Friday, 07 September 2012
"Theology is simply the part of religion that requires brains."
-- G.K. Chesterton
I don't know why any reader might want to click read this post. Maybe the reader doesn't know what "theology" means? Or maybe other readers are looking for fresh controversy against a religious person. But what I really want to write about is how theology has influenced my teaching philosophy.
"What?", you may object, thinking how ridiculous that the study of God (or theology) could affect my behaviour as a teacher.
Well I guess it depends on where we draw strength from. And God knows how draining teaching can be. In addition to classroom activities, teachers have mark assessments, conduct remedials, implement discipline strategies, attend meetings, plan for eminent events and organise co-curricular activities. Teaching can be more than a job -- in fact it can be a lifestyle.
One of my friends commented that if we tell ourselves that we can do it, we will eventually treat it as truth. If what he says is true, then his strength comes from his ability to delude himself. It may sound great and mighty on paper, but I suspect he knows deep down inside that it is a very unsteady foundation.
Well-intentioned as he is, I do wonder if he is under a lot of pressure. I would not be surprised, since his worldview is solely dependant on himself. When he falls, everything else, including his illusory world will follow.
I guess one of benefits of being Christian is that my strength comes outside myself. Even if everything falls apart, it is OK, because I am looking at something independent of me. The missionary Hudson Taylor adds (when experiencing hardship in his work in China),
"I cannot read; I cannot think; I cannot even pray; but I can trust."
He could get by even on the darkest of days, because he trusted in an entity outside himself. As he summarised,
"You do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God."
And I know when I start my career for real, the hard times will come fast and furious. I just need to trust.
You see, theology matters!
How has theology influenced your life? How hasn't it? What is the importance of theology?