Monday, January 17, 2011

Why the Intellectual Life Matters

I remember several years ago, when I was attempting to go to seminary, I belonged to a church that was less than supportive. I got the 'cemetery' comments, the 'warnings' that 'I would be so full of head-knowledge that I would be no earthly good,' that seminary would 'kill your faith,' and 'you don't need Hebrew and Greek because the Holy Spirit will be your guide when you read Scripture.' The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the pastors of the church would not sign off on their blessing to send me to seminary, which left both myself and the seminary I planned on attending, scratching our heads for answers. Eventually, a well-placed call by someone at the seminary got the ball rolling and the required paperwork was turned in.

Into my second year at seminary, I started to realize that what was being preached from the pulpit, taught in Sunday school, church membership, and new believers classes, was at odds with the education I was receiving at seminary. As my education progressed, my suspicions were confirmed as I was always a bit skeptical of the 'health and wealth' and 'name it claim it' gospel that treated God like a glorified Santa Claus, and was being taught every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday during the weekly church services. Looking back, the issue the church had with my pursuit of knowledge, I believe, was the fear that I would leave, which is what I did. It seemed to me that they were very protective of their teaching and were afraid that someone from the inside might get wind of what was being taught, and stir up a mini-revolution amongst the church members, taking these folks with them. I chose to leave quietly.

These recollections were sparked by a video I saw this morning. I think it addresses, creatively, what the pursuit of God is all about. Enjoy: from Covenant Life Church on Vimeo.

וְאָ֣הַבְתָּ֔ אֵ֖ת יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ בְּכָל־לְבָבְךָ֥ וּבְכָל־נַפְשְׁךָ֖ וּבְכָל־מְאֹדֶֽךָ׃

(Deut 6.5)


Allan R. Bevere said...

Nicely said!

craig.benno said...

Theology certainly does matter. In regards to the question of theology, what place should experience play a part in it's development?