So, is it true all we have to do is love Jesus? Who is Jesus? Once you ask the question, "who is God," you have ventured into theology. As Christians, we are not to start our faith as theologians, nor replace faith with theology. We do not start out as Calvinists or Armenians, whatever theological system of the day or of your church. We must start with accepting God as Lord and Savior. In so doing, we accept God's Word. Through His Word, we divine His truth and means. This is what theology is! It is not the necessary, the starting, or the ending. It is the understanding and the application of His truth. If you say theology is not important, then God is not important, because theology is studying and knowing and understanding God, who He is, His attributes, and such. To deny theology necessitates denying God too!
Remember, Paul wrote the Gospel of Romans under the interspersion and directive of God to proclaim the truth of who Christ was and is. In so doing, he explained the plan of salvation, the role of the church, the inclusion of the Gentile world, and the importance of sharing our faith. Thus, our study of this book is very important as the foundation for our knowledge of doctrine and truth. This is theology! Understanding the Bible is theology!
A church without theology is a church without God, as theology is about knowing who God is and what He has done for us! A theology without a sovereign God is simply not an option for the church or our daily faith, because we will replace Him with idols, (anything that takes the place of God, from a totem pole to money, is an idol) or ourselves!
Over the years, through many years of learning and struggle, I have slowly accepted the Calvinistic teachings on the five points of T.U.L.I.P as Biblical and therefore true. I did not start out that way. I was firmly an Armenian and Holiness for many years, even through seminary. Only after years of study, especially in the book of Romans, have I yielded to the Reformed Method of understanding. Not because I grew up in it, which I did, not because I went to a Reformed seminary, which I did, but because of coming face to face with truth by deepening my conviction, and by careful study of God's Word. This quest has not been without fellow truth seekers, others of diverse backgrounds who sought the truth and came to the same conclusion. These include Augustine, Luther, Tyndale, Latimer, Knox, Wishart, Perkins, Rutherford, Bunyan, Owen, Charnock, Goodwin, Flavel, Watson, Henry, Watts, Edwards, Whitefield, Newton, Spurgeon, and of course Calvin. For more information, see my article on "Calvinism from the Critics."
© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com