Perception Determines Theology

“Yet a time is coming and now has come when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for they are the kinds of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and this worshipers must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:23,24 (NIV).

If our perceptions of God are inconsistent with his own revelation of himself, then we do not have an accurate understanding of him (granted, we will never completely be able to perceive him). If we worship the God of our fancy, we do not have an accurate understanding of him and our spirits are not worshiping in truth. Instead, we are worshiping a false image, an idol. Our view of God, in other words, our theology, will determine how we live. However, our perception determines our theology. And our theology will determine how we respond to God, ourselves, the world, others, and ideas. Thus, it seems that it is of utmost importance that we have the most accurate understanding (perception) of God that is available to us. All else turns on this.

Until Jesus touches our eyes again and again, we are like the blind man in the Scriptures who saw trees. His perception was skewed until Jesus touched his eyes a second time. Each time Jesus touches our eyes, truths, like the faces of the people in the gospel story, come into clearer focus. As Jesus touches our eyes, through his word, through creation, through others, through beauty, through the wisdom of the ages–we start to see God clearly and consequently, everything else clearly.

4 thoughts on “Perception Determines Theology

  1. This is so true and I like Matthews gospel when he writes “blessed are the pure of heart, they shall see God.” Matthew connects heart with sight. If the heart is not right, seeing won’t be either.

  2. Very well said, Marlena! This article helps me see Christ’s work in me more clearly–like cleaning my theological glasses or getting a better prescription.

  3. Hmm…I think this is tough. The disciples perceived Jesus all the time and they constantly got things wrong. I wonder how our attempts at theology will do!

    Maybe, our foundation has to be simple theology? God loves us and the rest of the world. We are called to love God and the rest of the world. Every moment of every day we try to live that theology. Every night, we reflect. How did we do, God? Maybe less views, more interactions like the section regarding touch.

    May it come into focus for us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− three = 4