Armchair Theologian

Every Saturday and Sunday guys (and gals) all across America comment on the performance of their favorite athletes. Inevitably, one guy feels like he could have done a better job than his team’s quarterback, and everyone else thinks he’s full of bologna.

Well, I’ve come to realize I’m guilty of an even worse offense (no pun intended…. Okay, yes it was.) I have so often made the mistake of thinking I could get to know God primarily by reading good books about him, preparing for sermons and listening to good teachers. I thought that I was a professional theologian simply because I am paid to teach about God, (a most amazing job I must say.) I even thought that Bible reading alone would make me a theologian.

But, I am an armchair theologian.

None of these things on their own make us closer to God. Theology is not the “study of God” as if God was just another academic subject. To study God, one must grow in relationship with Him.

How do we do this? It must start with the most perfect revelation of God that humanity has received, Jesus himself. Jesus is the Word of God. Those that knew him personally sought to explain him to others. John the Apostle, the beloved disciple whom Jesus saw fit to give a Revelation of the Apocalypse, is more appropriately termed a theologian than anyone else. He walked with Jesus, heard him, loved him, and proclaimed him. Similarly, the other biblical authors proclaim him either prophetically (Old Testament) or didactically (New Testament).

So rather than continuing my game of trying to come up with innovative ways to explain old ideas, how can I truly become a theologian? I must be like John by walking in the presence of Christ. I must obey Paul by rejoicing always, praying without stopping, and giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

True theology is about prayer. Prayer is appropriately guided by the teachings of Scripture and the advice of those with a consistent prayer life.

Pray for me as I pray for you, and let’s get to know God.


About Michael Yates

I have taught Bible at the Secondary level for 8 years. I have a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Evangel University. I have also been educated as a husband and father by my wife and 4 lovely children. I enjoy reading about political theory and theology. Mostly I have learned that a theologian is one who prays; therefore, I pray for my family, friends, and for you. View all posts by Michael Yates

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