Theology Is Not a Luxury Item

| January 28, 2016

Should we teach Greek and Hebrew to young pastors in the villages of Outer Mongolia? Should church leaders in the middle of the Amazon basin wrestle with issues of definite atonement, covenant theology, or church polity? Do villagers in the Serengeti need to understand the difference between person and essence, and be warned of the dangers of Arianism?

I suspect many who’d argue in principle that robust theological education is crucial to the ongoing health and faithfulness of a church belie that view by their actions. Instead, we often settle for a bare-bones version of the gospel and underequip fledgling churches.

Why We Don’t

Far too often, the weight and pressure of life drag us away from our principles into a functional position of pure pragmatics. That pressure only increases as you move into places without any established church or tradition.

When you’ve spent years pouring into a people group and all you have to show for it is a marginal number of conversions and a sputtering church that struggles to grasp evangelism amid a hostile culture, the idea of teaching more robust doctrine might feel laughable.

Not only is teaching this kind of stuff difficult in such an environment, there’s the niggling feeling it isn’t really relevant in this context…

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