Theologian "Can't see the forest because of the trees."


#1

Theologian “Can’t see the forest because of the trees”

Reading some of the threads and posts and I see all these people discussing what this or that word in the Bible meant, or what some professor though about some phrase. I wonder if theology students are trying to get close to Jesus or are they trying to get A’s?

Don’t you wonder what would happen if everyone stopped asking professors about God and started asking Jesus instead.?


#2

I don’t know about you, but I ask God to guide me every time I open a Bible, a theology book, or I read a post on the forum or reply to one. Jesus is the first person I go to, of course! When I ask someone a question, first I ask God’s guidance for me and for them. why does it need to be either/or?

That being said:

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


#3

Yes , alot of distractions, but “retain what is good”. I came across a post one time that directed me to the 23rd psalm. It came in good use. Tim


#4

[quote=Lazerlike42]I don’t know about you, but I ask God to guide me every time I open a Bible, a theology book, or I read a post on the forum or reply to one. Jesus is the first person I go to, of course! When I ask someone a question, first I ask God’s guidance for me and for them. why does it need to be either/or?

That being said:

2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
[/quote]

Do you wait for His answer?


#5

[quote=Robert Heibel]Do you wait for His answer?
[/quote]

Of course I do. Do I wait for Him to manifest Himself before me and tell me in person? No. If He were to do that I would truly be blessed and very fortunate. But God shows Himself to us in so many ways! I am blessed in that I do receive that answer which He sees fit to grant me.


#6

Let me tell you the story of how I got deeper into the Catholic Faith.

I was a freshman in high school and had a teacher with some very obvious anti-Catholic prejudices. He was a history teacher, which gave him an outlet for his opinions from time to time, especially when the subject came to medival and Reformation-era history.

I had always sort of taken it for granted that I was Catholic. I was baptised Catholic, had received my First Communion, and was going to Mass with as much regularity as I possibly could. Some Sundays we wouldn’t get up and go to Mass, and I didn’t really have a problem with that. I knew I was Catholic, and it was little more than a label to me. I was fine with this. I had not yet ignited my wants and needs for the spiritual. But soon I would make a turn around.

But about the time I started hearing some of the very subtle anti-Catholicism at work in the classroom, I began to wonder about my faith. I began to realize that this man was speaking falsehood (or at least distortion) in his lectures on the Church. So I set out to find some answers for him.

About a month or two into my freshman year, if memory serves me correctly (and it usually doesn’t), I was at my grandfather’s house after Mass or overnight on a weekend (again, bad memory). (Today is a particulaly special day, by the way, being the feast of St. Francis, as my grandfather Felicis Memoriae was a big fan of St. Francis–loved the Prayer of St. Francis.) Anyway, I was poring over his small collection of Catholic books. I don’t know what exactly prompted me to do this, but in doing so I found a book that many people here are quite familiar with: Catholicism and Fundamentalism, by the wonderful Karl Keating. As I read more and more of this book, I couldn’t help but laugh at how many of the charges my teacher was bringing against the Church were not only in this book, but they were in the exact words my teacher was using. That, and they were countered rather beautifully.

So after this experience, I sat down with my teacher while the rest of the class was doing homework or something–some free moment. I began a discussion of Peter and the Papacy, one of the topics so eloquently covered in this book. He told me Peter was never in Rome, and there was never any evidence of him being in Rome. I responded with the verse in which Peter himself says he is in Rome (1 Peter 5:13), Rome being called by the code word “Babylon.” My teacher responded with silence. He never spoke ill of the Catholic Church while I was in his class from that point on.

So this got me thinking. I was being met with attacks to the faith from other fronts as well–fellow students, peers outside of school, and of course the media–although I didn’t realize it at the time. So I began studying. I borrowed many of my grandfather’s books and read through them, hungry for knowledge and devouring it at a voracious pace. I was also hungry for spiritual gifts–I began attending Mass more and more, in order to receive our Lord in the Eucharist. I began studying Scripture, and through the story of Christ as told in the Gospels began to see the fullness of truth as I had never before. I attend to my spirituality through regular prayer, and I attend to my thirst for truth through study and defense of the faith.

So what is my point here? My point is that some people have different ways of finding God. God, of course, realizes this–hence differing vocations. In learning more about God, in learning more about His Church, His Saints, and the enlightening beauty that is in everything He blesses, I have not only fulfilled my intellectual desires, but my spiritual ones. I pray, I practice regular devotions, and I attend Mass (the highlight of my week). But I also study theology. Theology is one aspect of my Spirituality. In learning more about truth, I am fulfilled.

So about not seeing the forest for the trees, it is in learning about the trees that we may better see just how beautiful the forest is.

God Bless you, Mr. Heibel, and may He lead you to truth.

St. Francis, Pray for us

-ACEGC


#7

Greetings all, here is a quote that sticks in my mind,

Theologians reveal very little about God, rather they reveal more of what is in their own heart.

In the spirit of peace

Eric
T


#8

[quote=Lazerlike42]Of course I do. Do I wait for Him to manifest Himself before me and tell me in person? No. If He were to do that I would truly be blessed and very fortunate. But God shows Himself to us in so many ways! I am blessed in that I do receive that answer which He sees fit to grant me.
[/quote]

Your answer confirms for me the very reason that Jesus told me to give a word. One of my jobs is to impress on everyone that in order to get close to God we need a personal relationship with Jesus. Yes that means asking Him for answers and having Him answer you personally.
Giver


#9

Some people just love to tear apart a sentence, study the original languages, and context of the message. God Bless them, it’s what they love to do. For me I read the Bible because it changes me. We need both kinds for the building up of the body.:yup:


#10

I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You have NO idea. You have come here out of Christian love, but I must tell you that there is not a single more offensive and inappropriately judgemental thing you could possibly have said to me. You do not know my heart, nor the hearts of any other soul. My relationship with Jesus Christ is very personal. I speak to him virtually the entire day. He is by my side always.

