Theology 1 Session 3: Categories of Theology

by Administrator 11. February 2017 09:17
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30

Writing about Session: 3 Categories of Theology, Justin Sands shares his thoughts on one of the discussion questions.

Discussion question #7: It was said during the lesson that when reading the Bible “it does not matter what it means to you. It matters what it meant.” How is this true? Discuss.

 I chose to discuss this question because it applied directly to our family’s search for a church home and a daycare. During our search we heard everything from “it does not matter as long as you love Jesus” to “we really allow families to interpret the Bible as it pertains to them.”

As a strong believer in God’s Word, I realize there is, without a doubt, an absolute truth so we ran from these places a fast as possible. However, I soon realized that didn’t know how to back up the idea of absolute truth from Scripture.

During our class discussion about interpreting Scripture, we learned no personal interpretation can change the original author’s intent or meaning. The original author’s intent is what it is and cannot or ever will be changed. The original author influenced by their experiences wrote Scripture as God inspired them. The meaning of what they wrote does not change because our current society or desires are different.

For me, the eye opening difference was learning about the Author’s intent. What did God intend for the human author to write and what does it mean for all people throughout all time periods. Obviously we are imperfect beings and as individuals we are often biased when trying to comprehend God’s intended meaning. God is perfect and the Bible is without error; this is a fact. It is our obligation to take the entirety of Scripture and figure out how these truths apply to us today.

As discussed, the last step is taking the human author’s intent, discerning the more important Author’s (God’s) intent, finding the timeless principle, and then applying that to our world and our lives. All of these pieces are important and if we are honest with ourselves we will recognize even Christians can allow their biases to affect their interpretation of the Bible.

Since the Bible is without error, it only matters what it means and not what we think it means. God inspired the original authors to write down His truth, so it doesn’t matter what it means to us, but what God means and how we are to apply His truth. Our lesson taught us we can rightly understand Scripture by considering the historical, grammatical, contextual, and literary interpretation of the text. Rightly understanding Scripture is our responsibility as believers and to know how those unchanging truths apply to us today.

There is a real danger in not studying the entire Word of God and surrounding ourselves with other believers. If we allow various “truths” into our lives we run the risk of straying from God’s intent. When we do not have a foundational concept of God’s intended message it can become impossible to properly apply His Word to our lives. Any misapplication of God’s Word can spread to our families and others who are trusting in us.


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Comments (3) -

Abigail Kyle
Abigail Kyle
2/13/2017 7:02:48 AM #

Great post Justin!
Even as Christians we might think since we go to church we dont need to study the Bible that much and that begins our downfall! I can say personally that I've struggled with this before and when we choose not to dig in and study the Bible we begin to stray away from God (Hebrews 2:1). Today Christains have a constant struggle against the world and that's why we must submerge ourselves in God's Word! This was a great question to post about thank you!


Heather McClain
Heather McClain
2/15/2017 12:29:00 PM #

This was really well written. Thank you so much.
All of my life I believed I was a Christian. However, I never had a personal relationship with God. Rarely did I study God's word. I never would have been able to stand up for my beliefs because I didn't know God's word. Therefore, I never second guessed things that I thought sounded a little off; nor did I ever talk about religious matters.
In taking this class,  I am learning how important it is to learn the true intent of the author so that I can be an authentic ambassador to Christ. I won't be afraid to faithfully take opportunities when they come. I'll know how to spread God's word in a gentle manner and not in a forceful manner. It is so important for theologians to look at scripture through a historical, grammatical, contextual and literary interpretation. We need to ask "What is the timeless truth taught" (God's Intent) and "How does it apply to us" today.
Thank you


Adam McClain
Adam McClain
2/18/2017 7:36:59 AM #

Justin, I liked reading your post.  Our family moved to Ankeny two yard ago, and we recently completed our search for a church.  It struck me as odd how Christian churches could have such different views.  Unlike you, I don't have a strong background in learning God's Word, but something still just didn't feel right in those churches.  Thankfully, God brought us to Lakeside and to this class so we can lean His truth!  Great post!


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