Old Stuff – Subjecting Logic to Scripture

January 3, 2009 — Leave a comment

I found some old posts from the family blog that I thought I would re-run here, so here’s the first from April of 2007.

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As I have continued to engage Systematic Theology, I have realized how my questioning of the process of salvation, or any other doctrinal matter, tends to be from an attitude of skepticism over Scriptural authority, not out of confidence in it. Confident acceptance of biblical authority leads to questions of understanding the mechanics of what is presented in Scripture and teasing out ideas first gleaned from the Word. Prideful skepticism challenges the statements found within Scripture to be proven true, and ultimately holds the logic of man as the highest authority. If it doesn’t make sense to me, how can it be true? The better question is, this is true, how can I make sense of it? This is probably a revelation that many people I am around have at a much earlier time, but I guess I’m just a little behind the curve.

I think the impetus for my approach of skepticism is somewhat ingrained in our generational culture’s psyche.  We’ve been trained in the Postmodern age to approach everything from a hermeneutic of doubt, as opposed to the hermeneutic of trust of our parents’ generation.  I think the balance lies somewhere in the middle, while at the same time remaining utterly confident in the faithfulness and truth of God.  The process for me consists of rooting out the unfaithfulness in my heart which leads to doubt in God’s revealed Word, whereas some others need to be impelled to critically examine doctrine that it might lead to heart change.

Another revelation that has become painfully obvious through my study and teaching of the subject is our woeful lack of biblical knowledge as an American church.  With the resources a layman has at his or her fingertips, it is almost deplorable the level of ignorance which exists, of which I am a chief example.  I am perfectly well trained to explain the finer details of Quantum Theory, Chemical Reaction Kinetics, and other such things, but only competent in the rudimentary basics of biblical exposition and theological discourse.  I wonder if both culturally and personally, two things are at work here: 1. Due to the extraordinary proliferation and availability of information, our/my actual comprehension of Scripture and Theological material has declined because “Google can find it” and we/I have become lazy as a result of the extraordinary tools available, and 2.  Teaching sound doctrine has become so devalued that we don’t even know what it is any more.  I’m learning to repent of my ingnorance and indolence daily.

Anyway, these are just a few random wanderings of my mind, feel free to leave a comment…

Todd Engstrom

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Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth. God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

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