When mere wonder (how we feel about God) becomes idolatry.


It has come to my attention lately that this whole issue of theology and doctrine being bad is again an issue, Post-moderns who seem to only read a bit of early Christian writing and have not followed the historical debate in the 19th century regarding the idea of doctrine, have made the same mistakes as passed liberals and critiqued theology instead of bad theology.

Ironically, whenever some wishes to critique theology (or ideology) they knowingly, or unknowingly, slip in their own theology (or ideology). Theology my friends in inescapable, the only question is, do you have good theology or bad theology.

chastepI read one ‘emergent’ writer lately who says, “However, our form of following Jesus (even within Christianity) differs largely.” His entire article went on to try and dichotomize theology (propositional truth about God) from God Himself, appealing to the supposed good of deconstructionism as well as the fact that there is such a plurality of beliefs within Christianity, thus implying that we can be sure of nothing .

Consider the following story:

“That guy sure is taking long to come back to us, I wonder what he is going to say?”… “I’m not sure Yougerosh Christoneth, but all I know is he could be dead, and we are stuck here, we can’t know for sure if he is coming back, and if he even has anything worthwhile to say when he does” grumbled Emerilech Deconstrucarach, “Come let us make our own idea of G-D, after all its about the wonder right, it’s about the experience” Emerilech continued.

So Relatinobeth then told all the people to take off their gold rings (and assorted other jewelry) and to join him in forging ahead, in trying what is new, its adventure, its extreme, watch and learn.

Relationobeth formed it into a huge ‘Golden Calf’ and said, “here, this is your god which brought you out of Egypt”

Then the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.

“They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and have sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’ ”

aThe Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and behold, they are 1ban obstinate people.[i]

Forgive my attempt at bringing an ancient story into modern times. But the questions it raises are important. Why couldn’t the Israelites decide how they would worship God? What made their way wrong? After all it isn’t about creeds but deeds right (translated: It isn’t about faith but works right)? They were just caught in the blissful rapture of what they thought god was to them, they didn’t care about the theology of it all! Who cares what the second commandment says, there are plenty nations around us who do it this way, why can’t we!

‘Concepts create idols; only wonder comprehends anything.’ – St. Gregory of Nyssa. Really? Well Gregory is old and it does say saint before his name.

An Idol is “an object (not necessarily three dimensional) which has been formed to resemble a person, god, animal, etc.—‘likeness, image’[1]” When one abandons doctrine and Theology as it is given in the Holy Scriptures and attempts to worship just a thing that’s out there, and its so wondrous, one forms a idol, a picture inbelief ones mind of what God is, or righty it should be written of what g-d is (since in this persons mind he has not been revealed).

When you say to your loved one, “I love you but I don’t know why” you are not being complimentary, this is not a good thing to say. You say I love you since you have won my love, because of who you are…. (followed by a list of propositional truth about the person”

Maybe the apostle John highlighted this aspect the best, “We love, because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19). What do you mean God loved us? Well the doctrine of election tells us what John means, the doctrine of reprobation, atonement, the incarnation, the hypo-static union, all of soteriology and hamartiology and and and…. It all expounds to us the Love of God, and thus once I grasp these things my love grows more full, my wonder more rich as God allows me to see glimpses of His glory in a language I understand.

Friends remember:    “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.


[1]Louw, Johannes P. ; Nida, Eugene Albert: Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament : Based on Semantic Domains. electronic ed. of the 2nd edition. New York : United Bible societies, 1996, c1989, S. 1:64

a Acts 1:7

b John 5:39; Acts 17:11; 2 Tim 3:16

[2] New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, S. Dt 29:29


1 Lit go down

a Ex 32:4, 11; Deut 9:12

b Gen 6:11f

a Ex 20:3, 4, 23

b Ex 22:20; 34:15; Deut 32:17

1 Or These are your gods

c 1 Kin 12:28

a Num 14:11–20

1 Or a stiff-necked

b Ex 33:3, 5; 34:9; Is 48:4; Acts 7:51

[i] New American Standard Bible : 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA : The Lockman Foundation, 1995, S. Ex 32:7-9

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