Tag Archives: Loneliness

ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

WHAT IS THEOLOGY?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

Theology is neither a nine-to-five job nor a career. To know and speak truly of God is a vocation that requires more than academic or professional qualifications. The image you should have in mind is not the professor with a tweed jacket, but rather the disciples who dropped everything to follow Jesus. Becoming a theologian means following God’s Word where it leads with all one’s mind, heart, soul, and strength.

Theology is the study of how to speak truly of God and of all things in relation to God. But theologians can’t approach the object of their study the way biologists study living creatures or geologists the earth. God cannot be empirically examined. God is the creator of all things, not to be identified with any part of the universe or even with the universe as a whole. Speaking of God thus poses unique challenges. If God had not condescended to communicate to creatures something of his light, we would be in the dark.

BY GOD, OF GOD, TO GOD

Are you familiar with Thomas Aquinas’s definition? “Theology is taught by God, teaches of God, and leads to God.”

By God. Only God can make himself known. We’re simply children who love their father and want to know him better, who trust their father’s wisdom: And He (Jesus) said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”                                                                     Matthew 18:3

Of God. Theology is thinking hard about what God has taught about Himself and all things in relation to Himself.

To God. Theology is ultimately about cultivating godliness, in oneself and one’s community. A theologian is a certain kind of person, whose created intelligence has been illumined by the Holy Spirit.

It’s true, there is a guild of “professional” theologians—mostly academics who populate colleges, seminaries, and university divinity schools—and there are scholarly journals and awards to be had, not to mention salaries and sabbaticals.

Don’t confuse making a living as a theologian with living out the knowledge of God. If you aspire to speak of God, do so to please God, not people: “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?” Galatians 1:10 We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”                                                                                              1 Thessalonian 2:4

When theology proclaims the deep mystery—God’s plan of redemption conceived “before the foundation of the world”: “For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.”                                                                   Ephesians 1:4

It doesn’t promote cleverly devised myths, but reality. The world is passing away (even scientists agree, acknowledging that our sun will eventually burn out), but God’s Word endures forever:Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”                                                                                                                                          Matthew 24:35

Have you considered whether academic theology is your vocation rather than as a pastor or priest?

ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN

THEOLOGICAL THINKING

Let us begin with four adjectives (Trinitarian, biblical, catholic, and systematic) that qualify Christian theological thinking.

First, becoming a Christian theologian means developing a Trinitarian habit of mind.  God the Father has reconciled the world to Himself in Christ through the Spirit (what Irenaeus calls the “two hands” of God).

Second, the best way to stay focused on the subject matter of theology is to stay focused on Scripture.  It’s no coincidence that the most important figures in the history of theology—Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Barth—also wrote biblical commentaries.

C. S. Lewis’s distinction between looking at a beam of light and looking along it clarifies what’s at stake. Those who look at the biblical text analyze it from a critical distance. They see the text, but not necessarily what it’s talking about. In contrast, those who look along the text enter into its strange new world.

God addresses us in Scripture and requires our response. It involves reading all the books in the Old and New Testaments as parts of an overarching story. The theologian is a kind of cartographer of this new world.

The third thing you must do to acquire a theological habit of mind is to read the Word of God with and for the people of God.

The best theologians are apprentices to Scripture and to the consensual tradition of its interpretation. Catholicity is a well-known mark of the Church; it ought also to characterize theologians. Let the gospel be the center of your thinking, but let catholic tradition fill out its content and fix its circumference. Know this: evangelical and catholic are bedfellows, not rivals.

The fourth theological habit of mind involves thinking systematically  as we read the Word of God with the people of God. What unifies Scripture is the story of God’s determination to see through His purpose for creation to the end, a story in which Israel and the Church loom large, with Jesus Christ as its hinge and center.

PERSONALLY

Let’s turn to your question about the kind of person you need to become. The short answer is “wise”: a person with understanding who knows how to live out what he knows with three pairs of contrasting qualities. Continue reading ARE YOU AN ASPIRING THEOLOGIAN?

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LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD

The world is not moving in a great direction. Yes, the world is a mess in a hundred different ways every day. Most people don’t believe that it is possible to change the world.

But it can. How? The changes will not come from government, not from the economy or big business, not from science. The best group of people who are positioned to make a difference is Christians. How is this possible? It is simple but not easy.

Change the World

We will change the world by behaving like Christians. There are over two billion Christians in the world and they have a tremendous influence.

Part of the problem is that Christians have blind spots. They don’t see things as they really are. They don’t see our marriage, our career, our business, our personal finances, our children’s school and even our own church as it really is. We still have biases and prejudices. Jesus wants to liberate us from our blind spots and to help us see things as they really are and to see ourselves as we really are.

We actually fool ourselves. We never admit to ourselves that we are greedy. We never say that we like money too much. Even stingy people think that they are generous. So we don’t see ourselves as we really are. Continue reading LET’S CHANGE THE WORLD

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LONELINESS AND LOVE

Love is the only escape from loneliness. The one thing that changes the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place is love. Love gives us hope.

love loneliness

Where’s God in My Loneliness?

Jesus-the only one who knows everything about you yet loves you perfectly-is the answer to your deepest need and the cure to your loneliness. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”                                                                                               Psalm 23:4

So if your life is empty, fill it with Christ. You are never left alone when you are alone with God. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. Put the Kingdom of God first and all else will come. Cling to your life and you will lose it. Let the Spirit teach you to be satisfied with the fact that you have eternal life and will be with Jesus forever. The more you delight in God, the greater joy and satisfaction there is!

 Please Jesus, fill this loneliness with Your love.

Loneliness God

“Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”                                                                                                                                             Matthew 28:20 Continue reading LONELINESS AND LOVE

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DELIVERANCE FROM LONELINESS

LONELINESS IS SERIOUS.

 It gnaws at our sense of reality, and can lead to depression and a sense of hopelessness. We may feel abandoned and sometimes rejected.

There are root causes such as death, separation or loss of a loved one. There could also be a change that comes upon you because of illness, unemployment or divorce.

LIVING IN LONELY BUBBLES

Loneliness is a dark and dreadful spirit hat haunts some of us today. Loneliness may mean that you are being attacked by Satan. God can intervene in your life and cleanse and heal your heart! You will not suffer from loneliness again since God will be sufficient for you. He will keep you in His peace.

We are a generation that doesn’t acknowledge others. We have lost what it means to have connection because all we’re ever connected to is the Internet or our devices.

Loneliness can have a greater impact on lifespan than obesity. Obesity increases a person’s chance of an early death by 30 %. Loneliness can increase it by a whopping 50%.

Some people are afraid to venture out and meet others, knowing that that effort will most likely result in rejection. When you do interact with people in public, they’re social for five minutes – that’s it!

Agonizing Loneliness

Many people suffer with loneliness. They may work in large urban centers or may have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but they are still lonely. One of the reasons this happens is because we in society forget one another. “The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved.”                                                 Mother Theresa

You might say that what you really want is what really matters: meaningful friendships, a marriage, a family. And these things, as God designed them, are good, and good to want and work for. But still they’re not the ultimate thing.

Agonizing Loneliness Continue reading DELIVERANCE FROM LONELINESS

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