Friday, August 10, 2007
Why we need to care about theology
Are you unmoved, or somewhat apathetic, when you hear about subjects like sin and grace? I mean, you know these things are great, but they don't seem immediately relevant to your life. I have been that way. Especially when faced with tough people problems, I want to skip the theology-talk and get to the practicals. If you're like me, David Wells is somebody you should make time to read.
His book, No Place for Truth (or whatever happened to Evangelical Theology) is a "wisdom book" that reveals how the modern culture we live in pushes theology to the periphery of our lives instead of the core where it should shape all our thoughts and actions.
This book is now 15 years old, but as Modern Reformation points out, it has stood the test of time and is still a must read. It provides insight on many topics, such as: community, the meaning of work, the entertainment culture, individualism, the values shift from character to personality and from morality to good feelings, the growth of an anti-intellectual and anti-authority church, the problem with pastors as "professionals", and a focus on explaining why theology is for the people of God (not just religious academia).
To summarize his thesis, theology holds the keys to Christian identity, to genuine piety, to the sort of thought that brings the Word of God to bear in our life. But modernity has shifted the focus from God to the self, where now we seek happiness, not righteousness, and God becomes increasingly remote and hence irrelevant to what is most important to us. While items of belief are still confessed, they are being removed from the center of life where they defined what life was, and now they are relegated to the periphery where their power to define what life should be is lost.
For local readers, this book is available for check-out in my church's library.