A call for a new kind of theology to be written and preached

My pastor and I, Tope Koleoso often recall @bobrobertsjr saying that he believes a new type of theology needs to be written that is accessible & assumes nothing.

Over the last few days I have found myself writing a few tweets that explain this a concept a bit more.  I thought I would share these bite sized thoughts, slightly expanded for more clarity at times, here in one post.  Sometimes  a string of thoughts hits me like that, even when I wasn’t planning it. Its one of the things I love about Twitter. You can express a single idea, then find it triggers you to think about other things.  The last time this happened I ended up with a longer post about what we mean by relational Christianity.

To my mind, @SamAllberry in all his books really GETS this type of theology, and ensures it is not patronizing, which is a real danger when we are trying to make things easy to understand.  Actually, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that Wayne Grudem also pretty much hits the bullseye in making complex ideas simple.

All too often our teaching or writing falls into one of two opposite traps: we overcomplicate & assume too much, or we dumb everything down.

Complexity is almost always the enemy of clarity. Simplicity need not be the enemy of TRUE depth that explains, instructs, and inspires.

I am more and more convinced that complicated and convoluted writing is NOT required to communicate the complex truths the Bible teaches.

Too much Christian preaching and writing in the name of being “accessible” is totally devoid of any content that is recognizably biblical.

But, it is vital for us to learn to recognize the treasure that is writing full of clarity and deep truths being simply & plainly laid bare.

DO NOT reject too quickly as “lacking in weight and depth” writing that is cunningly designed to force even a professor FEEL theology afresh

Bad theology stirs up strife & muddies the waters. Good theology calms us down, stills the waters, & makes all crystal clear

It is not a virtue to “stand up for the gospel” in such a hostile and combative way that everybody runs a mile. God calls us to be winsome

About Adrian Warnock

Adrian Warnock has been a blogger since April 2003, and a member of Jubilee Church, London since 1995, where he seves as part of the leadership team alongside Tope Koleoso.

Together they have written Hope Reborn - How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, published by Christian Focus.

Adrian is also the author of Raised With Christ - How The Resurrection Changes Everything, published by Crossway.

Read more about Adrian Warnock or connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

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  • Ed Stetzer
  • Dr Mike

    If I understand you, Doc, I think the kind of books you’re looking for is already out there: I’d start with Alister McGrath’s Christian Theoogy.

    But it is important, I think, to maintain a distinction between simple and simplistic: our faith – and the theology that is derived from it – is simple but hardly simplistic. I don’t know of a simplistic way, for example, to explore the mystery of the Incarnation. Certainly must of the jargon of some theologies can be done away with but the issues discussed will remain complex and at times incomprehensible.

  • Ed Stetzer

    “My pastor and I” makes me happy. ;-)

    • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

      Everybody makes typos….there was a real howler in something you kindly sent me recently on email my friend…but we found it and fixed it!

      • Ed Stetzer

        :-)

        • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

          Believe it or not you wrote “And, if your not….” Love you man! You are the best

          • Ed Stetzer

            Ha!

  • http://therapyncounseling.blogspot.com Sophia Reed

    I agree. There are some things I read are too complex or try to be too complex that it loses its focus completely. I think the main thing about preaching is to bring understanding to others on a particular area in Christianity, not confuse them.


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