In Reformed Theology, I have certainly found the missing pieces to my faith that my upbrining was never able to supply. That has been a great blessing! However, in my Arminian past was the experience of a warm and sensitive piety on the part of many, that at times I find appallingly absent from the Reformed Christians that I know today.
As in most things, we tend as humans to opperate at the polar extremes of issues rather than at the fulcrum. When it comes to our understanding of Theology (our understanding of God), this should not be the case. A proper Theology should without question lead to a proper Doxlogy. Praise and Godly living should spring not from a superficial view of morality, but a intimate understanding of the person, nature and revelation of God which we have in His breathed-out Word.
Reformed Theology is THE best expression of a Biblical Theology. But sadly for many in Reformed circles, it is an understanding that lies dormant in the head and never informs the heart. Arminian theology (and all its derivatives) is THE worst expression of Biblical Theology. Ironically, it’s the Arminian’s man-centeredness that translates into living moral and pious lives out of fear of what others might think about them if they don’t. This should be just the other way around.
What should drive me to live a Godly life with warm piety, wise liberty, sacrificial service to others, self discipline, and graciousness and love towards other brothers and sisters as well as the weak, is the fear of the Lord, not the fear of man. Nowhere in Scripture is this made clearer than in 2 Peter 3.
2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. Peter commands that his readers grow in the knowledge of Christ, or as one lexicon renders it, the science of our Lord. That is what theology is, the study or science of God. Immediately after issuing this command, Peter heads straight for theology’s necessary end; the glory (doxa – doxology), praise of God.
I encourage all you Reformed readers of this blog to take what you know and what you are learning and let it inform the practice of your day to day life. That is the purpose of growing in the grace and knowledge of God. It is that combination (Good Theology, Apparent Doxology) that makes the Reformed faith as beautiful and soul satisfying as it is. It is in this proper combination that the Arminian is attracted to, perhaps for the first time, the consideration of God as He actually presents Himself in His Word.