Are Theology and Doctrine A Bad Thing?

Can having theology or doctrine get in the way of your walk with God? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Recently while I was doing the book plunge through Why There Is No God, a friend got in touch with me asking about a minister he talked with regularly. This was a person who said he just used the Bible. He didn’t need any of this theology or doctrine. It got in the way.

For some people, this sounds noble, but really, it’s a train wreck. Just as a start, unless this pastor knows Greek or Hebrew, he is relying on others and not the Bible only. He’s relying on good translators to tell him what the words of the Bible should be translated as.

I also want to know what God He’s talking about. How does He know this God has revealed Himself in the Bible? How can He tell that to his congregation? What will happen when his young people come to him and ask him why they should believe because of all these videos they see on YouTube and such? What’s going to be said?

One of the biggest problems with this is that ultimately, theology and doctrine is just about knowing God and who He is. It’s saying that you believe specific things about God. How does it get in the way of a relationship with God to know specific things about Him and have beliefs about Him?

Imagine if I came to you and said “I want to have a great marriage. I don’t need any of these facts about my wife or anything like that. I just have her and all this information about her will get in the way of my relationship with her.” You would think that was crazy and rightfully so. If you’re in a marriage with someone, don’t you want to know as much about them as you can? Why would you want otherwise?

If that applies to your marriage, how much more does it apply to the most important person in your life, the person of God? Why would you not want to know about Him? Why would you not want truths about Him? Your walk with God can be further improved if you know some truths about who God is and what He is like. (Now the problem is can we often move past that point of knowing the truths and start living the truths.)

Ultimately, this really comes down I think too often to a case of pride. It’s this idea that I alone in the Bible have all that I need. There have been many people in the past who have thought about the Bible. For instance, unless you came up with the doctrine of the Trinity on your own, you are relying on those who went before you. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and you are not a lone ranger teacher. You need to learn from the people who came before you and hear what they have to say. Remember, there is nothing wrong with knowing who it is you jump into bed with. Just ask Jacob.

In Christ,
Nick Peters