Theology is Theory

No matter what theological conclusions you might have come to over your lifetime, one of the most important factors to remember is that theology is just theory. Whether you believe in biblical literalism and inerrancy or a more figurative method of interpreting Scripture, whether you lean towards a pre-trib/pre-mil rapture or towards an amillennial eschatology, whether you think that God is a triune set of persons or think that He is actually just one being manifesting in different forms, and even whether you are convinced that non-believers will suffer forever in hell or are sure that everyone will eventually make it to heaven, we all have to realize that any of us could be wrong about any of these subjects because in the end there’s no way to know with absolute certainty that what we believe is true.

Even if an angel or a being claiming to be God appeared before you telling you that “this particular doctrine is absolutely true,” you can’t know that this entity is being entirely truthful, and even if said being wasn’t lying, you very well might be confused about what it was that you were told actually meant.

It might sound like I’m calling for agnosticism here, and you’d be absolutely right, except that you might be confused here as well because agnosticism is not necessarily what you think it is. To be agnostic doesn’t mean that one has to reject all forms of spiritual belief. Rather, to be agnostic about theological claims can simply mean that one is humble enough to admit that one can’t know things for certain that can’t be proven and recognizing that one might actually be wrong about their metaphysical ideas.

So embrace your faith, but have the humility of the agnostic. Proclaim your doctrinal views, but do so with the understanding that you might have it all wrong and may one day have to admit to everyone that you no longer believe as you once did. I’ve had to do this more than a few times in my life and it’s taught me to be much more careful about just how dogmatic I am when discussing what is ultimately nothing more than theory.