Two years ago, I wrote a post called “People love explanations.” There’s a tendency among all people to dismiss anything that falls outside of their own explanation – especially their own explanation of God. (Of course, often that understanding of God is actually based on someone else’s explanation.)
We do love our explanations… our understandings… sometimes, it seems, we love our explanations and understandings more than we love God himself. But, then, I could be wrong.
People like explanations. They like to explain things and have things explained to them.
When it comes to “theology” – what we think about God, which would include what we think about ourselves, others, and the world around us – we really, really like to have things explained to us. Unfortunately, Scripture doesn’t always explain things the way that we want them explained.
So, we explain them. Or, our favorite theologian or author or professor explains the things. Usually – almost always – we must go beyond what Scripture actually says in order to explain things in a way that is satisfactory. If not, things just seem… ummm… unexplained.
That’s fine. It’s good to think about things and try to understand. Of course, our explanations are probably wrong. We are imperfect creatures. But, still, we want things explained to us, or we want to explain them ourselves, and so we go about explaining things.
The problem comes along when someone else explains something in a different manner than the way that we explain them. It doesn’t matter that both explanations are interpolations and extrapolations of Scripture combined with our favorite philosophy and tradition. We like our explanation and so the other person’s explanation must be wrong… more wrong that our explanation certainly.
And, thus, we disagree, and label, and attack, and separate… over our explanations.
But, we love explanations. And, making everyone accept our explanation is what being a follower of Jesus is all about… right?