From time to time, people will say that some doctrines are learned just so you know the right doctrine (“doctrine for doctrine’s sake”). However, it was Augustine who said the goal of theology is not ever merely correct belief. The goal of theology is greater love of God and love of neighbor. This means that in all our pursuit of theological knowledge, two questions to perennially ask ourselves are: how does this amaze me with the reality of God, and how does it help me ‘lock in’ more with a committed life of service to those around me?
To be sure, those will not always be easy answers to uncover (ex: dichtomous view of body and soul), but they are the questions to strain after always, especially if you preach for a living.
“When it called God “maker of heaven and earth,” it parted company with Hinduism and Eastern faiths generally; now, by calling Jesus Christ God’s only Son, it parts company with Judaism and Islam and stands quite alone.” -J.I. Packer, Affirming the Apostles’ Creed
“Therefore we find him incomprehensible—by which I mean, not making no sense, but exceeding our grasp.” J.I. Packer, Affirming the Apostles’ Creed
[1 Thess. 3:12] “God doesn’t intend your life to overflow down the storm drain or evaporate into the air. He wants it to soak others! The spillover of His love and goodness in our lives is to benefit and encourage those around us.” -Joni Eareckson Tada, The Glorious Intruder
“God is an intruder. He encroaches, presumes, invades, and infringes. He crashes the party. Tears aside the curtain. Throws open locked doors. Hits the light switch in a dark room. God pulls the fire alarm in stuffy, sacrosanct hallways…” Joni Eareckson Tada, The Glorious Intruder (for more on this theme, see Introduction)
“In my best behavior,
I am really just like him.
Look beneath the floorboards
for the secrets I have hid.”