We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer
Therefore let God-inspired Scripture decide between us; and on whichever side be found doctrines in harmony with the word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the vote of truth. --Basil of Caesarea
Once you learn to discern, there's no going back. You will begin to spot the lie everywhere it appears.

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service. 1 Timothy 1:12

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

To Truly Love God, You Need to Learn About Him

We have replaced rich, robust theology in the Church with emotional music and constant reminders that “God is love and loves you and He’s your personal Savior and loves your soul …” These words are great at bringing outsiders through the doors (because they’re true by and large) but poor at growing believers into mature witnesses with rich understanding of the deep things of God.

I have found the opposite to be very true. I have found that the more I learn about God, His Word and theology which describes Him, the more I can love and worship Him, because now there is that much more to adore and be amazed by. If my ability to worship God is a fire, learning more about Him only adds more wood to the blaze. After all, if you really loved God, wouldn’t you want to learn as much about Him as possible? . . .

I’m saddened that atheists are so passionate about what they believe that they will read stacks of books in order to define their beliefs, while we are happy to float along the surface with a “Hillsong-deep theology” and call it good. And we wonder why people are leaving the Church in droves.  A church that offers only emotional, feel-good theology is going to lose the long-term wrestling match to a well-read and convincing atheist nearly every time


Amy F said...

I found your blog in Facebook comments and I really like what you have to say. I would like to learn more and study His word but could use some help. Is there a bible study book you recommend? Or a series of books you recommend? Thanks!

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Amy,

Welcome to my blog!

I do not recommend "Bible Study" books because they are just one person's opinion, and so many of them out there are by false teachers!

I just recommend studying the Bible itself. There are some versions which I will not recommend because they are more interpretive than translative, meaning the people putting them together will dynamically translate them to the point where they support specific theological perspectives rather than honestly translate. Stay totally away from "The Message," because it is a horrid paraphrase which often says opposite of what the true translation says, and also brings in a lot of New Age teachings.

There are differences in Bible translations, beginning with formal (word-for-word) and moving to dynamic (thought-for-thought) before going to paraphrases (which are virtually useless for actual study). Formal versions would be KJV (I can't recommend due to the old English and difficulty of reading/understanding in today's uneducated culture), NKJV, ESV, NAS.

My favorite Bible for study is the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It is more formal than the NIV, which is the farthest dynamic I can recommend (well, the NET is also pretty good). Once you get to the NLT you've gone too dynamic into the interpretive mode.

Commentaries are valuable for better understanding, but, again, you must be careful whose you choose and really should have more than one. I like the commentary in the HCSB Apologetics Study Bible, having found only about 5 points of disagreement.

IF you would like further discussion on the topic, you might find it easier to email me at Jude3.gctwm@yahoo.com