This summer I’ve been completely ignoring what the book publicity people say I’m supposed to be reading and instead, I’m reading the books I want to read. Last week I picked up a 2012 title — ancient history by the standards of book publicity people — by Dan Kimball, Adventures in Churchland: Finding Jesus in the Mess of Organized Religion. (Zondervan) I always look for a takeaway; not merely something I can blog or Tweet, but something that has real life application to where I’m at; and I found it in a little section called “Humble Theology.”
I like using the term,”Humble Theology” when I speak of doctrines and my organized beliefs. Holding a humble theology means that we approach the Scriptures with an understanding of our inadequacy as human beings to grasp with certainty every single thing that is taught in the Bible. But living with a humble theology doesn’t mean that we should live without beliefs and convictions. There are many doctrines that the Bible teaches, doctrines that have been held throughout the two thousand year history of the church, and whose truth and clarity we can have confidence in. Doctrines are actually good things although the word is often associated with negativity. This word doctrine simply refers to teaching or instruction, beliefs that can be taught and learned. The Bible itself tells us to, “Watch you life and doctrine closely.”
I love that the Bible says that it’s not enough just to pay attention to what we believe — our doctrine. It also reminds us that we must also watch our lives: That we should live our beliefs. Doctrine is meant to change our lives, not just be head knowledge. Our organized beliefs should melt our hearts so that we become more like Jesus.