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    "You are really cool you are married to an European!! How cooler can you be??"
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    Dyspraxic Fundamentalist


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Faith and Theology

The Great Divide

I’m not talking about Calvinism and Non-Calvinist. The divide I see is between believers who don’t openly practice theology and believers who do. Even now I can hear Adam saying we all practice theology, and he’s right, but I think we can all agree that some practice it openly while others do so privately. For those who don’t practice openly it is possible you may never know if they are Calvinist or Non-Calvinist or Free Grace or fall into any other classification or category. Some are gifted and no doubt called to practice openly while others are called to another service, which is no less necessary and possibly far more important to the welfare of the body. Some believers only associate with other believers who either do or don’t practice openly. I choose to associate with both. There are theologians who are literally “Pro’s” in that their income and sustenance depend on their knowledge. I have recently been challenged to offer my perspective on theology and it’s application here as well as my perspective on blogging in general. I must honestly admit I don’t have a clear perspective on blogging yet. Perhaps a better statement would be that my perspective is incomplete. At present I treat it more as a relational tool than a form of media though there are many blogs, which are certainly widely circulated. Mine is not one of them and I have no ambition for having a blog like that.

I do however have a complete perspective on theology, as far as I’m concerned, and that is truly my perspective. It is only as far as I’m concerned. What? What about others? What about their beliefs? Well friends as much as it matters to me what you believe there’s simply nothing I can do about it, and nothing I’m supposed to do either. What? What about the truth? What about helping to get the mote out of your brother’s eye? To this I say, what do you think this post is all about? ;-)

How Do I Use it?

Theology, like philosophy, and its applications are personal. Each of us is responsible to God for what we do and say in this life and each of us will give an account of those things. The things that I do and say are done solely on the basis of what I believe and will not be judged on my interpretation or my understanding but are only justified by my faith that they are in accordance with His commands. If by faith I tell you the truth concerning my understanding, opinion or my feelings on some matter in the hope it might be to your edification then I need not fear so long as His Spirit does not condemn me for it. Likewise if I fail to tell you when I am pressed to do so I am condemned. In all sincerity this counseling is probably the least of the things I could do for you yet seems to be the thing I love to do most. My love for you is much better illustrated through my willingness to share your burden and to intercede for you in prayer. I can and should give you substantial aid when needed and within my power if I am to love you fully. I can do all of this fully and completely without knowing if you think God can make a rock so big He cannot lift it and it’s not necessary for you to even know if I am Pre-Trib or Post-Trib. It really shouldn’t matter at all. Then I hear you say, “but there’s a system here you fail to see”. Well friend I don’t feel alone in that. There’s a system, I’m sure, and I’m sure He has a plan but I’m only a part of it. A miniscule tiny part of an overarching plan the depths of which I can only begin to visualize, let alone categorize and classify it fully.

How Should I Accept it?

Now you are in no way obliged to accept my counsel, to the contrary, you are charged with the responsibility of proving or approving your own faith. You alone will account for the actions you take that are based solely on what you chose to believe. If I had the right to tell you what to believe then I would surely have the responsibility of seeing that you believe the truth, but I don’t. Take my understanding for what it’s worth to you. If you find something to help in it thank God, but if it only confuses you then toss it out with last weeks garbage. It’s no good for you and it won’t affect my love for you or my love for God.

So Why Bother?

For some there’s no need at all. For others it’s a need that defies description. People are different. While I believe we are all created equal in the eyes of God I am equally persuaded that being equal does not mean we’re all the same. Who are we to judge the differences? Openly practicing theology doesn’t make you “more Christian” but failing to consider God and His family in all you do and say will certainly not qualify you as a follower of Christ. Theology is something best shared among brethren who desire or need a better understanding of each other. The worst of theology involves its use as a yardstick by which to measure your brother. The critical effect of theology is that our beliefs are based, in part, on our understanding. Theology can have a great influence on what we choose believe. A great many doctrines have developed around theological arguments. Some are scripturally very sound. Others are scripturally quite shaky.

How Do I Openly Practice it?

The means and the methods used to argue for and against certain theories and ideologies are as varied as the individuals who argue them. Everyone has his or her own approach. Those in academia have a tendency toward (so called) friendly debate while those in ministry seem more one sided; dare I say, “It’s my way or the highway?” My personal approach is provocation. I would prefer to provoke you to think about God than to tell you what to think of Him and His ways. Some only respect logic, others, like myself, will only consider an argument based on scripture regardless of its seemingly rational basis. The main thing to remember is that if you decide to openly practice theology you are committing yourself to an argument and as the old saying goes, “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”. ;-)

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42 Comments:

Blogger Kc said...

