Does Our Theology Define Us?


There was a time when I would have answered this question with an emphatic “yes”! However, this is a different time and my answer is a less emphatic “no”. Please allow me to explain why my answer has changed over time.

When we use the word “define”, we are using it in the context of how other people identify us, or even how we identify ourselves. The reality is there can be a huge gap between our theology and our actual theological practice. Theology can be as simple as what we have been trained to believe. However, our actual practice may more accurately reveal what we truly believe due to the fact we tend to act on what we really believe.

I do not desire to make this line of thought too complex, but could it be that what we say we believe is not what we really believe at all? To bring this into understandable practicality, let’s say, “We believe God will provide for us during our time of financial crisis”, but we make a bank loan which we cannot repay to get us through our difficulties. What will define us? Our “spoken faith in God” or our “actual object of trust”? Further, how will other people identify us? As “someone who overcame difficulty through faith in God” or as “someone who placed their trust in a bank loan that lead them into even deeper financial stress”?

This line of questioning and thinking can be applied to just about any realm of theological belief. Give it some thought………………. The conclusion we come may to, may very well be some of the reasoning the world around us uses to debunk our supposed Biblical theology. In the end, our actual theology may be something quite different than our spoken theological belief.

Yours for further thought,



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