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Biblical doctrine: the academic approach vs. the spiritual warfare approach

Theologians who take an academic approach to biblical doctrine usually are wildly off-the-mark (i.e. usually liberal to some degree, often a great degree); but even Reformed theologians who do not profess an obvious liberal approach in public, and who also take an academic approach can be subtly off-the-mark, and usually in ways they can't even see in themselves.

They usually are just a degree shy of mocking the notion of the supernatural existing in any way. They mock the supernatural unconsciously, but publicly they manage to control themselves. Or all of that is usually half conscious at best as it manifests in them.

They usually gravitate towards a practical deism as well. Any notion of supernatural regeneration, of a 'living' word (they see all text as mere text), of any kind of workings of the Holy Spirit, of individuals being temples of the Holy Spirit, this all embarrasses them and makes them apologetic to their academic friends that stupid evangelicals would even believe in such nonsense.

The true approach to biblical doctrine is not an academic approach but a spiritual warfare approach.

The spiritual warfare approach to biblical doctrine sees on-the-mark biblical doctrine as being actual armor of God. It sees biblical doctrine as what determines our very state and ability to stand and fight and endure in the spiritual realm which is the spiritual battlefield.

When you approach biblical doctrine as spiritual warfare it changes everything. It changes how you discern doctrine. It changes how you value doctrine. It changes how you sift sources and teachers. For instance, number and kinds of degrees of learning hanging on a person's wall and the reputation of the institution of higher education they attended is meaningless to a person who approaches biblical doctrine as spiritual warfare. Custer was a West Point grad.

Approaching biblical doctrine as spiritual warfare also changes how you engage in the process of learning biblical doctrine itself. You are not interested in endless debate (or conversation and dialogue) which inevitably leads to moving in novel directions. You are actively looking for *terminal knowledge and terminal understanding* of doctrine because it is your *armor* on the spiritual battlefield.

And lo and behold the Bible presents terminal knowledge and terminal understanding of the doctrine it presents. It gives you the full, real armor of God.

The academic approach knows nothing of this. Those who take the spiritual warfare approach know it is everything.


Anonymous monax said...

this is good, ct, i appreciate what you wrote here, thank you!

February 25, 2014 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger c.t. said...

Thanks for the kinds comments, David. I know what I write is uneven, outside the box, and finds difficultly in using fully language I know from extra-biblical sources (mixing languages is a problem), so it's encouraging back in my direction to get kind comments from you.

Oh, yeah, my language is often a bit unrefined and over-emotional... I should probably do that thing where you write something then you let it set for a couple of hours, then you edit it or post it as is, or don't post it at all.

February 25, 2014 at 7:12 PM  

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