To the Unknown God: Why Theology is so Crucial to Worship
Theology is like walking into an enormous arena which is enveloped in suffocating darkness. While our eyes are adjusting we can only barely make out what seems to be a large object at the center of the room. As we feel for some way to gain our bearings in the blackness, we stumble across a massive panel of switches. We flick just one on, and watch in awe as the spotlight illuminates just one small section of this large object. From what we can see we obviously are impressed at the magnitude and the quality of this fixture. Eager to discover the rest of the object, we begin to flick on the switches. Each bears to light a new impressive facet which had not been uncovered from the shadows. In this way we learn of the glory of the Holy One. Oh that we could see with perfect illumination, not as in a glass, nature of the glory of God. But alas, everyone who is born of God has some facets of the glory of God uncovered for the awe and recognition, but none all. We all are spectators of God’s nature; but each of us has only a partial knowledge of it. Even with only four or five spotlights turned on, we all acknowledge the unsurpassable greatness of his glory. Yet, partial knowledge, as awesome as it is, is the root of our problem. We in our immaturity are either prone to be ignorant of the multifaceted nature of God or to under appreciate the weight of the glory of God’s theology in our lives. Both sins characterize our day. It has been said, that every problem is a theological one. The imperative for every Christian then, is to “see him as he is.” This means to both grow in knowledge and awareness of the very personality and character of God and to recognize his claims. The danger as always is that we might overemphasize one aspect or dimension of God’s character at the expense of another.
Every Wednesday inevitably, our youth group at Slater Baptist Church sings a chorus song that extols the impeccable holiness of God. While I appreciate and encourage the fervor of the song I can’t help thinking how hollow the words ring coming from our mouths. I can’t help but wonder at the dreary and restricted view that we have of that particular aspect of God. And we wonder why sin seems so jocular and trite in our eyes. We know nothing of King Agag, or children with their mothers dashed in pieces. Have we forgotten to teach of David’s curses or of Elisha’s holy wrath? Or has the godless religion of tolerance and liberalism so invaded our hearts to leave us spineless with the deception that God merely winks at sin. How I hate the thought. To rob God of his wrath, robs the very glory from his grace. I cannot know the glory of the cross except through to furor of his wrath. It is my prayer that the church of today would continue to be strong in his word so that it may know the God it worships. We all worship him as we know him. Oh that the church would know and fear… and then it could love his mercy.
1Cor. 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.