Posted by: Rolf | June 28, 2014

Theology

Theolgy 01

For many people, the term theology is a “confusing, misunderstood, or even meaningless” one. It’s okay to admit that, even if you consider yourself a “spiritual” person.

“Theology” is simply the study, or understanding, of God.

Every person has a theology, even “atheists”, for they make the “definitive” claim that there “is no God.” The presupposition of my “definition” for theology is that one has already “thought about God.”

It is nearly impossible to “separate” the question of God from our own experience of asking the “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose?” questions that “rightly” plague us all.

Theolgy 03

You can “brush” off these questions for “much or all of your life”, but the intellectually honest person is “confronted” with them and eventually says, “Results be damned: In one form or another, I’m going to explore what knowledge is out there on the subject of God’s and man’s existence.”

On a side note: “If you have never reached this point of candid self-reflection in your life, I do not intend to debate the existence of God here and now. But we cannot avoid Him in a discussion of American history and public life.”

Here is where I believe the “theology” of an American matters to their neighbor. Don’t “confuse” theology with “religion.” You “belong” to a religion, but you “believe” in a particular theology.

The question before us, as fellow citizens of a representative republic, is the “genesis of our rights.”

“Where do they come from? Does everyone have them? Can they be taken away? Should they ever be taken away? What can and/or should be done if they are taken away?”

Theolgy 05

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, believed in a “Higher Power” who created the world, “wound it up” like a watch, and then “walked away” to let things play out as they will. Jefferson believed that, like the “inner workings” of a watch, there were certain “truths,” what one might call “Natural Laws,” which “governed” the universe.

He was what is known as a “deist.” He was also a lawyer and a “rationally” thinking man.

The core of his reasoned “defense” for America’s right “to be free” from British tyranny was this:

“All men are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” This, in my opinion, is the single most distinctive thing about America. For, as G.K. Chesterton put it, America is the only nation to be founded upon a creed. The Jewish people of the Old Testament were the first to claim that mankind was made in God’s image. Jefferson, a deist no less, and our remarkable Founding Fathers took the logical next step and said “If God created us, then our rights come from Him, not a king.”

Theolgy 02

These “truths” were considered to be “self-evident”…as in, “You have to go out of your way to ignore or deny them.”

How does one explain where “rights” come from without a Higher Power? If it is not God, then our “rights” are arbitrary and illusionary. If our “rights” do not come from someone or something higher than “ourselves,” namely a Creator, then we are entirely “dependent” on the “whims” of the State.

You don’t have to “worship” on Sunday morning at a church or “profess” belief in a literal “Six-Day Creation” to acknowledge the “importance” of this point. You don’t have to be the “misguided” type of person who calls America the “Second Israel” to appreciate the “uniqueness” of this country’s fundamental claims about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

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The genius of our “Founders” was this.

“Led by their undeniably Judeo-Christian theological influences and values, they conceived a way to ground our national system in theology without forcing people to be religious. You can believe whatever it is you want about God, Jesus, Buddha or the Hale-Bopp Comet. Go ahead and pray (or not pray) to God in any way you see fit – but we believe in a Higher Power and the only possible chance for sustained freedom and liberty we can see is a nation where everyone, especially those who are lent power to lead, is held to a higher standard.”

No one wants a “theocracy”, but to write the Judeo-Christian heritage out of our nation’s history is “preposterous” and should not be taken “seriously.”

Theology_For_Dummies

For better or worse, this is who we are.

In His Grip and Serving Grace…

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