A THEOLOGY BASED ON SCRIPTURE
What is theology? According to a definition in Van Harvey’s A Handbook of Theological Terms,1 the term has a narrow and a broad definition. “Narrowly considered, theology has to do only with the existence and nature of the divine. Broadly considered, it covers the entire range of issues concerning man’s relationship to God.” In the Western world the term has been almost synonymous with Christian Theology. However, with the metamorphosis that is occurring in the Western culture, especially here in the United States, when we speak of God, the Christian understanding of the term may not be in the minds of everyone. There has been an intrusion of the oriental and mystic beliefs, especially in connection with the New Age Movement, that has reached even into out churches.
Not only has our society changed so radically but the philosophical element in theology has been prevalent for some time. Our adversary, the Devil, is very subtle and keen in his influence upon theological studies and seeks whatever means possible to turn the minds of humanity away form the perfect measure of God’s revelation in the Holy Scripture. There are many ways to try and answer the questions: Where did I come from? What am I doing here? Where am I going? Philosophical speculations and mystical theories are not in themselves valid approaches because humanity can only climb the ladder of ascent to a certain level in his pursuit of God. Job queried, “Canst thou by searching find out God?” Natural revelation in itself is weakened because of the darkness of sin and its effects upon the human mind. Only the revelation of God in the Bible has valid answers to these questions. C.S. Lovett in his book Does God Condemn Those Who Never Hear the Gospel?: How to Explain the Mystery of the Unreached Masses, tells us that God has two books. Book One is Natural Revelation and reveals only one thing and that is the fact of God’s existence. When one has determined that God does exist and asks how one might be saved, “Ask nature for the answer, but there is no response. All her kingdoms and laboratories are silent now. Nature, Philosophy and Science are all mute when you ask, ‘What must I do to be saved?’”2 Rock solid answers given in the revelation of God’s Word answers these questions as well as telling us about the personality of God so that we may know Him intimately. Even so, there are difficulties in discerning what God has dispensed. A balance of understanding can be achieved by pitting tradition, reason, and experience in tension with the scriptures so that obscure passages of the Bible are made plain.
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