As stated in my “About Me” page, I’m a professional software tester. Software testers by nature don’t like gray areas; gray areas are where bugs live. We, as testers, tend to see things only in black and white. It either works or it doesn’t; it fulfills requirements or it doesn’t. Gray areas only exist because there is insufficient information preventing us from seeing the complete picture.
Christianity has been around for some two thousand years but we still struggle to see the complete picture—this is by design. God hasn’t revealed all the pieces of the puzzle; but He has given us enough information to see the big picture. Many of the details remain hidden and probably will be forever. However, He has given us enough detail so that we don’t get lost in a sea of contradiction and error. The only way to stay on course is to follow the spec; the spec in this case is the Bible and in order to stay on course you need to understand what it says.
But what does the Bible really say? Obviously, it’s not a simple answer since according to various postings on the Web, and if it’s on the Web it must be true, there are some 40,000 different Christian denominations who all interpret the spec in different ways. So then, which denominational teachings should you follow, or should you follow any?
It’s no secret that denominations exist because of doctrinal differences and they continue to exist because of tradition. You know the saying: “We’ve always done it that way.” If you factor out the doctrinal differences, what should be left is biblical truth in its lowest common denominator. The Bible refers to this simplicity as being the milk of the Word, whereas, the deep things of God are referred to as the meat of the Word. Congregations fed mostly milk get lazy and can easily get caught up in the ways of the world. Whereas, congregations fed the deep things of God develop a firm biblical belief system and are less likely to be tossed to and fro on those seas of contradiction and error.
So how does one get to the meat? Well, first you have to be willing to go beyond the simple gospel message. You need to take the initiative and go further. I believe it’s unwise to rely of your pastor, Sunday school teacher, televangelist, or anyone else to do it for you. God will enable you to understand, but first you have to be engaged. Can you see the parallel between many contemporary Christians and the doctors of the Law whom Jesus once criticized for not knowing what was in the Law?
It is my intention to use this blog as a forum for those who would rather have the meat not just the milk; and where the deep things of God can be studied and discussed. That is not to say this will be a platform for proposing a new gospel—far be it, but many things posted here may sound new to a lot of believers. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised to find many non-Christians reading and commenting on this blog. In fact, I welcome readers of all religious persuasions.
For those IT professionals out there, you may or may not be aware that Donald Knuth, Professor Emeritus of the Art of Computer Programming at Stanford University, has written two books on Christian theology: 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated and Things A Computer Scientist Rarely Talks About. In his book 3:16, he provided his own Bible translations for the 59 verses he examined. He did this without knowing any Greek or Hebrew! How did he do it? I’ll discuss this subject in an upcoming post. My point here is that, while Knuth wasn’t the first, a precedent has been established for scientists, including mathematicians and computer scientists, to venture out of their areas of expertise in order to dabble in theology. While I’m not in the same league as Knuth or the others, I believe my views on theology are interesting also.
Since the following core doctrinal areas are essential for anyone interested in establishing their own biblical belief system, I plan to cover these areas in depth.
- Sin and The Fall
- Free will
- Godhead or Trinity
- God’s Image
- God and the gods
- Heaven and Hell
- The Tribulation and Rapture
- The Antichrist
All posts will be listed under the Theology and/or Politics categories. At present, my posting routine is indeterminate. However, I’ll try to post as frequently as my schedule allows.
So, I trust that by now you have some idea of where I’m coming from. If so, then enough with the introduction; let’s get on with the ruminations!
August 22, 2013