On the left we have the atheistic fool who claims there is no God. On the right we have something more diabolical, the religious tyrant. The left is driven by a feminine spirit. The right is driven by a masculine spirit. We often talk about left wing tyranny, the tyranny of fools, because it is the tyranny du jour. But in Jesus’s day and throughout most of history it has been a masculine spirit of oppressive religiously empowered tyranny that has dominated the world. The people are controlled by religious dogma in the hands of the enlightened, learned “wise men” and theologians. The particular theology does not matter; what matters is the dominating masculine spirit.
Do you see a man wise in his own eyes?
There is more hope for a fool than for him. – Proverbs 26:12
Such is the case of the theologian. None of the disciples chosen by Jesus were theologians. Most were simple fishermen and laborers, Jesus, a carpenter himself, one was even a tax gatherer viewed by the theologians as the worst kind of sinner. It was an extremely zealous theologian that doggedly persecuted the early Christians and stood in approval at the stoning of Stephen. This theologian would soon be knocked off his high horse and blinded by Jesus who would show him, for the rest of his life how much he must suffer for His name.
The Scripture I shared last week (Matthew 22:41-46) is most appropriate. For years and years the theologians of the day, the Pharisees (in power) and Sadducees (out of power), had been dogmatically teaching the theology that the Christ is David’s son. I’m sure all the people could recite well this “undeniable and unchangeable” theology, delivered by the learned people of the time, the Pharisees, steeped in biblical understanding. (Why are you mocking the Pharisees? – Yes). But in clinging to this half truth, Jesus knew that they would miss the coming Messiah, who was something much more than David’s son but was in fact the Son of God.
It was the theologians that missed their Messiah. It was theologians that demanded Him to be crucified. It was theologians that concocted a lie concerning Jesus’s resurrection. It was the theologians, the teachers of the law, who knew not the Author of the law, or perceived the Spirit of the law. It is the theologians that are the “hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” (Matt 23:15)
The Tangent College is not a pusher of particular theological positions. I perceive it as a Christian think tank where we reason through the Scriptures together, learning from each other’s experiences in the real world, the empirical evidence, which we then compare, again using reason, with the stories of the people in the Bible.
The Bible is a book of stories about people and their interactions with God and other people. None of it was written by a theologian, nor to theologians, or in a theological manner (wouldn’t that be a torturous slog?). One was a former theologian who called his former theology “dung”. Almost all of it is written indirectly, from a human perspective, rather than God speaking directly. They are meant to be read as stories and compared with other stories and contrasted with our lives until lessons are learned and understanding comes. Much of it is poetic and it is to be spiritually discerned. It is better interpreted by an artist, or a fisherman, than by a theologian. It is not a mystical code of words to be deciphered and manipulated in order to advance an accepted ideology. God will not be confined to a theological spreadsheet. God inspired the scriptures to be deliberately ambiguous in order that, “While seeing they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven”(Mark 4:12), and to hide from the wise and intelligent what is revealed to babes. Matt 11:25 The key to understanding anything is humility.
The fool may one day stumble upon the Truth and open his eyes but the Truth is hidden, by God, from the Pharisee, the theologian, and the man wise in his own eyes.