Hold Fast

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:1-2, ESV)

Location: Cochrane, Alberta, Canada

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How Theology and Doctrine Matter in Daily Life

A young boy wonders what is the right thing to do in response to teasing and bullying at school: argue back? Fight? Tell the teachers? Just take it?

An old man wonders what is left to live for after the death of his wife of 51 years.

A teenager struggles with his teacher’s assurance that evolution should not be a problem for a Christian to accept – after all, God could have used evolution as his tool to create, couldn’t he?

A young woman who has just miscarried wonders why God would allow such tragedy to come to such a young life.

A tired woman contemplating divorce from her distant and uncaring husband wonders what is the Christian thing to do.

A family offended by the careless words of another person in the church contemplates changing congregations to avoid further trouble.

An army officer wonders whether to obey his orders and abandon a fighting position that protects a village from genocide – or to disobey and risk his soldiers’ lives in an uncertain battle to protect them.

A second-year university student has no idea how to answer skeptical professors and classmates who deny the Creation of the universe in favour of a Big Bang.

An office worker struggles to witness to a coworker who, because of tragedy and trauma in her life, cannot accept the existence of God in such an evil world.

A shaken young couple is advised by their doctor to abort their unborn child, revealed by a test to be afflicted with a debilitating and likely terminal illness.

Christian voters at the polls wonder whether to support one party, which favours unrestricted abortion rights, or its main opponent, embroiled in a shocking corruption scandal.

An office manager wonders what to do with the employee caught stealing from the company – whose family lives in poverty and struggles to make ends meet.

These are hard questions. They are everyday dilemmas that many Christians have faced or can expect to face.

Furthermore, these are not merely academic or intellectual questions. Any response will relate to the duties of the believer to God. Any resolution will impact the Christian’s witness before others.

These are theological questions. They all relate to specific Christian doctrine. And when we fail to teach our people to think theologically, we leave them helpless to face some of the toughest questions of life.

Doctrine and theology matter. Do you feel ready to help a fellow believer in such situations?


Anonymous Derek said...

Jeff, what a great and timely post for my my walk at this time. As a biblical counselor, it may appear prideful that we have these answers, but I must confess, that what I do think biblical counselors have is the discipline to search the scriptures to provide application that I do not think many others have the time to do. It is something that we get accussed of frequently (good theology but bad application) and I guess the statement I would respond to your post is, are we willing to do the work to find the God glorifying application. One of my burdens in my call is to hopefully make application as it applies to the everyday life of counselees. I find many times that I am stunned by the gospel in seeing the courage many folks have in facing this daunting task and are willing to perservere. What a blessing. A great article on the web regarding application to everyday life is: Why I Chose Seminary for Training in Counseling (an article by Dr. David Powlison)http://www.wts.edu/registrar/WhySeminary.pdf. This provides better depth on this topic and may engage the statement and challenge your proposing.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Jeff Jones said...

Thanks for your thoughts! I posted this as food for thought and to provoke some discussion - but also because, as a pastor-in-training, one thing I am trying to develop is how to make those connections you are talking about to everydy situations. And feedback is a great way to learn. Thanks for the link - I will be sure to read it.

One thing you said is, I think, the key: the GOD-GLORIFYING application. How might God be lifted high and worshiped in this circumstance? That helps set the work of application on the proper rails...

I've actually begun developing an interest in Biblical counseling lately and have been reading a fair bit in that area. Would you, as a counselor, be able to point me to any practical resources that might develop skills in personal counseling?

11:56 AM  

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