Theologically Overwhelmed while Souls Perish

attempt1.jpgI love theology. Christians on the web typically do. We’ve got blogs. We’ve got books. We love debates. And, at the end of the day, no matter what position is affirmed, we all agree: theology matters. Out of your personal theology grows your Christian life. For example, an atheist’s theology begins with the premise: there is no God. Therefore, there is no higher power to whom he is accountable. Therefore, he defines his own morality. Therefore, he lives his life as he pleases. The same is true for Christians. Although we share unity in our desire to hold the faith, the practicing of our faith will stem from the theological positions we hold, and therefore many Christians live in a variety of ways.

 I don’t know about you, but from time to time I get “theological anxiety” – a completely overwhelmed exhaustion of studying, debating, defining, praying, and establishing a theological position. Frankly, my youth probably plays a factor, because there’s so much out there I’ve yet to try. I think we all feel that way at times. Now, without diminishing the importance of doctrine and upholding to truth, I want to ask: have we noticed that the world is perishing while we debate all of this?

They say there’s about 2 billion or so people in this world that haven’t even heard of Jesus Christ. Hey, Calvinists! Hey Arminians! Hey fundamentalists and evangelicals! We have many points of disagreement but do we not still believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation?

Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

We also may disagree on the points of the gospel, such as the source of faith, human responsibility, particular or general atonement, but don’t we still believe that the church has been charged with the responsibility to preach the gospel?

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Boy, we seem to be so blessed in this country to have as many Bible scholars as we do. As a matter of fact, these days everyone is a Bible scholar. I guess having a blog qualifies me as one! But seriously, with all the know-how, the apologetics, and the technology we have, think about this: people     still     haven’t     heard.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Now, my challenge is (to myself primarily), what are we going to do about it? Sit here and think, “ummm…well, I see we have a need, and our Lord did tell us to pray for laborers and go into all the world. But, before we go, let’s make sure we’ve established the right view of textual preservation.” All those who aren’t KJVO would agree that’s ridiculous!

Yes, just as ridiculous as, “well…ummm…God will call out a people for his name with or without my help. Those 2 billion are obviously not God’s elect.”

Ok, now I’m overwhelmed with a little frustration, too. You see, I’ve been in the fundamentalist movement for some years and am disgruntled with many things about it. I’ve been looking into conservative evangelicalism and Reformed theology. Now, on a theological level, the latter has some great stuff to offer…but it seems just as dead when it comes to missions, only with different excuses. Yes, it is detestable that the average fundamentalist hears the word “Calvinism” and automatically thinks, “no soul-winning.” But it is equally detestable when the Calvinist hears someone say he’s not a Calvinist and automatically thinks, “Peligian, synergism, Arminian!” Now I know that lack of evangelism is a mark of hyper-Calvinism and not historic Calvinism. But does Reformed theology really provide a comforting assurance with which its adherents could sleep every night knowing that the unreached are supposed to be unreached? Can’t we all agree that the church is failing to do its mission? What is the Reformed answer?

What is the fundamentalist answer?

I know the biblical answer is still to go into the world and preach the gospel (Good news!) to every creature.

Sounds like we’ve missed the mark on that one. I know I’m guilty as charged, and I’m praying that God will use me. Do you feel the same, or does your theological system conjure up some sort of excuse?

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2 comments so far

  1. rjperalta on

    Amen!
    Many are stuck inside their own little box. We must use what God has given us. Our cups are to be filled for one reason, to empty them out upon a lost and dieing world. What good is it to always sit around and debate? We must remember that “knowledge puffs up”. Also, if we don’t exercise we get fat(spiritually speaking).
    Thanks for the good post,
    Richard

  2. Travis James on

    That’s a convicting thought.


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