Brian I apologize again for having offened you with that post. I have one more coming along that vein but I know it will be well received. I want you to know you are most welcome to comment here especially if we disagree and it would be an honor if you would allow me the opportunity to befriend you. I haven't emailed you but I will be happy to if you would like. Your name has never surfaced in any conversation I've had with anyone but if it did I could only offer that you seem to be a very caring and sincere person and I'm truly sorry we haven't taken the opportunity know each other better. I can't say you'll always approve of me or my opinion but that would make you no different from all of my friends. ;-)

2/22/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

I'll take that as a no for now but I'll leave the door unlocked and the porch light on. ;-)

2/22/2006 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger pecheur said...

It's almost midnight, so uhh maybe I missed something here re: bhedr.

Hope you find the answers you are looking for. And since I have no idea what this A and B conversation is about I'll C myself out and to bed.

Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite. ;)

2/22/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian thanks for responding. I know you're angry with me and it's a difficult thing to talk with someone you're angry with so I really do appreciate you making that effort.

I'm not offended at being called a liar but I am concerned. I'm not going to guess at what you think I've lied about but could you be specific?

I'm sorry for your experience with Independent Baptist and I know you're not unique in that. I'm not sure if I could say that Independent Baptist are unique to the problem you described but I'm more concerned with the personal aspect of this problem.

All I can do is offer to work this out with you to the best of my ability and I don't mind doing it here if you prefer.

Sweet dreams Pech.

2/22/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Some good thoughts there, Kc.

God Bless

2/22/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Matthew. ;-)

2/22/2006 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Seeker said...

The hottest time in the kitchen is just before we all sit down to enjoy that delicious dinner.

2/22/2006 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Karen that's a wonderful thought. ;-)

Brian thank you for forgiving me for having offended your sensativities in that post. I assure you once more it was not my intent. I will admit to you freely that while I find theology interesting I do not find that anyone can be saved through theology nor have I seen anyone grow in grace as a result of it. I do however take our faith very serious and the grace of God as well.

I don't know if you've tried to Email me but if so it never came. Let me say I am related by the Blood to all those you listed but more I would also consider you a part of that family too. We were born in to it through faith by the grace of God.

I still don't know what you think I did but once more I intend to leave the door unlocked and the porch light on. I cannot respond to the things you've mentioned. I may very well have pulled chains I just don't know what you mean by that. I'm not even sure what you mean by pary but I might be guilty of that too. I honestly don't know. I'm uncertain what evil you think I've done. We don't have to let this go. I'll go many miles with you on this if only in the hope we might find resolution to your hurt.

2/22/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Pia said...

i don't really know what's going on but i read everything here. i want you to know, papu, that i admire how you handle things like this. very calm and very humble. =)

2/22/2006 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Pia you are very sweet but I know you are partial to papu. ;-)

2/23/2006 06:42:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

kc: I echo what Pia said.

It is one thing to disagree. It is also true that some disagreements are over important things.

But to face disagreements with vitriol is beyond the pale.


Thanks for some good food for thought.

2/23/2006 08:33:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Joe thanks so much for both the encouragement and my increased vocabulary. ;-)

2/23/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Kc, looks like I've missed quite a bit of drama. But that's all right. I'm not one to handle it very well anyways. So, I'll chime in with the others and say you did a great job.

I enjoyed reading this post, but the comments kind of got my mind off track! So, I forgot what I was going to say. =)

2/23/2006 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger forgiven said...

Hi Kc

Some good writing here KC
Thank You
Brother

Doug

2/23/2006 11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Well Kristi you'll just have to make a second pass at it! ;-)

Thanks so much Brother Doug. ;-)

2/23/2006 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I have to admit I am a little confused about what's been happening here...and worried.
There may be an undercurrent beginning to flow that could be divisive. Are we focusing on the differences we have in our Christian thoelogy and arguing amongst ourselves in pride of wanting to be right, and forgetting what it is we are called to do? Are we so focused on apologetical arguments with our Christian brothers that we are not out witnessing to non-believers, sharing the gospel? Have our eyes been taken off focus? Have we forgotten the Savior who unifies us?
I respect KC and others who may be free gracers, dispensational, Armenian, etc., even though I am a 5 point Calvinist, Reformed, with post mil. tendencies. What is way more important than those theological differences is my love for Christ and my love for them. I can no more change their minds than I can change the ebb and flow of the tide. We can discuss these issues, knowing there will be disagreements if it is done in Christian love. But when the pride of desiring to be right in our theology gets in the way of loving edification, then there's a problem.
I'm not saying that this is happening here, but let us be careful to not let our arguments divide us.

bhedr,
Remember that although we are redeemed people, Christians still sin and are hateful to each other at times. It is embarrassing that we sometimes behave worse than non-believers and expect others to act like glorified saints. I'm so sorry that you have been hurt.
God Bless.

