Tune My Heart

Living and speaking for Jesus

Tag: Mike Reeves

Theology is the revolution

Mike Reeves helps explain what theology is, in the context of Judges 6:25-28 (quoted from DIY Theology):

Theology is smashing up idols – smashing up the idols in our mind and in our world. And not just smashing them up but replacing them with (v26) proper kinds of altars to the Lord our God: replacing them all with Jesus Christ. So the story here is: Gideon is surrounded by the idolatry of the Midianite regime. and he begins the revolution against it by bulldozing Baal. And that is theology! It’s not just reading books, studying languages, whatever: it is about rebelling against the world order, not just the Midianites little regime, rebelling against the whole world order as it rebels against God. Rebelling against it, bringing down the system, utterly replacing it: that is theology. Theology is the revolution.

Our culture defines faith as being irrational, worthy of ridicule, something to be hated, to be discarded so we can stop worrying and enjoy our lives, but above all as dangerous, nonsensical falsehood. This is the sermon our culture preaches to us, which we absorb unconsciously. Faced with these lies, what are we to do? We turn to the one who speaks truth with authority – the Lord Jesus. Reeves again:

Christian theology is about clearing out all the junk in our minds that we’ve accumulated through years of just listening to the world, and replacing it with truth. It’s putting on the mind of Christ and so sifting out the lies in our culture. It’s washing our brains with the Mediator, rather than being brainwashed by the media.

God is a God who speaks. Ultimately, he has spoken to us “by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he also made the universe” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Without God’s revelation of himself, we can’t know what is true. But God has revealed himself through Jesus: eternally God the Son has been making his Father known in the power of the Spirit, and he continues to do so today.

Theology is the “true research: as we re-search reality afresh in the light of how God has revealed it to be”; “It’s walking through life with a torch on. It’s refusing to drift with the zeitgeist”. The world is constantly bombarding us with its own truth, but it doesn’t describe reality. The Bible tells us what’s really real. It shapes how we look at the world, and speaks into every part of life. We see ourselves as we really are . Above all, we see who the God of the universe really is. And when we see more of him – our Truine God, always good, gracious and generous, over-flowing with love – we find our love for him grows and our lives are transformed.

It turns out that not only is theology incredibly practical, it’s incredibly exciting too.

(Read more by Mike Reeves: Fear and Loathing in Las Vagueness. Also related: Talking to yourself. Originally posted 23rd March 2009, revised and updated 7th May 2013.)

Top five Christian books of 2012

Here’s what are probably the best Christian books I’ve read this year. Honourable mentions go to Justin Martyr’s Dialogue with Trypho and Steve Levy’s Bible Overview for getting me thinking about the Old Testament more.

  1. The Good God – Michael Reeves. This seems to have been many people’s pick of the year, and with good reason. Mike’s introduction to the Trinity shows clearly how the life of God as Father, Son and Spirit is an overflowing goodness that brings light and life to us and the whole world. He writes such lively prose that you can’t help but imagine him chuckling to himself with joy as he writes. It’s a book about delighting in the Trinity that is itself delightful.
  2. The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness – Tim Keller. I reviewed this for 10ofthose back in January, where I said it left me convicted about my pride, convinced of the joy that “thinking of ourselves less” brings, and rejoicing in the power of the gospel to transform lives. My small group are getting copies of this as (belated) Christmas presents. It’s short, cheap, and packs a gospelicious punch far above its size and price.
  3. A New Name – Emma Scrivener. Emma’s wonderfully honest and witty blog has probably given me more articles to email to friends than any other website, so I was very excited to get hold of this book. Her auto-biography is a remarkable testimony to the grace of God through the ordeal of anorexia, and should be required reading for anyone whose friends struggle with eating disorders, negative body image, depression, OCD, or sin (so that’s everyone, then).
  4. Thoughts for Young Men – J. C. Ryle. Ryle was a bishop in the 19th century, but he could have written this book directly to young men in the 21st. A sterling call for young men to turn to Christ, and not be ensnared by the world. I want to study this book with other young men so that we can exhort each other as Ryle exhorts his readers. Short, simple and wonderful to read.
  5. The Meaning of Marriage – Tim and Kathy Keller. There are many books on marriage that single people either shouldn’t or don’t need to read. This is not one of them. I can’t speak for marrieds, but this is highly recommended for singles – particularly those who view marriage with rose-tinted glasses, or who are looking for a perfect partner, or simply wondering what marriage is all about.

Fiction and other books here.

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