Theology and the Role of Interpretation

Theology is defined as the study of God. When theologians, or those that are involved in this area of study, communicate their findings, they do so from a point of interpretation. The correct place from which to base the interpretation should be the Scriptures. However, in the modern world in which we find ourselves, the practice of establishing areas of Scripture as non-conformist or even obsolete is gaining momentum and a new form of a so-called modern theology has gained ground.

The issue with a form of theology that moves away from Scriptural foundations is that it is free to be presented by the theologian based upon individual interpretation, which can be infected with assumptions and personal bias. In a quest to balance the theology with the modern viewpoints and political correctness, the focus of the study is presented not from a Biblical standpoint, and that which has been revealed through the inspiration of the Spirit (God Himself) to the writers of the Bible, but more of an apologetical theology is used to present a God who is more compatible to the modern day. A tolerable and loving God is the primary focus, while God’s holiness and righteousness, and the execution of the righteousness through justice, is secondary to the individual studies.

The fact is that we, as theologians, are not called to defend God, but to present the truth about His nature and attributes that is in agreement with the Biblical interpretation. In the quest to present a modern God who is a loving friend to all religions, and has chosen to reveal Himself in different forms to different people, the very nature of the God that we serve has been mis-represented and a corrupted form of the Gospel has taken over the message of redemption.

It is our responsibility to present the truth of not only God’s love, but also His righteousness. His does not share His Glory, nor does He tolerate unholiness. The revelation has been given to us in the Scriptures. Our interpretation of that revelation must be true to the Word, regardless of its lack of popularity and modern correctness.

Because it is written, Ye shall be holy; for I am holy. (1 Peter 1:16) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:28,29) The just Lord is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame. Zeph. 3:5

E. G. Robinson in Christian Theology, wrote: “The one all-inclusive aim of Biblical Christianity is holiness, . . . but personal holiness will be the one absorbing and attainable aim of man, only as he recognizes it to be the one preeminent attribute of God”.

In theology and the role of interpretation, we will reflect an understanding of God based in what we see in the mirror, if we move away from what has been written in the Scriptures about God’s true attributes.

 

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