Vol.XX No.IV Pg.2
June 1983

To "Our" Theologians

Robert F. Turner

"Theology" refers to religious knowledge and belief, especially when methodically formulated. Whatever you believe about God may be called your "theology," but the bulk of our brethren have been content to accept a conglomerate of Bible facts without trying to build a "system." This means less depth, more "surface" knowledge; but it has also prevented our trying to "explain" things unrevealed. We accept Bible statements, use them in sermons, without having to fit them into some form of systematic theology. But a subtle change is taking place.

We have long recognized the substitu- tional nature of the death of Jesus but now it seems some want to explain the details, with mechanical exactness. The Son had to be separated from the Father by sin, they say; but just how He was reunited remains an unsolved mystery. Our human limitations prevent our knowing how the incarnate One could be both deity and human; but it has led some to argue the Son of God could not sin during His personal ministry. Makes us wonder about His temptation (Matt. 4:).

With some, justice as an inherent nature of God demands a legalistic accounting for man's sins, leading to fanciful concepts of the imputation of Christ's perfect life to us. God must have His "pound of flesh" though mercy seems equally inherent of God. "Walking in light" is sinless perfection with some; and with others it seems a casual stroll and "automatic" forgiveness — for which no one seems to accept another's definition. "Walking" in light or darkness loses its contextual usage. Mechanics of prayer grow more rigid as "our" theologians struggle to separate deity and yet keep ONE God. In such a climate it is not too surprising one fellow is now mailing out an old B.W. Stone paper, denying that the Son is co-eternal with the Father. III-prepared writers and editors seem anxious to promote another "issue" over concepts of deity, judgments that belong to God, or equally unrevealed details of heaven.

We are so grateful for thousands of saints who are satisfied with Bible teaching without having to develop theories of "explanation"; who are content to express Bible thoughts in Bible words. (See John Smith's plea at a meeting of Campbell and Stone disciples in Lexington, Ky.; "Life of Elder John Smith.") (P.T. V.1, N.6.) If, as it seems, some are now engaged in the process of "digging deeper" to develop a "theology," we pray they will not mistake muddy water for deep, and will excuse us for not swallowing their theories until better proven.