In this series we are discussed a simple question: Are current events or the Bible driving my theology? Over the last few days we looked at the three popular views in Eschatology and discussed the dangers in each view toward Reactionary Theology, or allowing current events to drive our theology.
In the conclusion I would just like to share some questions that may be worth asking when trying to understand and interpret the Bible to help avoid Reactionary Theology:
Are there other views on the subject? This is hard because sometimes you don’t even know to question certain things, because you are so used to assuming them. Sometimes hanging out with people who don’t agree with you can help in this area.
Does my understanding depend on culture and current events? In Eschatology this may be easy to answer, in other topics it may be slightly more difficult. We impose our understanding of consumerism, individualism, church, baptism, communion, and many other things when we read the Bible. Check out Coffeehouse Theology for a good discussion on Contextual Theology and how to use it to your advantage as opposed to being trapped by it.
Do I believe it because it is or is not popular currently or throughout history? These are not good reasons to believe something. Popularity may be a good reason to learn more about a certain view, but never to believe it.
Do you believe it because your theological heroes or favorite pastor believes it? or maybe you don’t believe it because someone you consider a heretic believes it. Either way, again, this is no basis for beliefs.
Are you looking to The Spirit to teach you? This is the most important and, thus, last point. Without God’s Spirit the words of Scripture can do nothing for us, and our understanding is empty and meaningless. The Spirit’s guidance should be the only driving force in what we believe. There are lots of smart people out there who believe very different things. If we were not given the Spirit we would never know who or what to believe, but fortunately, whether you have a degree or never received your High School Diploma, if you are a follower of Christ then you have God’s Spirit in you to guide you into all truth.