The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock
Every topic, whether it is language arts, science, mathematics, (YUCK!) history, or whatever else, has a series of foundations which serves as the basis which will enable one to learn to advanced areas of the subject. Christianity is not an exception to this rule. If you are to study theology you must first build a foundation before you build anything else, that is unless you want the walls to easily cave in. Before we understand the complex concepts, we must first grasp the basic principles. I math, you cannot do advanced problems before you first learn the basics like, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and all the different elements of mathematics, that enable you to solve the deeper equations of it. Or even more to my own interests, art. Vincent Van Gogh did not sit down and one day suddenly paint The Potato Eaters or Starry Night in one attempt, he had to develop an intimate knowledge of color and paint, before he could become the artist he so brilliantly was. The same is also true for the Christian life. Before we can understand and experience the deeper truths of theology that comes from being a Christian and studying thing Word of God, we must first learn the basics, building a foundation for those truths to be supported by. Unfortunately, within the modern Christian culture many have undoubtedly found contentment in the basics, ignoring the need for furthering their study of God’s Word. A culture that thrives on the basics will unlikely produce many who can do the advanced.
The Art and Science of the Christian Life
The Christian life is both art and science. Christianity is an art in that the expression and application is different from person to person and the circumstances they are in. The truths are the same, but how they are applied can differ. At the same time while the Christian life is an art, on an individual level, as a whole our beliefs and theology is the science….or at least it should be. God’s word should not be altered from the intended meaning and is the systematic framework in which believers can understand life, the universe and everything. While the art provides many different applications, the science gives one interpretation. While the principles and knowledge within Scripture vary in application, showing people certain truths at certain times, the art should be in what we apply, and the science in truth that we study.
The basics will only take us so far. Immaturity in how we understand truth about Christ, will produce immaturity in how we live truth in Christ. There is a portion of the Christian population that is undoubtedly stunted in this area and it is almost as if they are okay with that, accepting apathy as a viable option. What does it take to make people realize just because something is tried, does not necessarily mean it is true? I have no idea if it is tradition or emotional attachment, but even among the supposedly “different” churches they are holding to the same ineffective methods just with a different face. Cutting off a catfishes whiskers does not make it any less of a catfish, nor does calling ineffectiveness effective, make it any less effective. Like the catfish, the exterior may look a little different, but the interior remains the same.