In order to seriously talk about any theology, we need to make clear what presuppositions we are bringing with us into the discussion. We can talk for hours about the doctrine of the Trinity, but if I believe that the Bible is God’s word and you do not, we need to talk about something other than the doctrine of the Trinity. Since I often use this blog for theological musings, I think it’s helpful for me to make clear three presuppositions that I have as I talk about the Bible.
We are saved by grace. Grace is central to what it means to be a Christian, and this will be foundational to everything in our theology. If we are saved by grace alone, this heavily influences what we believe about God’s activity towards man and man’s response to God. The belief that man has any role in his own salvation is dangerous; it is only because of God’s grace that we have salvation.
Christ died for all people, but not all people are saved. Why? God’s death and ressurection was for all people, but the way that this has been applied to us as individuals is by faith alone. We are saved by grace through faith. There are no lists of 7 principles that will lead us to the gift of faith; faith simply comes from God. And it is only through faith in Christ that we receive the benefit of forgiveness.
The place that our theology comes from, is always from scripture. Our theology shouldn’t come from popular opinion or scientific theories, but from the Word of God. The scripture is the authority for any discussions on what we believe; if we are going to make claims about what we believe about things like God, the work of Christ, the creation of the world, or homosexuality, it is going to be based on the authority of scripture. The scripture shapes our theology and is the reason that we are able to have any knowledge of our sin and God’s grace.
What presuppositions do you have when talking about theology?