Christians today are Theological idiots.

It’s true. I ashamed to admit that for a long time in my life I looked at Theology as an obstacle to “real” ministry. I started working with kids in my early 20’s and shamefully thought that Theology and doctrine were of no use to me as they were to weighty for kids. Most Christians and many churches have no use for doctrine as we have successfully made Christianity a personal thing. Understanding the personal nature of Christ’s sacrifice is very important but thinking that Jesus is my personal Genie in a bottle is devastating. It’s plainly seen in our worship music much of it now days is focused on me and my relationship to God the personal side of our relationship with him. Hymns seem to be more focused on the unchangeable truth of who He is. This is unfortunate because few things connect theology with the non-theologian like music does.

I have come to the realization in my life that Theology matters. It matters not because we want our kids at age 6 to pick a side on the age old Calvinist vs. Armenian battle. Theology matters because we do what we believe and we teach through the lens of our experience and understanding. What we believe about the church affects how we relate to the church and what we teach our kids about the church. What we believe about Justification affects how we walk out of Christian faith and demonstrate that to others.

Our responsibility is to think through why we believe what we believe. We need to own our Theology because we have a responsibility to teach it to our kids and model it to the next generation. Am I theological savant? Nope, but I the years to come I want to do everything I can to think through deep truths, distill the truth of them and deliver them in a way that kids can digest and apply them to their lives.

One of the things I am working on right now is a book for parents and church leaders to help kids understand theological truths and create a proper Biblical worldview that is slowly being expunged from our culture.

Last night I was putting my kids to bed and my middle boy had a rough day. I told him he needed to make better choices. He’s only four years old and he said “Ok Dad, I’ll try harder.” I told him “You don’t need to try harder. What you need to do is trust more. You need to trust Jesus because we all need God’s help.” I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking they have to try harder. I want my kids to grow up thinking they have to trust deeper.

Theology matters.

14 comments On Christians today are Theological idiots.

  • Fantastic post, Sam! I would love to see the final product of your book!

  • AMEN! Sam, We've never met in person(maybe we can at Orange this year?) but I've enjoyed your posts, I agree with you brother that we must help children make decisions based on who God is not on their feelings, on experiences etc. Faith is not about what we know its about WHO God really is and what he has said to be truth in his word. I'm afraid sometimes that Kidmin peeps are intimidated by theology and are afraid to break it down but I believe it can and should be done.
    Thanks for challenging us!

  • Tom, totally would love to meet in person. I don't think I am going to orange this year. Thanks so much for reading my blog and for breaking down theology for kids. They need it now more than ever.

  • Nail on the head. Again. Kinda good at that, aren't you?

  • Great post because the Bible teaches us in 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
    Have you had a chance to read David Jeremiah’s new book “I though I Would Never See the Day”? It addresses the issue.
    We are living in an era of increasingly Biblical ignorant Christians. We all too often rely on feeling or personal opinion about major issues. I’ve been to several conferences where scripture seems to take a back seat to personal opinion or cultural theism. I encourage you to stand on the rock that is the Word of God and not to deviate! We need to build a generation that understands and knows how to use scripture and that starts with us as leaders and parents. Never make the assumption that your audience knows the implicit scripture. Stand on the Rock of Scripture and proclaim it!

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  • Hi, I do not know how I arrived at this site. But I am confused. You write “thinking that Jesus is my personal Genie in a bottle is devastating” and “Christians today are Theological idiots”.

    Jesus burst into my life when I least expected it. I was in college, I had become an athiest several years earlier, At the time I believed there was no rational reason to believe in God. We were the product of a big bang and time. Nothing more.

    I agree that we as Christains are stupid in what we believe at times. I changed the Bible Study Fellowship Curriculum when I wrote to them that they were idiots for saying some insane things about the early texts of the bible. I showed them a picture of the 19 words on a papyrus, that they said were the words written by John the Apostle. Insane. And Christians continue to try to put the world into 6000 years. Insane. Why would a loving God hide dinasours in the dirt and fake out millions of years of errosion on things like the Grand Canyon. We can be idiots in our belief. And I have gone down that road. And it is stupid, it makes us and God look like idiots.

    God doesn’t need our help in proving who he is. And we often become idiots in not accepting that He can use millions of years in accomplishing much more than what we can know.

    I think the proof for God, and the wonder of Jesus are absolutly true. Good books to read if they are still in print are Josh McDowell’s book “Evidence that demands a reason”, Paul Littles books “Why am I a Christian” and “What do I believe”. CS Lewis Mere Christianity. Don’t read books about Luther, Augustine, Calvin, Wesley.

    Read Luther, Augustine, Calvin,Wesley, the early fathers. It will amaze you at what they really believed.

    Get the Greek put together with Alands and teammates and learn why and how they pieced together the text that we all read as the Bible. And why the KJV from the latin is inferior.

    There is good reason to believe in my Jesus and it is not just the mystical experience I had looking out over the fireworks on July 4th when I was 21.

  • Sam I gotta be real I saw you post this on twitter and the title rubbed me the wrong way and after read it, it still does. What you wrote however was awesome. Im gravely concerned that we talk more about theology than we do about Jesus. But I have lots of friends that list themselves as “theology nerds” in their twitter bio. Its critical that we know what we believe and wrestle through that, but when i hear folks talk theology it normally means, “lets try and but God in a box that he does not fit in.” We have to balance that wreck less faith of a child with studying to show ourselves approved.

    • Terry thanks for your comment. I think I am actually going to respond with a blog post. I think we mostly agree. I got push back from a few others so for the sake of clarity I am going to do a blog post on it. Thanks for taking time to read my post and comment appreciate your voice.

  • Sam, I too, was drawn in by your post on twitter. Having attended the CPC in Orlando, I made an interesting observation. In the past when I’ve made the trip I have dutifully researched restaurants, hotels and locations of interest to print out maps ahead of time. However, on this trip I had a GPS. I plugged it in, typed where I wanted to go, and then my mind went to autopilot. One day when driving to the Waffle House (a great treat for someone living in the NW), I thought this is taking me the long way, but I trusted the GPS and arrived, eventually. Also true of my cell phone. I used to have everyone’s number memorized. But now there is no urgent need and I just find them in contacts and press call…if I ever lost my phone I would be in trouble.
    How does this apply to one’s lack of theology? Technology, though beneficial has also incurred some unintended consequences…it’s too easy. For my theology I’ve studied, taken tests, listen to lectures and heard 1000s of sermons, but only to gather information. But like Sheila Walsh said, my mind also leaks, especially when I don’t use it, I lose it.
    Just the other day a child asked me if Adam would be in heaven, without trusting in Jesus for his salvation. My mind was momentarily blank…I vaguely remembered answered this question with Abraham and how his faith was credited as righteousness. I however, definitely was not up to debate status, especially as a pastor. OUCH! I quickly utilized some key words and Siri did an internet search, which helped to dust off the dark file cabinets in the back of my mind. I knew I had studied it before but hadn’t actually been called “out” on it.
    I have a lot more thoughts on how we can fix this and keep our technology…but I too am writing a book…someday. 😉

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