Pastors and Prophets | Sojourners

Pastors and Prophets

Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out that the first question Satan asked Eve during the temptation in the Garden of Eden was a theological question. Satan asked if God really meant what he said about not eating the forbidden fruit, or if he might have meant something else.

Every student of theology would do well to reflect upon Bonhoeffer's perceptive observation. The study of theology has its value in revealing the meaning of our faith. But, at the end of your formal theological study, it is important to adopt a measure of humility about your endeavors. We must recognize that the process of theology must always flow from our faith. Theological inquiry is the evidence of faith, rather than its cause.

The study of Satan's temptation of Eve also reminds us that there is nothing necessarily "sacred" about theology. When our theology grows out of our faith, it will unveil new truths and insights about God's encounter with his world and with us as individuals.

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