Cerebral theology can be an escape route, I think. It’s a lot harder to get the home crowd riled up about predestination, for example, than about knocking off the gossip, or being a light in the community, or what is the difference between conscience and preference.
I’m not saying that anybody’s trying to avoid anything on purpose; people just do this by nature. Unless you’re a sociopath like me, you probably don’t want to stir the pot or disturb the peace. What better way to do that than by ignoring tricky real-life issues and sticking to the tried and true dictums of theology passed down from the fathers? There’s nothing safer than a precept filtered through the scrutiny of those great men.
You’d have to be crazy to disagree with that.
Try to make me live like Christ in a pagan culture by eschewing their value system, though, and you’ll have to take me kicking and screaming to the bank. Even then you’ll probably only get my pocket change.
Sometimes I think this is because we don’t really get a whole bunch of things. Like for instance if I believe that the end times are right now, I am first of all on the edge of being a crazy person with a sign, but this is also going to change the way I live and see the world. If I believe that humans have free will and can freely choose this than and the other thing, this is going to change the way I live and see the world. Theology affects things. It effects things, too, now that I think about how that word is spelled.
I imagine you could show this connection by doing this progression: Scripture –> Theology –> How To –> Vision. That seems simple enough, for people that like formulas.