“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 ESV.
Pop psychology, fantasy football, and social networks have one thing in common. They distort reality. A little knowledge may make one feel invincible for the moment. Professionals know. They cringe whenever another book is written to provide a simple solution to a complex problem. It only makes their role more challenging. Or general managers of sports franchises laugh when one compares their role with the football fan who gains a little knowledge of building a winning team. And of course, social networks make one feel connected with others even though the person on the other end may not be who they present themselves to be. Yet each industry fulfills a need and thereby creates a large following enriching its creators.
Christianity in the western world is no different. We have distorted the knowledge of who God is through our pop theology. Typically a well-meaning author slices a small piece of the Gospel message into a short statement to emphasize its value. Instead of digging deeper into the subject matter, most of us simply take the musical one note and build our internal heavenly vault. Over time though we become frustrated. Instead of experiencing a full, enriching life with God, we struggle with anxiety and begin questioning whether or not Christianity really works.
Take, for example, the concept of Holiness. Western Theology has built a view of God based on a moral science of law. So when we discuss a Holy God, western theology generally speaks about Holiness as defined along the lines of righteousness. When one takes this legal view of God, our view of God becomes distorted. Instead of a loving Father, God becomes a judge looking to punish people. This one attribute of God then becomes our distorted major view of who God is.
However when one comes to know who God truly is, one comes to see Father-Son-Spirit as a mutual supporting Being full of love, joy, and peace. A God who is full of grace for others. A God who is for you, not against you. A God who created the entire universe and included you in His plan to share His life with you. Holiness isn’t defined any longer from a legal aspect, but from a relational sphere within the Triune God. God is Holy. Holiness is simply the full reflection of the total divine nature of God Himself.
So be careful of pop theology. Seek to understand the foundation of any statement that emphasizes one point of the gospel. Realize it is only one small part of a larger picture. And of course, continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ so you will not fall victim to the latest pop fad.
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