Why do theology? Is it for the fame and fortune? No. It’s because, personally, without the constant pursuit towards a growing and intimate knowledge of God I could not function. After I came to Christ when I was 3.5 I was given a new heart, the ‘heart of flesh’ that the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Ezekiel wrote about; along with this my head was also rewired, hard-wired in fact, in such a way that reality from that point onward could only make sense if it found its ongoing ever afresh ever anew ground in a growing knowledge of the living God Self revealed in Jesus Christ. Outside of this reality, for me as a Christian anyway, everything else is non-real; there is only One reality that has the capacity to stitch all of reality together in an affectively and cognitively satisfying way. So I began to grow—in other words I didn’t stay 3.5 up and till now—and I lived into this reality, into real reality as the Holy Spirit worked and wooed in my life. As I grew older I had an ever greater appreciation for what Jesus had done, and the cylinders of my new mind and heart were firing rapidly. But a time came when I was subtly seduced into a realm where my mind and heart were completely out of place. There was a season of time that I didn’t really catch how out of place everything was. But because the God I have a relationship with is so merciful and full of grace He allowed me to see and feel (through anxiety) just exactly how out of place I had become. I had sown to my flesh continuously, to the point that great scales had grown over my eyes—the eyes of my heart and mind—and God removed those scales to let me see just exactly where I’d gotten myself. My heart and mind really had nowhere to rest; it was an excruciating experience that would extend out for years.
But remember, I noted that God graciously re-opened my eyes to the reality I had constructed for myself; a reality that was a house full of idols; a reality that my new heart and mind could not decipher or attach to. God, through His Word, began to deconstruct the false-realm I’d created, and displaced it once again with the concrete bodily reality of His recreated world that He had accomplished through His Self giveneness in His humanity in the eternal Son of God, the Man from Nazareth, the One who is homoousios with the Father and humanity, Jesus Christ. I began to feel a real peace, a real solidity in the world that God had called me into in the new creation of the Son. My affective and intellectual cylinders began to fire again, and the blood-life provided by the Son of the Father in my life, in and through my new heart, began to flow and brought life to my frontal lobe and the rest of my brain. I could once again look out at the world, and have a sense of place; and yet this time it was even lighter than it had been before in my younger years. This time I had to walk through a wilderness, a slough in order to come to the sanity that only comes as my new heart and mind are at coalescence with their source in the vicarious heart and mind that Jesus Christ has for me in His life pro me.
Even in this strange newer world there are these cycles where it seems the light of life ebbs even brighter, but then flows into a season of shadows; only then for the light to shine through the shadows with more clarity than before. Biblically all I can think of in order to illustrate this is found in II Corinthians 3: “18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” There is this ongoing transformative aspect, a growing-maturation process that is a work started by God in Christ that He will continue until beatific vision finally comes.
This is why I do theology. I have come to know, without question, that Jesus alone speaks the words of eternal life, and thus I have nowhere else to go. If I try to live a life without doing theology I experience cognitive dissonance of the sort that it literally will drive me mad. My soul needs theology like my body needs oxygen; without it I die, and dying sucks.
33 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws. 34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; 35 all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” Daniel 4:33–35
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. II Peter 3:18