Theology, Black no Sugar

It seems many in my generation cannot appreciate the flavor of coffee. In previous generations and in other cultures coffee was/is fully enjoyed. But here the "yuk" response seems dominant. And Starbucks doesn’t count. In fact, it proves my point. Coffee is only enjoyed after is has been overcome with crème, sugar, cocoa, whipped cream and sprinkles. This taste-deficiency goes far beyond coffee into much of our American diet. Part of the problem is that we have sold out for the easiest flavor. Sugary sweetness baby. Sugar is easy, everyone likes it, and it's cheap. So we overload our diet with sugar and wind up loosing the ability to perceive and appreciate nuances of other spices and flavors. Truly tasting and appreciating food and drink seems to have fallen on hard times. This is sad, because God has created so many different things for us to smell, taste and enjoy. And we miss out because we have settled for less. I think we tend to do the same thing with our faith. We settle for one or two aspects of God's character that are more palatable, and give up on the other aspects of God that are harder to understand.

Some live on a diet of that famous five course meal, and while good, there is much more to God, truth and the Christian life than the Dishes of Dordt. Some live on the constant intake of God's love. Others wont try anything new on the menu because their favorite is God's holiness. You get the idea. Other paradoxical truths get the "yuk" response.

Here’s the problem. When all you know is sugar, you not only have a hard time appreciating other spices and flavors, but you also lose the ability to truly appreciate sugar. Sugar must be tasted in measure and contrasted with things bitter. The same goes for our faith. When all we know is one limited area, it stunts our appreciation of God and his Gospel in all of its fullness.

So what? So how about stretching ourselves to understand more of what God has revealed? How about reading more broadly (with discernment). Some need to put down James White, and start reading Henry Scudder. A few need to put down 40 Days of Whatever and begin working through The Institutes of the Christian Religion. And some should put down the Puritans and read some modern/postmodern guys who write of the same faith, but in different ways. Some need to study areas long neglected where one cannot rest on the accumulated knowledge of familiar topics to make themselves feel at ease.

If we don't do this we wind up neglecting "the whole counsel of God," and develop a weak faith. But if we work at a more biblical/holistic faith that can appreciate all aspects of God and his word, even the truths we now embrace become more satisfying. Where to start? I guess it depends on where you are. But I believe most of us need to work at developing a taste for more than is currently in our theological diet. Oh, and while you're at Starbucks, try a cup of Fair Trade Coffee, no sugar.