Monday, November 04, 2013

The goal of theology

The Psalms portray Israel at prayer. And it is when we pray that we find out what we really believe, what our theology actually is. Furthermore, true theology ought to end in prayer. If theology is the study of God, the knowledge of God, and if God is God, then the end of our study ought to be worship. If it is not, if it has been only a study about a subject and our thoughts on that subject, that is idolatry; I have made God a thing. It does not matter how accurate my thought is; if it does not bring me to Him as a living Person, I have only found a substitute for Him, a knowledge of something other than God. When one comes to know the true God, the only response is, in the language of the Old Testament, fearful worship. I do not mean fearful in the sense of craven terror, but rather a deep-seated awe that you have come into the presence of the Holy One of Israel, the Creator and Lord of all. In every one of those passages in the Scripture where we find a person meeting God, that response of fearful worship is always there. Whether it is Isaiah or Moses, or whether is it Paul on the road to Damascus or John on the island of Patmos, there it is. So in your study, whatever else you look for, look for God. You will know that you have found him if you find yourself on your face before him.— Lectures in Old Testament Theology, pages 15-16

<idle musing>
That's taken from a sneak peak of the book online; I'm going to have to get it via interlibrary loan, but I suspect I'll end up buying it. Kinlaw and Oswalt (he edited it) were both professors of mine while in seminary. Good for more excerpts once I manage to snag a copy—which won't be until December, probably.

I did a paper for Kinlaw on theophanies for his Old Testament Theology course. Life-changing stuff...
</idle musing>

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