A web of intertwining beliefs
Theology is the formal study of God (or gods in theologies of other religions), and/or a collected understanding bout God and his ways.
Christian Theology, founded on Scripture, deals with the study of the one True God who created this world and his current and historical redeeming actions. Just like the study of any other historical event this inevitably leads us to ask “what actually happened?” or what is the Truth (Veritology). Since “Truth by definition is exclusive,” so too there must exist one True theology of who God is and what his ways are. However, that True theology (due to God's ways and understanding being far above man's ways and understanding (Isaiah 55:9)) is beyond the reach of man in his fallen state. While it is impossible for any one person or tradition to claim they hold the True theology without doubt, all theologies should ultimately be measured by their proximity to the Truth of who God is and what his purpose for this world is as outlined by scripture.
Don't forsake the forgotten. Micah lamented over the rampant injustices within Judah (Micah 1:8). People defrauded one another and plotted to deprive fellow citizens of their livelihood and their lands (2:1-2). Judah's appointed leaders' oppression of the poor rivaled cannibalism (3:1-3) as they judged favorably for bribes (v11). Even Judah's prophets created positive messages for supporters and negative messages for those who couldn't (v5). Judah's assurance in God had turned to self-deception as they assumed immunity to all wrong (v6-7). Today Christians run the same risk of using their assurance in Christ as a rubber stamp for their misdeeds (Romans 6). Many declare that their blessings at the expense of others are from God, writing loans people can't afford, fleecing patrons for higher margins, and suppressing wages for bonuses. We too shamelessly buy and lobby leaders for selfish interests. Like Judah's false prophets we happily skip Christ's countless messages on helping the poor (Matt.19:21) and avoiding riches (6:24). Narcissism in the name of God doesn't fit a “Christian” nation.
Moral right & wrong transcends culture. Amos was an equal-opportunity prophet of judgement, foretelling the fall of eight nations for disrespecting human life and thus the image of God in mankind (Amos 1+2). Syria, Edom, and Ammon were guilty of merciless slaughter (1:3+11), even against pregnant women (v13). Philistia and Tyre (1:6+9) were guilty of slavery. Moab was guilty of desecrating corpses (2:1). As God's chosen people, Judah and Israel were held to a higher standard and therefore guilty of idolatry (2:4) and ingratitude (v12) on top of others. Amos reveals that every nation and culture is in rebellion to God since his moral law is written on all our hearts. Moral pluralists fail to explain how injustice (v6), sexual sins (v7), dishonest gain (v8), and other crimes against humanity transcend culture. As Christians we must remember that like Judah and Israel, we are called to a higher standard still. Amos warns us never to silence the word of God by denouncing other denominations or demanding our personal theology. Also, we're called to remember all that God has done on behalf with thanksgiving.
What impact did the “five solas” of the reformation have on the 16th century? Are they still valid foundational aspects of the faith? As a 21st century reformer, what would your five solas for today be?
Theology is like armor. It protects from false teachings and the devil's schemes. In the 16th century, the reformers discovered the armor they unquestioningly accepted from the Roman Catholic Church left them unable to stand when the day of evil came. Thus they threw it off and reforged Christian theology with “five solas.”
Brett Yardley: Warrior for Christ. Devoted Husband. Proud Father. Martial Artist. Hopeful Philosopher & Theologian. Aspiring Teacher & Writer.