What we don't know can hurt us!

David Burchett

I approached Christianity just like I approached everything else. With that ill-conceived male bravado that led me to utter such later regretted classics as…

How hard can this be?
I don’t need the instructions.
I am sure we turn here.
I measured it once already.
I think it is disconnected.

I am growing in my appreciation for having a good theological foundation. I have quoted Pastor Tommy Nelson who says “you cannot live a successful Christian life without good theology”. I would only amend that slightly. I think to live the Christian life successfully over many years requires good theology. You can have short term success with an inch deep theology but not over the long haul. One of my favorite songs when I was a young student was a hit recorded by Sam Cooke. You probably remember the tune called Wonderful Life.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much biology
Don't know much about a science book
Don't know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love you
And I know that if you love me too
What a wonderful world this would be

Any guy who could parlay being an academic slacker into a romantic advantage was my hero! Not knowing much about the French I took has only been an inconvenience in Quebec. But not knowing what I believe has eternal consequences and even an academic slacker like me knows that eternity is a long, long time. In my first book, When Bad Christians Happen to Good People, I rewrote the lyrics from Wonderful Life as an ode to our general lack of knowledge about theology. Join with me as we sing both stanzas…

Don’t know much about theology,
Don’t know much Christology.
Don’t know much about Leviticus,
Don’t know why they had the Exodus.
But I do know that God loves you,
And I’m trying hard to be good too.
What a wonderful faith this would be.

Well, I don’t claim to be a good Christian,
But I’m trying to be.
For maybe by bein’ a good person, brother,
I can gain eternity.

(Everyone now…)

Don’t know much about the Pharisees,
Can’t explain the Trinity.
Don’t know much ecclesiology
Don’t know what a good tithe should be.
But I think that God forgives my quirks,
And I figure if I do good works,
What a wonderful faith this would be.

I had to admit in that book that I could name the entire starting lineup of the 1961 Cincinnati Reds but I probably could not name all 12 disciples.

Recently I have become aware of how much I have heard over 35 years of sermons, Bible studies, and reading books and magazines. But only in recent years have I really sought to know and apply what I believe. The prophet Hosea warned Israel with these frightening words from the Lord.

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge

I don’t know if we as a people are being destroyed but I do fear our lack of a theological foundation and well thought out world view is a big contributor to the lack of impact that evangelicals have on the culture. Know what you believe. A great starting point is J.I.Packer’s book Knowing God.  I can tell you that having a deeper foundation has been a lifesaver when these recent life storms hit.

Dave Burchett is an Emmy Award winning television sports director, author, and Christian speaker. He is the author of When Bad Christians Happen to Good People and Bring'em Back Alive: A Healing Plan for those Wounded by the Church. You can reply by linking through