Thursday, October 14, 2010

Theology as a Spiritual Ability, 2

"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all" (Mark 10:15)

Continuing from yesterday, Mueller in Christian Dogmatics continues that the Spirit - not universities (!) - makes theologians:
Our Lutheran dogmaticians have rightly emphasized the great truth that 'the theologian is not born, but made.' (Theologus non nascitur, sed fit.) By this axiom they wished to say that not man by nature is a theologian nor can become a theologian by his own reason or strength. Theology is a God-given habitude. (Theologia est habitus practicus θεόσδοτος.) Hence the Holy Spirit Himself must make a person a theologian. (p. 86)
And why must the Holy Spirit Himself make a theologian?
As a matter of fact, Christian theology is not a speculative system of philosophy, the substance of which lies within human intellectual comprehension; but it is 'the wisdom of God in a mystery,' 1 Cor. 2,7. (The meaning of Paul's statement is evidently: 'In speaking the wisdom of God, we proclaim a mystery.') For this reason a childlike faith in God's Word is essential no less to the Christian theologian than to the ordinary Christian believer. A theologian is a Christian theologian only inasmuch as he implicitly believes in Christ and unconditionally accepts His Word. (p. 30)
What a subversive truth in a Church so often enchanted by the tier of of "lettered" teachers! No author or professor - irrespective of the number of PhD's, books, and storied-institutions which follow his name - is a theologian who does not come to the Word of God with the trembling eagerness of a child. Such humility cannot be professionally forged or academically achieved, it must come from the work of God in the carnal heart. And so we say, with all authority, "the Holy Spirit Himself must make a person a theologian."

Tomorrow, Mueller will help us address the especially relevant question, is there a theologia irregenitorum? (Trust me, you have asked this question).


  1. Great quotes, Steve. Thanks for reading and summarizing! Without rushing to google the Latin, I am guessing the answer is 'no', or just possibly James 2:19.

  2. Yes, "No" would be an acceptable answer. Thanks for stopping-by, Gordon, appreciate your work - and others - at the Briefing. Press on.