theology in church?

Yesterday Todd Burus put up a post regarding his church’s general lack of receptivity to learning deeper theological points. let him explain what he means:

As someone who teaches frequently across several ages in the church, probably the largest complaint I have, or at least the complaint that I most frequently bother my poor wife with, is the fact that I often times feel I cannot go too deep with the material without losing a majority of the audience I am speaking with. This is not an indictment on their intelligence or desire to glorify God, but is just a general frustration at the fact that when several people are gathered in a room on Sunday morning or Wednesday evening for “Bible Study,” the overriding expectation to which they have been conditioned by years of church culture is one of discussion and venting about what is on their mind and not necessarily of mining out with precision and care the finer, deeper points of Scripture. Not only am I bothered by this, but I think it is symptomatic of much that is wrong in contemporary modern/post-modern American Christianity.
Theology, as they’ve been taught, is boring, stuffy, and, this is the kicker, it often times leads to arguments. Therefore, it is much better to just avoid it then to run the risk of splitting the room over whether Romans 9 is corporate election to physical blessings or individual election to eternal life (it’s the latter, by the way).

go read all of it to see why learning theology is important for every believer.

In my experience teaching adults, I found there to be a hunger for learning deeper scriptural truths about God. that is why I shucked the Lifeway curriculum and just did straight expositional teaching. If anyone wanted to go to a “safer” class without occasional arguments like the one Todd mentions, then there were plenty of traditional model classes available.

what is your experience in your church? do you teach theological truths? Does your pastor from the pulpit? Are the people receptive to learning/wrestling with these things?


2 Responses

  1. I agree totally. We are largely Biblically illiterate due to poor preaching and the small country churches are at the worst disadvantage.

    We cling to each other in brother and sisterhood, but reveal our superficial understandings anytime a discussion turns to doctrine or theology.

    That is, of course, until somebody spouts off “Once Saved, Always Saved” as if dropping this theological code word immediately qualifies them as one with deeper thought and understanding.

  2. Thanks, Robert. It is a hard problem to tackle because it is difficult to determine the source of the problem. I don’t think that poor preaching is necessarily the reason, especially when very excellent preaching can be had anytime anywhere by downloading a podcast or three.

    Something more foundational is the issue. A lot of people who claim to be Christian don’t hunger and thirst for knowledge of God. I think that if the hunger for God is present, then people will find a way, with the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit to satisfy that hunger. They will not be satisfied by and will not allow themselves to be limited by poor preaching.

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