Wednesday, June 04, 2014

The end of theology

Many years ago—back before many of you were old enough to know right from wrong (Isaiah)—I was a seminary student. One of the courses I was privileged to take was a course in Old Testament Theology from Dennis Kinlaw. He had just stepped down from being president of Asbury College and taught for two semesters at Asbury Seminary. I took every class he taught, plus two independent study courses (Syriac and Aramaic—yes, in that order!). To say that he profoundly affected my theological development would be an understatement. He never was much of a writer; most of his books are edited versions of transcriptions of his seminars and sermons. The book I will be excerpting from next is no exception. I took the class in the summer of 1983; the book is a transcription of his lectures from the only other time (that I know of) that he taught the class after that, in 1993.

Here's the first of many excerpts. I hope they make you think and worship:

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 the 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.— Lectures in Old Testament Theology, pages 15-16

1 comment:

Marilyn Lundberg said...

I like this!