Theology Is Difficult, But Worth the Effort

The Gospel Coalition | 9/21/2019 | David Kakish
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A few years ago, I was having dinner with a family from church. Knowing my penchant for theological inquiry, the matriarch of the family decided to ask a genuine theological question: “David, I know Jesus is God, and I know the Father is God. When Jesus was on the cross, though, why does he pray to himself, saying ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’”

I proceeded to explain that while we are monotheists (i.e., believing in one God), our God exists forever in three persons who are the same in essence, co-equal in power, glory, and authority. From there I explained the difference between persons and natures and how, on the cross, Jesus, the eternal person of the Son made incarnate, prays to the person of the Father—though Jesus is, in his essence, the very same God. At which point her son, a seasoned pastor himself, chuckled and said, “You have more to say about that than the Bible does.”

Chorus - Rejoicing - Instruction - Flag - Everyone

That bothered me. Instead of joining the chorus or rejoicing in theological instruction, he threw up his intellectual white flag and encouraged everyone else to do likewise. Rather than doing the hard work of grasping the whole of Scripture to understand the part, he seemed to suggest theologians complicate things beyond the basics of the gospel.

Maybe you feel similarly. If that’s you, let me first say you’re not wrong. Theologians are the first to affirm the perspicuity of Scripture, a doctrine that says when it comes to matters of faith and salvation, the Bible’s meaning is evident.

Gospel - God - World - Jesus - Matters

The gospel is indeed simple: God created the world, we sinned, Jesus saves, and we need to trust and follow him. Some matters, though, like the writings of Paul, are challenging to grasp, as even Peter conceded (2 Pet. 3:16). The gospel is...
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