When a non-theologian reads theology…

I had one of those unexpected but deeply encouraging messages from a guy in my church this past weekend- we’ll call him ‘Bill’ for the sake of identity protection! I’d loaned a short, but theologically rich book to Bill, because he was wrestling with a theological question and I thought it might help him (I should mention here that Bill almost certainly wouldn’t think of himself as ‘theologically minded’). Bill told me that he’d understood about 90% of it which, I thought, was pretty impressive for a self-confessed non-theologian. Later on Sunday afternoon I received a text from Bill to say that he’d posted the book through my letterbox, and this is what he went on to say…

Cheers again buddy, I think my biggest takeaway was the beauty of the atonement story and how God’s plan is that humanity takes part in creation’s redemption but, being part of the fallen creation and therefore evil, we were unable until Jesus defeated evil at the cross and was worthy to take the scroll as described in Revelation. Please don’t beat me with a bible for any theological mis-steps!

If that is a summary of the 90% then the 10% probably wasn’t worth it anyway!

What happens when a “non-theologian” like Bill reads theology? The Holy Spirit makes the past, present and future work of Jesus beautiful, the story of God’s salvation appear richer and bigger and humanity’s place in the drama clearer. I’d say that makes it worth the effort, wouldn’t you?

I told Bill that if he kept on like that I was more likely to ask him to preach than beat him with a bible! 



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