Friday, September 18, 2009

"We Don't Have Time For The Bible"

This is a paraphrase of something my friend Lance's dean said in their theology class at his Lutheran seminary. The man who said it studied under Alister McGrath and is an expert on Theodore Beza and "Protestant Scholasticism". I think it is a very true when it comes to Historical Theology.

I've been a Reformed Christian (for a short but happy time) and I've used Romans 3 and 9-11 to justify everything.

I've been an Anabaptist (Arminian) and used 1 Timothy 2, and 2 Peter 3:9, etc to justify everything.

I'm currently a Roman Catholic Christian and use Matthew 16 and 1 Tim 3:15 and 1 Cor 11:2, etc to justify everything.

I've been an Anglican and used my Refomed and Catholic prooftexts to justify that as well.

This is why I want to study St. Augustine, because I don't even know what to believe anymore, theology has just become an assortment of prooftexts that are crammed into a system created by a dead 16th century person. Then you name yourself after them and attack other people with different dead men.

So my only option is to find the right dead man. And everyone's dead men seem to agree that St. Augustine of Hippo was the best dead man, so I want to study him.


  1. The funny thing is you will just end up with your own form of Augustinianism just as the plurality of Augustinian schools of thought did through the past 2000 years. I commend you for sticking to the primaries, and as a history student you at least are aware of your own bias', etc.

    Have fun.

  2. Hi Andrew,

    I recommend taking a break from the theology and go and volunteer weekly with the St. Vincent de Paul society at a parish near you (or the food pantry, or mobile loaves and fishes, or CCD, or the Knights of Columbus). All Christian traditions can agree with serving the material needs of the poor, and it will help you put your faith into humble action without stressing about soteriology, justification, etc. God bless, Andrew!

  3. Matt, you're right of course, it's useless to pretend that I could somehow understand the "true" Augustinian soteriology where thousands have failed before me. I still have a bit of enlightenment imperialism that I need to rid myself of.

    Devin, you're probably right, and yet somehow I know I won't end up doing anything to help anyone. I'm just really self-centred, and when in bouts of depression like this, unable to do the only things I should be doing. Thanks for the advice though.

  4. Andrew, I would recommend taking no comfort in your works. Look to Christ and take comfort in his, even in the midst of a melancholy season. Our moods may change like shifting shadows, but he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He came to save the self-centered. I know because he came for me. That truth, the gospel, has been the only thing I've ever found to motivate me to look beyond myself to the One who is worthy of my deepest affections.