The Longest Road In Life

Books have become an important part of my life. Ironically, I loathed reading growing up. I don’t remember reading a book from front to back until I was in college. In retrospect, what turned me on to books was the realization that within the heart of any book is an idea. And ideas are oddly addictive. I’ve grown to love books because I’ve grown to love ideas. Where my walls and shelves were once empty, I now possess bookshelves plush with thoughts. The overwhelming majority of these thoughts, are thoughts about God.

Theology is exciting for many different reasons. However, one thing in particular that makes theology exciting is that theology matters. Not only does it matter in the grand scheme of things, it matters at every moment of our lives. Theology matters because it ultimately should change the way that we relate to God.

The way we relate to God is consequently tied to our idea of God.

There is nothing more important than these things.

From time to time, as I walk into my office and see shelf upon shelf of books about God, I’ve been struck with a familiar frustration—perhaps even slight depression—at the sight of the theological books that I’ve accumulated over the years. Hundreds of great minds conversing with one another, some in concert, some in opposition, but all of them sharing ideas about the most important matters in life. Yet every now and them, I meet them with contempt.

“Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves…” (James 1:22)

When theology begins to frustrate me, it is almost always because I have become merely a hearer of the word of God, and not doer. When this happens, I’m in love with the ideas about God, but perhaps I’m not actually in love with God. It’s a parasitic mentality to bask in the excitement of theology but repel the object from which the enjoyment radiates from. Like pretending to love someone simply because they offer you attention or sex. There is bound to be serious dysfunction eventually. So in the case of theology: the mind can become fattened with knowledge, while the heart is starving from a lack of application.

The longest road in life is from the head to the heart.[1]

Theology is a most worthy enterprise. It is vital to the Christian life, and should be cherished as an intellectual pursuit. However, it must not remain a mere intellectual pursuit. Therefore, as you expand your theological library with beautiful and exciting thoughts about God, remember that the proper place for theology is not simply the head, but also the heart.

[1] Quote attributed to Ravi Zacharias.

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