“It is truly amazing how many Christians watch every trend in religious circles and pick up on every wrinkle in pop religion the same way immature young people swoon over fashions.” – Dr. Charles T. Crabtree
Strong words, but there’s a lot of truth there. I doubt if I’m the only one who’s heard an otherwise sharp and respectable young Christian leader (or old, for that matter) intentionally revamp his vocabulary to accommodate the latest leadership, theology, or church model buzz words.
But I see how it happens. I am in the habit of frequenting biblioblogs (blogs that focus on Biblical studies). I don’t have the theological background that any of those guys have, but thinking about and interacting with the issues they discuss is a good exercise for me. It keeps me thinking.
I have noticed, though, the tendency to feel like I ought to study what they study and read what they read, so I can be “in the know.” I feel somehow ignorant or backward if I can’t intelligently discuss the latest theological debates between the most popular or notable scholars.
Are theological trends that come and go really going to affect my relationship with God or my ability to share the gospel with others? Of course not—I feel pressure to keep up simply because I have chosen to enter that world.
It is great to be well read. There are a lot of smart Christian leaders who are passionate about Jesus and have great insights and ideas. But none of them have the answer. Wrestling with what I believe the Bible says about God is important. But I am not a theologian—I am a wife and a mom who writes a Christian living blog and teaches the Bible. I need to obey Jesus, get to know Him better, and love others.
Let’s not lose our heads over the latest trends in Christian culture. It will probably be just as embarrassing to look back on as that funny double-curled bangs hairdo I had in the late eighties. The Bible and a good dose of common sense are our greatest defense against getting too caught up in the non-essentials.