September 25, 2006

Speculative Theology

How much of what we hold dear in theology is actually speculative theology?

By "speculative" I mean things we really can't know for sure. Many of those things are good to think about, but absolutely useless to argue about. And, yet, we like to argue about them.

What falls into the area of speculative theology? Usually it is an issue of precision, and very reminiscent of Church history. If you look at all the creeds and statements of faith that come out of the early church, you will see that they were much better at saying what was NOT right than they were at saying what was right.

We make sacred cows out of theories of atonement, theories of the end-times, theories of time, etc. These are good to discuss. They are good to think about. There are some very poor ways to think about them and some very bad theories of each. It is easier to decide what is not right than it is to know what is right.

This is where humility in all we do is of most value. We are not God. And we should not make the mistake of swinging the pendelum the opposite direction and saying that we can't say anything about anything. But we must recognize that we have a long way to go. Those who study and pursue God realize that the more they know, the more they know they don't know.

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