Why love Theology?

Posted: October 5, 2011 by doulos tou Theou in Christian Theology, Christianity

“I am a lover of the Reformed faith — the legacy of the protestant Reformation expressed broadly in the writings of John Calvin and John Owen and Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards, and contemporaries like R. C. Sproul and J. I. Packer and John Frame.

I speak of love for this legacy the way I speak of loving a cherished photo of my wife. I say, “I love that picture.” You won’t surprise me if you point out, “But that’s not your wife, that’s a picture.” Yes. Yes. I know it’s only a picture. I don’t love the picture instead of her, I love the picture because of her. She is precious in herself.

The picture is precious not in itself, but because it reveals her. That’s the way theology is precious. God is valuable in himself. The theology is not valuable in itself. It is valuable as a picture. That’s what I mean when I say, “I love reformed theology.” It’s the best composite, Bible-distilled picture of God that I have.”

– John Piper, Bloodlines, 129-130

  1. Peter Black says:

    Has any poor sinner ever been saved by theology”

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    @ Liturgical , I thought it was pretty good.

    @ Peter Black

    Thanks for reading and interacting Peter.

    Let me answer your question with a question.

    If a missionary with a certain theology goes into a setting and tells the unconverted they must be circumcised & follow a certain set of rules for God to Love them & be saved. Will they be saved if they follow this missionaries theological view of salvation?

    I don’t think having a right theology saves you. But a wrong theology can keep you from knowing Jesus and the Grace of God.

    Your theology helps you to see & understand God in as much as He reveals Himself, it causes me to worship Him even more than the day I first believed. And it helps you point them to see God as He has revealed Himself.


  3. Peter Black says:

    It appears to me that Piper, in this piece, is preening himself as a preacher of theology. Theologians are just as vain as other kinds of folks, and to the extent that they applaud what they do, they are taking credit away from the One who alone deserves praise. One prominent Reformed theologian, for example, is quoted as having said that he believed that he got about 85% of it “right.” He was understood to mean that he considered he was completely correct in his views at least to that extent. Anyone who thinks he or she knows the mind of God in those terms should find some other line of work.

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