2/23/2006 01:30:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

Beth?!?
You have postmill tendencies?????

KC... My wife has postmill tendenciess... O My wordss... how did this happen....???

Woe to the amill pastor... whatever am I going to do? I would break fellowship, were she not my lovely bride and mother of my wonderful child... O the agony.

:)

2/23/2006 01:35:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Beth thanks for your thoughts. ;-)

Titus if that is hard to take just remember she is perfect for you, not necessarily perfect (grin).

Love you both. ;-)

2/23/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Hey now!!!
It may be just the other way around!

2/23/2006 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Beth if that is hard to take just remember he is perfect for you, not necessarily perfect (hehe, better?)

2/23/2006 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Timothy said...

KC,
she's perfect FOR Me... I'm definitely the one that is not perfect.
Blessings...
And yes, I guess I can adjust to the fact that my lovely bride does not agree with me on EVERY point of doctrine... o woe is me... :)

2/23/2006 02:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

I'm going to hold out for LBB's opinion on you both. ;-)

2/23/2006 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Jessica Jo L said...

Hi again,
Sorry I came across so strong with the Susan blog - I have had time to read your writing and I can see you did not do it with wrong motives. Thanks for your current post (and your discussions with Shawn)

I like what Titus said about his wife not agreeing on every point of doctrine. We all come from different backgrounds and that effects us all. It makes even certain topics like theology hurt us more or help us dig. Yet if we have been hurt in an area esp. on a blog we can come off as harsh I think my point is - is are we digging that's what matters. Thank you for working to build the body of Christ. I'll work on letting you be yourself and give you the benefit of the doubt.

agian I apologize for coming on so strong.
Jess

2/23/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Jessica it is so kind of you to offer your apology and whatever forgiveness you feel you need is gladly given but please know I do understand. I know your motives were pure in all you said and came from a loving caring heart. Honestly I take no offense at all. I am very grateful for your kindness and very happy to be able to once more enjoy the blessings of our fellowship in Christ. I look forward to talking more with you both. ;-)

2/23/2006 04:12:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Thank you for forgiving me KC and I apologize. Not long ago a blogger gave me a note that some bloggers out here take delight in upseting people and getting under their skin and she warned me not to let it affect me. My wife understands this as well.I am sorry I did not give you the benefit of the doubt.

Blogging has been a suspicious endevour and I am a very reactionary person. Perhaps if we are not careful about it, it could turn us all into Psychotics. Before I started blogging I had no clue as to what is done here. Fighting fire with fire is not the answer either as God himself is in control and will honor nothing of the sort from anyone including myself. I discovered that some people know how to pull my chain and it entertains them to get responses out of me. Forgive me for thinking one of them was you.

A fool gives full vent to his rage. Forgive me. I will give the benefit of the doubt to everybody and ask forgiveness publicaly from Antonio, Rose and her husband John.

As I said before, blogging is not good for me. I must leave this endeavor.

It is not good to try to vindicate any part of oneself as only His name is worthy of honor and God will receive all glory one day in spite of everything.

As I said before, I filed bancruptcy at the cross and have no right to look at anyone in any suspicion...So Rose and John forgive me please as you too should have the benefit of the doubt as well.

I am still leaving some of my incoming emails locked out as I cannot get back involved in this pursuit. My wife and I agree.

KC, please let all your friends know that a public apology has been given here and should they so desire to forgive me, then I thank them.

2/23/2006 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian please know I have no hard feelings at all and to be honest I will be sick if you have to pull out now. We're just now ready for that feast Karen mentioned. ;-)

I think all those you listed visit and I'm quite hopeful they all feel as I do. You're my brother by blood and we might get mad, maybe even shake fist at each other but we're still bound for eternity through the blood. Hang in there brother. ;-)

2/23/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger Bhedr said...

Thank you so much for the unconditional peace you offer brother.

God bless you.

2/23/2006 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Brian I'm just thrilled to be in blessed fellowship. ;-)

2/23/2006 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger nathaniel adam king said...

You know truthfully how much I love theology. I think my love for theology and for practicing theology stems from my call.

You must recognize that there are a group of Christians who are called to teach. They are called to do so much more than just serve others (as you are so gifted in doing), but they are called to lead and teach others in truth.

With this calling comes such a mighty burden. If I am to lead others, by teaching, then I cannot for an instance forget to 'always reform'. I cannot afford to not practice theology. I cannot help others along if I am stagnate and not constantly 'practicing theology'. How can I help others to learn when I myself have given up the learning.

