It is the time of the year that every student dreads – exams. It’s the time of the year that I do not even step into the library because I hear that you can smell fear there…
So my friends and I stay in our college common room to revise, which is really useful because there is a whiteboard there for us to regurgitate the information we have desperately tried to cram into our heads. It’s those kind of things that allow you to catch a glimpse of what your friends are studying.
One day, I chanced upon my theology friend writing facts down on the whiteboard regarding the New Testament. The board was filled with ideas, theories, facts, people, characters, controversies, terminology.
And I looked at it, and wondered ‘What does the New Testament mean to me?’
(Please ignore the ‘The Sun Is Not Shining’ part. As you know, we have many rainy days in the UK, hence those words…)
In the midst of all these facts, what does the New Testament mean to me? What does this new covenant meant to me? What is the personal worth of the bible to me?
Is it just a jumble of words to you? Or do the words condense and form the breath of life. Do lessons of life, character and virtue rise from the text? Somehow, I always find it unusual when people talk about Christianity as a religion, rather than a relationship. And this is exactly what the whiteboard was trying to challenge: Religion or Relationship?
Indeed, theological arguments and theories help to mould the way we perceive and better understand Christianity and God, but when we remove all those academic theories, what does Christianity mean to you and me in our hearts? I will not attempt to answer this question in this post because I believe that each of our testimonies bring about different insights into what the bible and Christianity means to each of us.
Nevertheless, I think that this whiteboard full of facts reminded me that Christianity is not solely about facts and how much you can analyse the bible. These are useful, but it ultimately boils down to our very hearts, our own experiences and our faith.
So let me ask again:
Remove those theories of Calvanism and Armenianism, pre-determinism, Pauline letters etc – what does Christianity mean to you?
Just a thought ~