VIsions and apparitions of Christ are rare and to receive one is one of greatest blessings one could receive in this life. It is not the sort of thing one can expect every time he has a question about the Bible or about the faith.

I would suggest that if one needs to have Jesus appear physically and speak to him to have his prayers or his questions answered, that it is he who is lacking a truly personal relationship with Christ. I do not intend to claim that this is you. Whether you feel this is necessary or not, or whether Christ is truly in your heart, is not something I am aware of.

What I do question, however, is the authenticity of your claims, as I know that one coming of Christ would neither judge my heart nor my relationship with Christ so absolutely.


#11

Theology-- that is, the Word of God…


#12

[quote=Lazerlike42]I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You have NO idea. You have come here out of Christian love, but I must tell you that there is not a single more offensive and inappropriately judgemental thing you could possibly have said to me. You do not know my heart, nor the hearts of any other soul. My relationship with Jesus Christ is very personal. I speak to him virtually the entire day. He is by my side always.

VIsions and apparitions of Christ are rare and to receive one is one of greatest blessings one could receive in this life. It is not the sort of thing one can expect every time he has a question about the Bible or about the faith.

I would suggest that if one needs to have Jesus appear physically and speak to him to have his prayers or his questions answered, that it is he who is lacking a truly personal relationship with Christ. I do not intend to claim that this is you. Whether you feel this is necessary or not, or whether Christ is truly in your heart, is not something I am aware of.

What I do question, however, is the authenticity of your claims, as I know that one coming of Christ would neither judge my heart nor my relationship with Christ so absolutely.
[/quote]

Think about it, what kind of relationship is it when you talk and talk to some one and you don’t listen to hear if they’re talking back to you? To me a personal relationship is when I can talk to someone and can hear him or her talk or at least communicate back with me. In a personal relationship should we not hear and feel the person? How can we know the person is even there unless we get a response? You know what I think, most Christians know about Jesus about like they know someone they have read about in history.

(John 10:16) “And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.” (John 10:27) “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
Giver


#13

How is it that I get Jesus to come and physically speak to me? If I ask and He doesn’t come, what does that mean?


#14

[quote=Robert Heibel]Theologian “Can’t see the forest because of the trees”

Reading some of the threads and posts and I see all these people discussing what this or that word in the Bible meant, or what some professor though about some phrase. I wonder if theology students are trying to get close to Jesus or are they trying to get A’s?

Don’t you wonder what would happen if everyone stopped asking professors about God and started asking Jesus instead.?
[/quote]

You present a false dichotomy as if we cannot benefit from the Spirit-filled experiences of others and must rely solely on our own experiences. The great theologians of the Catholic Church, such as St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, were men of exceptional holiness whose personal relationship with Jesus Christ was, I dare say, at least as close as yours. Can we learn nothing from them? For Catholics, it is not a matter of studying theology or having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ but of both studying theology and having a personal relationship with Jesus.

If we can gain nothing from studying what those Spirit-filled theologians had to say, should we not also ignore you completely? If you think listening to what you, who have been led by the Spirit for thirty years, have to say can be of some benefit to us, should we not be even more eager to listen to the Catholic Church which has been led by the Spirit for two thousand years?
Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)


#15

[quote=Robert Heibel]Theologian “Can’t see the forest because of the trees”

Reading some of the threads and posts and I see all these people discussing what this or that word in the Bible meant, or what some professor though about some phrase. I wonder if theology students are trying to get close to Jesus or are they trying to get A’s?

Don’t you wonder what would happen if everyone stopped asking professors about God and started asking Jesus instead.?
[/quote]

I don’t wonder. It’s clear, we’d end up with 30 or 40 thousand denominations all purporting to have the correct understanding.

Thankfully, however, Jesus knew that this would be the case and set up His Church in order to be the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth.”


#16

[quote=Ignatius]I don’t wonder. It’s clear, we’d end up with 30 or 40 thousand denominations all purporting to have the correct understanding.

Thankfully, however, Jesus knew that this would be the case and set up His Church in order to be the “Pillar and Foundation of Truth.”
[/quote]

Yes even the Mormans would say that! The truth is, that is why He gave us His Holy Spirit.
Giver


#17

Well, it seems that whatever I so subjectively think must, of course, be on a direct pipeline from the Holy Spirit. :rolleyes: That leaves me as the true believer who may or may not deign to recognize another as such and welcome him into my self-approved “church” of one.

How easy to delude oneself when all one goes by is the subjectivity of one’s own inclinations.


#18

[quote=Robert Heibel]Yes even the Mormans would say that! The truth is, that is why He gave us His Holy Spirit.
Giver
[/quote]

Then how can the Holy Spirit give people conflicting information, so that Protestants have 30,000+ denominations, all of them claiming to follow the Holy Spirit?


#19

[quote=Lazerlike42]How is it that I get Jesus to come and physically speak to me? If I ask and He doesn’t come, what does that mean?
[/quote]

First, Do all you can to live the Word of God, and keep asking.

(Acts 2:38-39) “You must repent, Peter answered and every one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise that was made is for you and your children, and for all those who are far away, for all those whom the Lord our God is calling to himself.”


#20

[quote=FCEGM]Well, it seems that whatever I so subjectively think must, of course, be on a direct pipeline from the Holy Spirit. :rolleyes: That leaves me as the true believer who may or may not deign to recognize another as such and welcome him into my self-approved “church” of one.

How easy to delude oneself when all one goes by is the subjectivity of one’s own inclinations.
[/quote]

(John 10:16) “And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, and one shepherd.” (John 10:27) “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”


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