As I was reading this morning I came across these two remarkable passages concerning the indispensability of theology in the life of the church. The first one comes from Richard Lints' landmark book of seventeen years ago The Fabric of Theology (still waiting for a follow-up Dr. Lints!). He writes:
Theology ought to possess a pride of place in evangelicalism, but, like serious biblical study, it has on the whole been relegated to the backwaters of a few theological seminaries. The study of God is increasingly being replaced by a fascination with the self. Like their archenemy Rudolph Bultmann, evangelicals have begun to embrace "relevance" as a fundamental criterion of truth.
This second one comes from the book, The Noise of Solemn Assemblies, by the eminent social scientist, Peter Berger (one of my chief intellectual mentors). He writes:
When churches abandon or de-emphasize theology, they give up the intellectual tools by which the Christian message can be articulated and defended. In the resulting chaos of religious ideas, the principal criterion left to the community as it seeks to find its way is, quite naturally, that of expediency.
These two passages by these two astute observers had me praying this morning for the health and witness of the church in our time. For the sake of both the church and the world that it seeks to reach, please do the same.