Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Watered down theology

I'm currently reading the book "Building Strong Families" that is a compilation of several great authors: John Piper, Wayne Grudem, Dennis Rainey, and more. The chapter I'm reading now is "The Husband as Prophet, Priest, and King." To give you a preface, since the husband serves as the head of the household, he must likewise serve in the same ways as Christ served the church; prophet, priest, and king.

While most husbands choose not to go into vocational ministry or receive a doctorate in theology, whether they realize it or not, God has chosen them to be the resident theologians within our homes. Therefore, as wives if we are not clear on a doctrinal belief, we should be able to freely discuss the questions with our husbands and expect a sound answer.

Now I realize that not every man is interested in theology, nor do they always know the answer themselves, but every believer (male and female) is instructed to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. . " (1 Peter 3:15). Additionally, Paul writes, "If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home..." (1 Corinthians 14:35). Douglas Wilson, Reforming Marriage, writes "The tragedy is that many modern women have to wonder why the Bible says they should have to ask their husbands. . . . a husband must be prepared to answer his wife’s doctrinal questions, and if he cannot, then he must be prepared to study so that he can remedy the deficiency."

The quote that made me literally say "Ouch" out loud after I read it however was this:

"Wilson astutely observes that husbands are to blame for the theological breakdown in the church today. “The evangelical world,” he writes, “is throwing away its theological heritage because of doctrinal faithlessness in Christian homes. It is true that pulpits across our country are filled with a swamp and morass of anecdotes, sentimentalist yawp, yippy-skippy worship, and make-it-up-as-you-go-along theology; but the heads of Christian homes have been willing to have it so. As the expectations for men in the evangelical world have gotten lower, men have not objected—they have breathed a sigh of relief.”

Ouch again. seems even more convicting with each time I read it. Now please don't misunderstand my reasoning behind this post. It was not meant to bash our husbands, create contempt, etc. It was meant to establish and affirm the importance of our husbands being the prophets or resident theologians within our homes.

As wives though, I don't think we can completely let ourselves off the hook either. How many times have I simply gone to a Christian website to research a topic without asking my husband first? And while I'm not saying that our husband's take is the only one we should seek, I am saying that we should come to them first with our questions. How many times have I unintentionally not allowed him to rightly take his place as prophet within the home? By going to our husbands first, I do think that that will only foster confidence and challenge them to up their theological game.

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