في شريعة الرب ،
وعلى القانون وقال انه يتأمل ليلا ونهارا
مزمور 1:1-2
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