Theology vs. Experience?


There are some who would downplay theology and doctrine in favor of renewed experience of the power of God. “It’s not about doctrine” is a phrase that I’ve heard a few times within Christian circles.

I found this quote from Tim Keller helpful when thinking about theology vs. experience:

“We are not called to choose between a Christian life based on truth and doctrine or a life filled with spiritual power and experience. They go together. I was not being called to leave behind my theology and launch out to look for ‘something more,’ for experience. Rather, I was meant to ask the Holy Spirit to help me experience my theology.”

Timothy Keller in Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God.

While it is correct to say that doctrine is a means to an end and not an end in itself, it must be kept clear as to what the proper end is. The proper end is a deeper relationship with God that is founded on the truth of who he is and what Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection.

Every good relationship is founded on truth, why would our relationship with God be any different?