My grandmother is passionate about one thing (besides her family and the Lord): quilting.
She is a “master sewer”, a “quilting fiend”, one might say. She knows how to put together a quilt that reflects the personality of the recipient, a quilt that has tremendous significance and sentimental value, as well as a quilt that reflects her own personal ability and crafts-“woman”-ship.
One of the amazing things about quilts is how much time goes into one. You must decide upon, cut, and mend together the different pieces of fabric so that it creates one, complete, whole. But, if the smallest thing about the quilt is different, the entire quilt is different. If one particular “tile” is exchanged for another, the entire quilt can take a different shape, a different “voice”, per se.
I think that the same is true with theology. Theology is one of those interesting disciplines that what you say about one aspect of it can change what you say, what you believe, about the whole.
For example, if you have a view of the atonement (the act of Christ’s saving effort and how it saves us) that emphasizes the guilt that we hold as human beings, then the rest of your theology will begin to reflect that affirmation. On the other hand, if your idea of the atonement emphasizes the restoration of a relationship, rather than disobedience and the guilt that comes from that, your theology may look different to the former theology mentioned.
Perhaps another example would be helpful. If your view of God’s power is that it is of greater importance than God’s love, then your theology will place the emphasis upon God’s control, what is most popularly called God’s “sovereignty”. If, however, you speak of God’s love as more important, or more fundamental to God’s character, than his power, your theology begins to reflect this.
And, as a result of one belief directly reflecting our other beliefs, we begin to speak to others about God in a way that reflects what we believe about him. For example, if you see God as primarily loving, you will begin to express to others that God offers love that doesn’t fail, that provides intimate relationship with him. If you, however, express that God is more concerned with power and justice then you will most likely emphasize the guilt of the person and how they must repent and be acquitted of their sin.
Theology begins to take on a different tone when you emphasize different things in your theology.
So, it is one of my goals with this blog to offer up different theological ideas so that you may, hopefully, learn how to express better what you believe about God and so that you may be consistent in what you believe. Because you may, unintentionally, be speaking contradictions that don’t reflect what you may truly believe about God.
My hope is that this blog will help you, my readers, to express your faith, your theology, in newer, more coherent ways, and that you may learn something in the process. I plan on writing another post once I get back to Kentucky later tonight so that I may get this process of mutually learning and understanding on its way! God bless!