The Ember Days’ More Than You Think has not left my earbuds since I started listening to it a few months ago. It gets better and better with each listen. The entirety of the album contains some incredible lyrics, but there is one line in one of my favorite songs, “Real Jesus”, that deserves to be written about, mainly because I can relate to the people who might be put off by what it says.
The God who is bigger than my ideas
Bigger than man’s theology
If heaven’s my home why don’t I live free
‘Cause there’s Jesus in me.
At first blush, I honestly took this as a slam on theology. When you have friends and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who downplay the vital importance and wealth that comes from it, you can tend to see “The God who is … bigger than man’s theology” in a negative light. But, upon further reflection, is this statement not profoundly true? And, even better, doesn’t this statement actually promote the study of theology? (Note: before reading onward, know that these are my own personal thoughts and The Ember Days may completely disagree with me.)
Any student of theology, philosophy, or apologetics knows that while those disciplines can be mentally draining, they can also be extremely filling as well. Christ has commanded us to love Him with all of our minds, and since theology is a discipline that directly studies God, it is an expression of loving Christ when we Him. Speaking from personal experience, the direct study of sound and biblical theology is a great refresher to my relationship with Christ because it enlarges my understanding of Christ and who He is, what He has done, what He is like, and more. But, our studies of theology will never lead to a complete understanding of God. There will be some elements of theology that are mysteries and will remain mysteries to the human mind. Regardless, the rich meat of deep theological study expands our understanding of God, even though he is still bigger than our minds can grasp after a lifetime of feasting on rich theological food. Through the discipline of learning about, studying, and understanding God – and there is much that we can understand about Him through the work of sound theologians – we understand that not even the biggest, deepest, most intellectually robust understanding of God fully comprehends all that there is to know about Him. What a great joy that we can never fully and completely comprehend and understand God!
Knowing that God is bigger than my theology encourages me to study sound theology all the more. It means that however big a picture or understanding of God that I get through my studies, God is still greater than it all. What follower of Christ doesn’t want to know Him more? Study theology so that you can know Him more – and then praise Him for the fact that there is still more to know about Him!