Well, good for you, I thought. I was sitting in Jen’s, a local bbq place across from WVSU on the night of my final when a classmate, who I had previously run into on the matters of religion (she thought that Christianity was Monolithic, as and that somehow Islam and Judaism fit into the sphere as well). In speaking about our post-graduation plans, she brought up the subject that she was a former Jehovah’s Witness, but now, she had the read for herself and knew all that there was to know.
Speaking with her for five minutes, I got the sense that her understanding of the biblical text was little more than pop theology, delivered to her by her pastor for 30 minutes every Sunday morning. But, she had read the bible and that was it. Straight through even.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work like for Paul who told Timothy (yes, I know) to study, nor did it work like that for the early Church. Do I need to remind you of Councils upon Councils upon Councils? Or the matter of the Canon. Or Translations. Or other numerous doctrines which people still wrestle with? Church Government? The Godhead? People still debate the canonical order for both Testaments!!! Or the meaning of Revelation. (Frankly, I think I am the only one correct on this last one.)
The other day, Dr. McGrath posted this video with some thoughts.
Sort of exemplifies the answer to ‘why biblical studies’ and ‘why theology.’
This is not to say that a one cannot easily pick up the fact that Christ died for sins, and that one must repent to take advantage of that, but don’t fool yourself into think that a casual reading is all that one needs. Further, don’t be deceived in thinking everything is as easy to understand you think it is. What is easy for you – your doctrines – is disagreeable to others whereas another’s easily seen doctrines is difficult for you.
What do you think?