This is why I 'practice theology'.

I must admit though. I am so very convinced by your argument. You are not accountable for what I believe, as you did not teach me it. If you did teach me, and you taught falsely, then you would be held accountable for being a false teacher.

But you were not my teacher, you are my friend. You are to teach me only through loving me and being my friend. But that manner of 'teaching' is done by me, not by you. You are not 'teaching' me, but rather I am learning from you.

I like.

I'm kind of rambling, but I hope you understand what I am saying. We teachers, we called to teach, have the fear of being that damndable false teachers. We do not desire to be so, and hence we must always be in a state of review and inquiry.

Jam 3:1 Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment;

2/24/2006 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Adam, I do know your love for theology and it's open practice. You've brought out one thing I wished I had mentioned and I'd like to examine you on another point as well.

The responsibility in teaching is to teach the truth. You will be held accountable for your faithfulness in that. Those who you teach are not relieved from the responsibility of proving what you say. They alone are accountable for what they believe. An errant teacher will not suffice as justification for believing lies. With respect to teaching truthfully it is not necessary that the teacher know all the truth though certainly the better teacher is more knowledgeable. A truthful teacher is one who admits when he is uncertain or untrained. He is the one who will say “I am not certain but I think” which is humiliating, or humble. “I believe” followed by what is honestly believed is a true statement even if the belief is proved false by another or at a later time. It is very difficult for an honest teacher to be dogmatic and those that are should be examined very closely.

As a teacher in the Church what do you perceive is to be taught, the doctrine established by Christ and the apostles or theology?

2/24/2006 05:07:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

The best teachers are great and eager students. What better subject to teach than of God? What better position to be in than that of a student learning of God?

As for false teachers, is their motives for teaching false doctrine why there is harsh judgement? I'm thinking of Romans 1- "they who supress the truth in all unrighteousness." They and their doctrine then become a stumbling block to someone's faith?

Wouldn't theology that is to taught be the (biblical) doctrine established by Christ and the apostles for Christ? The problem the Christian church has is the different "interpretations" and the taking Scripture out of context to justify a certain belief, or only using one verse and not the whole counsel of God. The trouble with this is the mistake of going into relativism.
Methinks that KC want us to examine some things here!

2/24/2006 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Sister Beth I probably shouldn't have admitted to using provocation huh? (hehe)

You're right of course and it seems I will finally be able to get back to my thoughts on the Church (ecclesiology for you academia nuts) with my next post. ;-)

2/24/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

"A philosopher," said the theologian, "is like a blind man in a darkened room looking for a black cat that isn't there."

"That's right," the philosopher replied, "and if he were a theologian, he'd find it."

hehehehe

2/25/2006 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kc said...

Kris, a case of the pot calling the kettle black? ;-)

I pray you have a safe and productive trip brother.

2/25/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger An Ordinary Christian said...

KC,I like what you said here: "My love for you is much better illustrated through my willingness to share your burden and to intercede for you in prayer." I'm so glad I can just worship the Lord. You're discussions take me away from the simplicity I enjoy in Christ, but God bless you! I guess some people are called to defend truth from error. If you don't mind, I'll just stick to the basics of reading the Bible and trying to do what it says. That's hard enough for me! x

2/25/2006 10:19:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Andrea most of my dearest brethren will avoid these considerations if at all possible. I personally find theology, for the most part and as practiced today, extra biblical.

2/26/2006 07:31:00 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kc,
Do you have a Southern accent?
(Is that off topic?)

2/26/2006 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Why mam ah mose shuly dew az duz mah sweet lil wife. Huhs is of cawse suthen Dutch.(hehe)

As for off topic....hmmmmm....language theology? ;-)

2/26/2006 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Rose~ said...

LOL, Casy!
That almost took as much interpretive skill as the phrase I got in the comment by Bobby Grow:
scholastic rationalistic syllogistic cohesion
!!!

(oops .. Rosie was here)

2/26/2006 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

;-)

2/26/2006 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger H K Flynn said...

I like this post very much :)

I practice theology

But I also pray and relate but feebly.

I agree with this:

Some only respect logic, others, like myself, will only consider an argument based on scripture regardless of its seemingly rational basis.

Very well put :)

And about your conversation with Sofyst, I agree with you both. I think James' admonition is to teach the truth and to practice what you preach. But also if you want to impress people with your knowledge, the safest way to do that is with godly behaviour.

Warmly,

Jodie

3/01/2006 06:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kc said...

Thanks Jodie. I hope I can impress others with my love because my knowlegde is one of my weak points! ;-)

3/02/2006 05:06:00 AM  

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