Academic Theology, at its highest levels and a few rungs down as well, is a mystery to me. Words I recognize are arranged in a density that soon becomes white noise It might as well be Theoretical Physics. I don’t read Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Aramaic, or for that matter German, Italian or Norwegian. I can’t evaluate the text for myself so I have to rely on commentators for direction. The extent of my formal philosophical training ended with an abandoned paper on A J Ayer and I’ve never looked back.
At a certain point in the maturation of a Christian mind we make peace with our limitations. This in fact may be the peace that surpasses understanding. Think of the people you know, young and old, who never come to an acceptance that they are not the smartest, or the prettiest, or the most popular. They live entire lifetimes in ceaseless self-positioning. Without a certainty of God, of Heaven, of the Divine Order, we are tiny indeed.
That is the irony, isn’t it? You have to be a very successful atheist to fight off those feelings that you’re not quite good enough, and even then it’s likely a loosing battle. But the Christian is assured he’s not good enough from the doctrinal get-go, and that God loves him anyway. His place, his worth, is assured from the Highest Source. His gifts, great or humble, are enough. The psychological truth may take a while to catch up to the statement of faith, but in the end, with the Spirit’s help, it will.