I can vividly remember being forced to memorize Shakespeare when I was a reprobate in High School. I know it is hard to believe, but not everyone actually enjoys Shakespeare, and some who say they do really don't understand Shakespeare anyway. We had to memorize a certain section of Macbeth, and I hated it. I hated it for the same reason that every other senior hated it. For one, none of us had the ambition to be a sissified actor. For another, we saw clearly that this had absolutely zero relevance in our redneck lives. I guess we should have been memorizing NASCAR stats.
Well, I was an ignorant high school student then. I thought culture meant wearing a Rebel flag doo-rag and listening to Hank Williams Jr. But, I was wrong. I simply did not see the importance of Shakespeare, or really of English class at all.
This is very similar to the difficulty of pastoring in our modern, easy-believe age. In the "Just Give Me Jesus" Church, people are irked when you mention things like "theology" and "doctrine." To go into deeper things is boring, and really it seems like a waste of time to the average evangelical.
I must confess, and my church members will attest to this, that words like "sanctification," "justification," "imputation," and "hypo-static union" make me dance with delight. In fact, if you are around me for more than twenty minutes and I haven't brought up predestination, election, justification, or the believer's guaranteed inheritance in Jesus Christ, then I'm having an off day. I will bust out a three syllable theological word on you in a heartbeat, and then force you to understand it. I love it with a glee that rivals my old high school English teacher's in forcing Shakespeare on us idiotic high school students.
The challenge for the Pastor is not to merely define theological terminology. The challenge for us is to make you understand why imputation is something to jump up and dance about. The challenge is for me to teach you the seriousness of not confusing justification and sanctification. The challenge is for me to show Christians why it is important for them to understand why it is important to understand that God chose you first and not vice versa. And, it is to make it clear why election is the driving hope of missions, not the deterrent it is often accused of.
Oh how I pray to God that I could demonstrate the mother load of joy that is hidden in that little word "propitiation!" I wish I could knock people's socks off with the ecstasy of 2 Corinthians 5:20-22! And I wish that I could convey what a cesspool of filth Open Theism is. Oh the loves and rages of the theologian! May God give all good pastors the eloquence to match their passions!
*Note to Mrs. Vassar, beloved High School English Teacher* Sorry I was a blockhead in High School. I would also point out that I have left several prepositions dangling at the end of sentences in this post. I know it's wrong, but I find it to be more readable. Correction of this sort, as our beloved Churchill said, "is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put." I kindly ask for you to overlook such ugly grammatical error.
We Must Do the Impossible
4 years ago