Christian Theology 1: Day 3

Monday, January 15, 2007

We had our lecture today after work for 3 hours in the evening. We had a short discussion about modernity and post-modernity, which we, being Asian never actually experienced. We felt that we experienced more of colonialism and post-colonialism with the effects of modernity and post-modernity.

All this brings me back to one thought I had about theological studies. Over the years of fervent reading and in-depth study of my faith and belief, I have been told that the line of thought that I am using and being exposed to at the moment is the “correct” one as opposed to the other thoughts over different periods of time.

It all started with my OT lecturer. His view of the bible and the Old Testament is slightly different and upon discussion with some friends, I was told that he was under the tutelage of a time when that line of thinking was prevalent and being schooled in that era shaped his understanding of the bible which flowed into his teaching. I was told that though not wrong, it was not really the “correct” way.

And that made me think: if that is true then what I am being taught and the way I am thinking now might as well become obsolete one day as well.

My thoughts are confirmed just after 3 days of Christian Theology, because my thoughts and line of belief and thinking is being challenged. Don’t get me wrong, the core of my belief remain strong and unmoved. It is the way of thinking, reasoning and logic that is being challenged.

We are now exposed to the many eras and cultures that form and shape the people they engulf: the Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox, the grass root people, the Western Church, the Evangelicals, the list goes on. There is no one way that is “correct”. God is so vast and so different from us in quality and substance that our language is just not sufficient to hold Him. If it can hold God, He is no longer God.

Picture by Tibor Fazakas

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2 comment(s)

  1. Yeah. That's highly counter-intuitive, that an eternal God would be understood different ways in different ages. It's hard to believe.

    But, I do believe it.

    I just also believe something else, too, that fewer people seem to believe. I believe that we are losing things as fast as we are gaining them. Our understanding of scripture and history keep getting better and better, but our grasp of invisible things and of holiness gets worse and worse. It reminds me rather sickeningly of the couple hundred years leading up to Christ's first sojourn on our planet.

  2. I just had a 45-minute conversation with a friend talking about the difference of thought and culture. He is quite adamant that theology is theology is theology as opposed to Western Theology, Asian Theology, etc. To me in the very end of it all, we are nothing in trying to explain God and if you can do it and I can do it and still arrive at the fundamental basic that we hold on to, then what is the problem.

    our grasp of invisible things and of holiness gets worse and worse.
    Is that so? If I can be the devil's advocate, isn't it true that whatever you see has already happened before, there is nothing new under the sun. True, things are new but the thoughts and intention of the heart, nothing new to that. We usually feel that we are worse off because we are physically here experiencing it in comparison with the times we only hear and read about. So, nothing is new.