Tag Archives: Oswald Chambers

Theology as God

Tuesday Re-mix –

“Theology is the science of religion, an intellectual attempt to systematize the consciousness of God. If we take the doctrine of the Trinity (which is a noble attempt of the mind of man to put into a theological formula the Godhead as revealed in the Bible) and say – ‘That is God,’ every other attempt as a statement of the Godhead is met by a sledgehammer blow of finality. My theology has taken the place of God and I have to say, ‘That is blasphemy.’ Theology is second, not first; in its place it is a handmaid of religion, but it becomes a tyrant if put in first place.  The great doctrines of predestination and election are secondary matters; they are attempts at definition, but if we take sides with the theological method we will damn those who differ from us without a minute’s hesitation.  Is there any form of belief which has taken the place of God with me?” Oswald Chambers

My sister married a Lutheran.  Of course, by the time of the wedding, Chad (my brother-in-law) had pretty much convinced most of us that he was OK and that he was not a pagan or anything.  But still, my sister was getting married in a Lutheran church.  It was not a huge thing, but for my very Baptist family, it was also not a completely small thing.  I think it mattered a little to some in the family.

That was a long time ago, but even by then I was already being shaped into a peacemaker…and this peacemaker was a little worried about how my very Baptist and sometimes loud and argumentative family might behave in that Lutheran church.  Oh, I’m not saying I stayed up at night worrying about it.  I’m just saying…I wondered.…

Unleashing the Spirit of Peace…Through Prayer

Tuesday Re-mix –

“To often we treat prayer as the preparation for the work of the church…do you not see, prayer IS the work of the church.” Oswald Chambers

Two true stories from my ministry:

1.  “God, I’ve got this one…I’ll check with you on the next one.” I had not yet really started a ministry.  I was a lawyer, a seminar speaker, and somewhat of a Bible teacher.  As a negotiator, I had been involved in hundreds of secular mediations, and I had only just begun experimenting with mediation in the church.  I received a call from a minister friend who needed a mediation done at a small church he knew.  The pastor was in trouble and the church leadership was dividing.  I asked how many people this included and he told me about a dozen or so.  I told him to get them all together on a Saturday morning and I would fly out, mediate with them for a half-day or so, and take care of it.

Yes, I really did say that.  Looking back on it, I can’t believe the arrogance.  I had been in all these mediations, most of which had resulted in resolutions, and I genuinely thought to myself, “How hard can this be?”  There was no prayer involved, other than the obligatory prayer at the beginning of the Saturday meeting.  I showed up, began the mediation, and the whole thing fell apart within a couple of hours.  A church was all but destroyed and a man’s ministry was ended.  My own lack of any Spiritual preparation or focus was the reason.

2.  “God, I cannot do this without you.” I was speaking to a congregation about some severe conflict in their church.  It was actually just one stage of a full-blown intervention involving a