God’s Actions are not Based on Your Theology

Posted: July 25, 2013 in Uncategorized


There is an insipid form of idolatry in the conversations of many folks here in the Bible belt where I live. It comes in the form of a statement that often is framed like this, “Well, the way I figur’ it is . . .” Sometimes people say, “Well, my Bible says . . .” And we might as well be honest, that really means the way I interpret what I read.

A few months ago I was listening to some stories being shared by missionaries in sub-Sahara Africa of personal experience. One told of a resurrection of a national believer. Another told of some demonic manifestations in western Africa. There were many more amazing stories of God’s miraculous intervention in people’s lives. I said, “Why don’t we hear more of these stories?” One lady said, “We have found most Americans are skeptical of these stories when we tell them.”

My guess is that most of us form our theology as much on the basis of what we have experienced as we do on the basis of scriptural revelation. We struggle with the reports that about 25% or more of Muslim background believers had a vision or dream in which Jesus appeared to them before they were converted. We struggle with our inexperience when we hear of the large number of healings and other miracles being done among the Hindu in the name of Jesus. God is at work in unprecedented ways all around our world. Thank God He doesn’t determine His actions on the basis of our experience, or even our “well systematized theology.”

  1. Great insight! Theology is really an attempt by human beings to understand what God is up to. In that sense, all theology is speculative. Just when we think we’ve got it nailed down, God does something that confounds us. Fortunately, some of our observations of Him at work always come out the same: we find Him to be consistently gracious, good, merciful, just, powerful, sovereign, true, holy, beautiful, and willing to identify and suffer with us in our humanity.

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