A Few Underpinnings for Theological Discussion

I have to admit, I am bothered by some of the theological discussions that are being played out today in books and blogs. There is a need for truth. There is a need for charity. There is also a need for some underpinnings to provide a foundation.

I currently live in a country (for five years I lived in Italy) that has the trappings of religion all around it but little in the way of true, vibrant spiritual life. Hardly anyone here would deny there is a god, but few honor Christ as king and see Him as beautiful. My city is renowned for its Renaissance art, most of which depicts biblical scenes, especially Jesus. I have wondered many times what happened. Where did the spiritual life go? How did the God of the universe become a byword? What is to prevent another generation from doing the same thing? I have my opinions and theories. Here are a few personal spiritual affirmations that might help. In my current cultural setting the church and its people got some of the things below confused. At times, I wonder if we, the modern evangelical church, are in danger of doing the same? I offer these humbly for your consideration.

Be sure that the Word of God always stands over you and your church, not the other way around.
Don’t amplify one of God’s attributes over the others, worship Him in His totality.
We are all prone to let our life experiences altar and effect our view of God. Allow God and His character to interpret your life experiences.
Don’t let logic be your ruling guide for understanding everything in the Bible. You are not that smart and He is not that simple.
Don’t let understanding be your only quest in studying the Bible. If you could fully and completely understand God you don’t need Him.
Stand on the shoulders of historical exegesis. You are probably not the first to think of your “new idea” about God.
We can and should allow our current cultural context to influence how we share the gospel, but don’t change its message.  You will only mute the gospel.
Stand in awe of the Creator in all of His mystery and beauty. Don’t put Him on the operating table.
Be respectful of those that are older than you and have walked with God longer than you. Time and life experience have a way of maturing your “sure” knowledge of God and His ways.
Give thanks for every gift and ability you have and for everything you don’t.  This will help to keep you humble, and humility may be your greatest theological trait.