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Orphaned and Vulnerable Child in a Slum

“Because there is so much that needs to be done for orphans right now and so little time to do it, do we really have time for in-depth study of theology? Don’t get me wrong: theology is important, but do we really have time for theology right now?” ~From a concerned T4A reader

From time to time I hear comments similar to this one from good, passionate, well-meaning people. But as I wrote in Part 1, theology is much more than gathering facts about God and arranging them into a system of thought and belief.

Yes, theology is not less than true statements about God, but it is certainly qualitatively more than true statements about God. As James the New Testament writer says in James 2:19, “You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!” There are oceans more to theology than a collection of biblically gathered facts about God. Theology at its very best (and as it is intended to be) is ultimately our real participation in the mutual knowing and loving of the Father and the Son in the communion of the Spirit.

This is why I said that there are oceans more to theology than merely true statements about God. The study of theology and communion with the Triune God must go hand in hand. If I may speak figuratively, by becoming a man as we are, he has gently taken our hand into his that we may walk with him as he communes with our Father in the unity of the Spirit. Jesus lives that we might share in his communion with the Father. That’s exactly the kind of “study of theology” that God the Father, Son, and Spirit intend for us each day.

Jesus: The Theologian Extraordinaire

No one—absolutely no one—was and is more theological than the Son of God become man. He has forever known the Father through-and-through, even as he is and has been known by the Father.

For every tick-of-the-clock in eternity past the Son perfectly knew, communed with, and delighted in the Father. Remarkably, this is the Son who became man, who became incarnate and lived among us! By becoming the incarnate Son, Jesus brought his communion with and delight in the Father into the very world of men—into the very heart of our broken, devastated, and estranged world! That’s the good news of the Gospel that seems far too good to be true!

Suddenly (and unbelievably), loving communion with the Father became a very tangible and possible reality for fallen humanity. Never before—not even with Adam and Eve—had mankind ever known God the Father like the man Christ Jesus knew him (and knows him now and forever!). Jesus was a one-of-a-kind man! He alone is the true man.

Think About It This Way

Jesus was as deeply and profoundly theological as it is possible to be. No matter where in the infinite corridors of eternity you search for someone like the incarnate Son, you will never find anyone enjoying the same level and intensity of loving communion with the Father as much as he did and does. If ever there is someone who is without peer, it’s Jesus—well, except for the Father and the Spirit (both of whom, of course, share his same stratospheric, otherworldly level of communion in all its mind-blowing fullness)!

Prepare for Some Serious G-Forces Now

In light of all of this truth about Jesus, do you know what’s truly remarkable, although it really should not seem that remarkable to us? Nobody—and I mean absolutely nobody—cared for the poor, orphaned, and marginalized more than Jesus. Nobody. Period.

Rather than Jesus’ robust theology weakening his social engagement with and commitment to the outcast and neglected, his theology unceasingly fueled and sustained his social engagement. As such, Jesus is the truest of human beings! Through the Son’s incarnation, he became what we were and are supposed to be, and he became such for us and in our place so that we can become what he is (a renewed humanity in him)!

So What?

What must we learn from this? As orphan care advocates, one of the worst things we can do is neglect or overlook theology. If we do neglect it, we (and the orphans of this world) will be the poorer for it. But if we embrace theology as ones who live in vital union with this amazing Jesus in the unity of the Spirit of adoption, we (and the orphans we serve) will be the richer for it.

What orphans most need, then, is Christians who do not merely know a ton of true statements about God, but who by the power of the Gospel daily and freely participate in the mutual knowing and loving of the Father and the Son in the communion of the Spirit.

Join us for our October 4-5 national conference at Southern Seminary in Louisville (KY) as we take time to study theology for our sake and the benefit of orphaned and vulnerable children.

You may be especially have interest in joining us Thursday, October 3rd for Dr. Mike Reeves’ pre-conference event entitled, “Live in the Story: Enjoying the God Who is Love.” He’ll spend 3 hours plus unpacking these very thoughts. It would be time well spent and invested. Learn more about this pre-conference event with Dr. Mike Reeves.

Early-Bird Deadline 2013

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