Sunday, May 27, 2012

Leaving the gray... right where it is

Over much of the last ten years, I have spent a lot of time learning about apologetics- the part of Christian theology that seeks to provide compelling and sufficient answers for skeptics outside the faith and to those who are struggling with their faith within Christianity. I was beginning to ask questions that I had never considered before like, how could God create the world in six days, or why do we have the books we have in the bible. These and many others like them were important questions that my mind needed answers to- more than sufficient answers. I was in search for concrete bullet proof answers- not to answer others, but to answer the biggest skeptic I know- me.

And so my journey began. I found many a book that focused on providing such answers. I read as many of them as my sleep-deprived eyes would let me, and listened to as many sermons and apologetics talks that would fit on my mp3 player. And as I went along, I noticed my confidence was soaring! I had satisfied my doubts so much that i was starting to try place doubts in others and wistfully and thoroughly remove them from within others! (or so I thought)

I began writing this blog three years ago with the purpose of trying help believers become as passionate about their faith in Jesus as I was. Through my search to remove all of the doubt, all of the "gray" in my theology, I had unwittingly removed many parts of the theology that God had intended to remain. Questions like, what happens to babies and young children who die and are unable to understand and receive salvation? Or, how does God truly choose us for salvation or do we choose him? I found no bullet proof answers to these and many like them in the scriptures because the absolute answers I was looking for are not contained in a black and white way on the pages of scripture. Scripture was written to communicate to us God's plan for salvation, not to answer our every theological question.

Many of the answers I was looking for were not black and white, but gray. They were not contradictions, but either-or, both-and answers that wanted to stretch my theology so that I might see the beauty of God's sovereignty, untamed and without boarders, and still know and have full confidence that He is good, that He is faithful, and that I can trust Him with my entire life- even my theology. And if I can trust Him to continue to develop and deepen my theology, I can also trust Him enough to leave the gray, right where it is.

"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. (Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV)

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