I love this first paragraph in Michael Horton’s new systematic theology titled, The Christian Faith:
In 1949, the English playwright and novelist Dorothy Sayers observed the common antipathy in her day toward doctrine: “‘Dull dogma,’ they call it.” According to Sayers, however Christianity is the most interesting story ever told. “And the dogma is the drama.” For many Christians, words such as doctrine and theology–and especially systematic theology– conjure up images of intellectual pride, divisiveness, and the presumption that we can put God in a box, neatly explained by our categories and formulations. Of course, we are nearly infinitely resourceful in using good things with corrupt motives and for less than noble ends. We can exhibit spiritual pride also in our experience or morality. However, it is the goal of good theology to humble us before the triune God of majesty and grace. As we will see more fully, the older theologians of the Reformation and Post-Reformation eras were so convinced that their interpretations fell far short of the majesty of God that they called their summaries and systems “our humble theology” and “a theology for pilgrims on the way.”
from Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith (Zondervan, 2011), 13. Used with permission.
Humble theology. I love that phrase. Don’t you?
Theology is not dead (far from it), nor is it dull. After all, it is, by definition, “the study of God.” However, along with the importance of theology, there is no room for theological pride. There is no “high horse” to ride on. For when God exhorts us to study and know true things about Himself, it is for the purpose of worship and our affections for Him—to point us to Christ and His cross. And when we stand before this mighty and glorious God, whose sovereignty dwarfs us and whose grace melts us, we cannot help but humbly bow down in reverence and awe.
“a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance”
(2 Timothy 2:24)