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Mere Religion

During World War II, C.S. Lewis gave a series of talks on BBC radio.  These were later transcribed and compiled into the book we now know as Mere Christianity.  In these talks and book, Lewis attempted to boil our faith down into what is common between  everyone who claims to have faith in Christ, whether they are Baptist, Anglican, Methodist or any other vein or strain of Christianity.

What, though, if we took another path?  What if we explored what Mere Religion looks like?  For our purposes here, let’s define religion as what we do in our attempt to reach God.  In other words, Mere Religion is simply what man does in an attempt to gain God.  There are two ways that we achieve Mere Religion that I want to discuss further.

Mere Theology

The first is Mere Theology.  This is simply building a system that we believe will get us to Heaven.  There isn’t wrong with building a system.  The problem becomes when we begin to trust the system more than the One behind the system.  Then it becomes mere theology.  It is one of the pillars of Mere Religion.  It gives us tasks to do and a man-made discipline that gives our life direction.  The problem we face is where that path leads.

Mere Doctrine

Another component of Mere Religion is Mere Doctrine.  These are teachings.  The teachings can be fine, but the they not be complete.  They may be pulled out of context.  They could be used to control others.  Mere Doctrine lacks the Spirit of the God they are meant to teach us about.

Don’t misunderstand.  I love theology.  I love doctrine.  However, they are not the answer.  We have to ask ourselves, though, what the solution is.

Mere Satisfaction

What is the solution?

Seeking our satisfaction in the God who overrides the systems we create and the doctrines we follow.    Placing our faith and trust in Him, not in mere scaffolding that we surround Him with.  If our system leads us to the satisfaction that we can find in Him, then it has done its job, but it wasn’t the goal.  If our doctrine teaches of Him and leads us to a relationship with the Lord, then it is a success.  We simply cannot have a relationship with our doctrine.  Theology and doctrine must simply be a means to an end.  The end, of course, being our Lord.

What do you think of theology and doctrine?  Where do you seek your satisfaction?

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  1. February 12, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Can’t remember the quote exactly, so will try: “All Bible and no heart is legalism. All heart and no Bible is subjectivism. Bible and heart together is true faith.” That lacks I know but it says what I am thinking. Doing one at the expense of the other is dangerous. Molding the two together is what we need. Good message today Larry.

    • February 12, 2013 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Bill. I like to write about stuff I’m guilty of.

  2. Arny Sanchez
    February 12, 2013 at 9:16 am

    I think Theology and Doctrine are the different blood types of the body of Christ. In the end…it’s all Blood. No Different all working in the vains of the Body of Christ. the only blood clot I foresee is if for some reason, some types don’t proclaim Christ as son of God, dying for our sins and raising from the dead…. if this is the main core of belief…then…we are clot free…
    I don’t know if any of that made sense…lol…

    • February 12, 2013 at 10:12 am

      I see what you saying. Basically, what I’m saying is that focusing on those only causes us to miss the forest for the trees.

  3. February 12, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I love theology and doctrine when it helps me fall more in love with Jesus. I don’t think people would classify me as a specific type. For example Calvinist, reformed, emergent etc.

    • February 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

      Exactly what I mean, Rob. When it makes me love Him more, awesome. When I love those things for themselves, I’m in trouble.

  4. February 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    I like the way the Bible phrases this: Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. If we love knowledge for knowledge’s sake, look out! But if our doctrine, theology, hermeneutics, lead us closer to Christ, so much the better!

    As important as believing the right things is, even more so is walking in love (1 Cor. 13).

    Great post, Deuce!

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