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3.22.2009

Bad Theology

I just had a theological debate with Josh (though it wasn't completely pointless - sorry, inside joke) about a subject which he'll hopefully post his thoughts on soon. It was a very stimulating discussion, though I kept wanting to use a particular argument that comes up waaaay too often and if you've ever discussed theology with anyone for any significant period of time, then you've probably heard it.  It goes something like this:

"I don't think God would..."

As soon as that phrase enters the conversation, red flags should go up. It is a terrible theological argument - I dare call it fallacy - that is at the source of a lot of bad theology.

It is very dangerous to imbue our own emotions, beliefs, and feelings into our understanding of God and that is what this argument does. It's not a Biblical argument, it's not even a logical argument. It's an emotional argument.

"I don't think God would want us to do this..."
"I don't think God would deny us that..."

Dangerous.

We can, of course gain an understanding of God though scripture (that's what theology is really all about). We can read his word and pray to find his will. But hard theology ought to be based on the infallible Scriptures, not what we think God is like. Even though we might have good intentions, it is too easy to project our own feelings onto God. When that happens, we are no longer discussing the real God, but a false god that we create by distorting the truth.

Remember, only you can prevent bad theology!


Okay, that's not really true, but neither is Smokey's line.