“Theology for Dummies”

Grace Place goes topical in our grace groups (small group weekly meetings). The topic I’m leading with my group is about “grace”.  The way it was promoted during our Celebration Sunday yesterday was odd –  “Learn ‘theology’ without the confusion“.

After the service, one of my enrollees approached me, and with the short discussion with her, I gathered 2 things that most people think when they hear the word “theology”:

1. It’s boring — “Kuya, sigurado kang exciting to ha. Baka naman magsisi ako?”, and

2. It’s hard to understand – “Isinasama ko nga si ___ (friend’s name) kaso di pa raw sya ready sa hard stuff”.

I can’t blame her for thinking that way. In fact, it’s pretty normal to think that way about theology. Now a days, when people talk about theology, they actually  mean “I want to confuse you”. Seriously, theology has become so confusing that it becomes boring for most people.

Theology simply means a study about God. Anything about God — his character, his love, his holiness. In my case, I want to discuss about His grace. I tried to explain that the reality is, everything that we talk about in church has an underlying theological concept. This Sunday, our lead pastor talked about the importance of having a loving and caring small community. The theological concept behind that is “Fellowship”. He didn’t mention that term, but who cares as long as the concept is presented and understood well! Last year, one of the most interesting and much appreciated message series was “TXT”. It talks about the Bible. The attenders learned and understood it’s concepts — little that they know that Kuya Prudy is talking about the theological concept called “Sola Scriptura”.

So, theology can be understood and can even be fun!

“Ah, parang Theology for Dummies?”, she commented.

Great term! I like that. :D

I was able to read one of those “For Dummies” books and I was really amazed on how the author explained a complex topic in such a way that it become simple and interesting. He uses simple terms, graphics, even comedy in presenting the hard facts. The book didn’t water down the obviously hard-topic-to-explain. It simply explained it in such a way that it could be understood.

Theology needs not be confusing. It can be understood. It can be exciting. I guess it all depends on how it is be presented. And, yes, understanding God’s grace can be  challenging than the usual “inspirational topics”, but sure it can penetrate the heart, it’s life changing. And even Johann, my 4 year old kid, can understand it. It’s just a matter of presenting it in an exciting, non-boring, and understandable way.

So, Tuesdays 7:30 at Kopiroti, The Columns will rock! Believe me. :D

The realities of death

Death is real, if you still haven’t noticed.

Yesterday, our dearest hangout place, Glorietta, exploded. A bomb ruined the place. People are hurt. Some died. And if that happened the day later — making that Saturday, same time at around 1:30 pm, we could have been one of those who are affected. “Kids-at-work” located at the 3rd floor of Glorietta 2 is where Johann, my 3 year old kid frequents during weekends. Joy and I enjoyed window shopping along those clothing stores in that area. So, yes, if the terrorists decided to postpone the plan for another day, we could have been one of those who are hurt… or dead.

Two things running through my mind right now:

1. You’ve got to be ready to die anytime, any day. Even how hard it is to accept, that’s a fact. Bomb or no bomb, we can die anytime. You may be healthy today, you can be shot dead by some hot headed motorists tomorrow. You feel well today — then you receive a call from your doctor about the results of your physical exam, and it is devastating. So, yes, “life is like a mist”, apostle James said.

The real question is, are you ready to die anytime, any day? If not, how can you prepare yourself to the afterlife? Do you know where you are going? If not, what are you doing to know?

2. Live life to the full. Enjoy your time with your family everyday of your life. Don’t be afraid of the future, do what you have to do today. Stop doing the things that’s hurting you and straighten your life for good. It’s hard, I know. With your own strength, that is. You need help. Jesus, the one who came so that you can “have life and live it to the full” (John 10:10), can help you. He is, in fact, the missing piece.

Update from my Multiply.com blog: To the victims of Glorietta tragedy

Week round-up

* Grace Place starts a new passionate series called “Prayer Can Change Your Life“.

* Steve Murrell shares a great analogy on how understanding your sinfulness affects the way you respond to God’s grace.

* I thought we should put Jesus first in our lives? Steven Furtick says, no. We should put Jesus on the center of our life instead.

* Perry Noble‘s New Spring Church launched a new website called ParentsAreClueless.com to coincide with their new series on parenting. If you are a parent, you’ll agree with me that we are clueless most of the times, don’t we?

* I’ve started a Pinoy Paypal users group. If you are a Paypal user or plan to use it in the future, join us as we try to shoot down possible problems that we can encounter.