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Education vs. Experience

February 24, 2009

bibleIn just a few months, I will be graduating with my Doctorate Degree in Ministry. Over the course of this process, I have had the privilege of taking many “deep” theology classes. The majority of which I will not use often, but nevertheless is great info to have. Taking these classes has made me realize there are two types of theology in the world: educational and experiential.
Here’s the problem: Often they can damage each other.
Educational Theology is based in book knowledge and facts. Memorization and interpretation are the key components. Being able to decipher words in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek are paramount to proper “success.” What I am finding is that some with an amazing grasp and passion for this brand of theology are in love with the concept of God. Please understand that I am not KNOCKING this. I am one of these guys. (My wife often refers to be as a book worm or nerd.) The problem is that when Education is my foundation, God becomes an equation I am trying to solve. I find myself contemplating God, but not allowing Him to relate to me. I am constantly teaching people about the awesomeness of God, but possibly this gets in the way of what God really wants from me. He wants me to experience life WITH Him, not go through it knowing about Him.
I am learning that I want more Experiential Theology. I want to experience more of God in my life. Not just better Sundays, Wednesdays, or community groups, but day to day. I want to come to grips, that there are some things that I will not be able to solve: faith must become my foundation. So how do we do it? How do we get there?
1. APPLY the books I am going to read. Experiencing God does not mean stop learning. Honestly, I have read books because others are reading them, and I don’t want to be the guy who hasn’t read it. “You haven’t read this yet!!!!” Some of you know exactly what I am talking about…because you have to. I will read, but allow God to let me apply it to life.
2. Pray that God will give me discernment when He is working at an unusual time. How many times have I looked back and saw God’s hand on something, but failed to recognize it in the moment.
3. Let life happen. Make no mistake, I will control what I am supposed to, but for all the other things I can’t control, I will ride. I will experience God in the moments that seem chaotic. As a leader, I want to control things, but I will learn to relinquish that control in the moments when I do not have the reins.

God is not an equation, He is my father.
God is not the answer to the test question, He is my savior.
God is not another subject to write about, He is my provider.

May you experience Christ and all His grace today. May we take all that we have learned and use it to find new ways to experience Him. May our lives be changed daily as we encounter Him…

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 17, 2009 4:54 pm

    Isn’t it amazing how God has confused the wise but gives knowledge to those who seek him. All the education in the world won’t matter in the day of judgment. All that will matter is did you KNOW Christ as your Savior!

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