I have wondered when I should post my eulogy for my dad.  My dad died on March 1, 2015.  We held a memorial service for him at his home church in Texas a few days later.   In my dad, I saw several things that I wished every church member would emulate.  So, I wanted to highlight those things in my eulogy.

Now, a couple of months since then, I have wondered when would be an appropriate time to share my thoughts with those who didn’t know my dad or were not at his memorial service.  In light of several discussions I have had recently and the sermon I will be preaching on Sunday (Matthew 22:34-46), now seems like a good time.  At the end of this post I am going to follow it up with a couple of applications.

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My dad loved talking about theology.  He was an intellectual, there is no doubting that. (He had a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering and was recognized and ranked as 2nd in the world in his particular field.)  But that’s not why theology was such an interest to Him.  Theology, simply put, means the study of God.

That’s why my Dad loved theology; the God he loved, the Savior He cherished, theology is the term rightly given to describe knowing God.  And not just knowing God in an intellectual way, but knowing God within a covenant relationship.

My Dad and I had some long talks about things like unconditional election and particular atonement.  We even talked about reprobation, the doctrine that explains how God passes by some people with His saving grace (See Romans 9:20-23).  As you can imagine these were hard doctrines, yet, in all our talks there was behind, and underneath it all, a delight in Jesus Christ.  That’s where his study of theology took Him.

Psa 119:18  Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.

This is what God did for dad.  God enabled him to see the wonders of mercy and grace out of the Law/Word.

Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  But, we live in a culture now that echoes Pilate’s Words of 2000 years ago, “What is truth?”  We hear people say, “What’s right for you isn’t right for me.”  That’s a denial of absolute truth. Even our school system and especially common core is teaching that there is no absolute truth.  Of course this is nothing new.

Solomon said 3000 years ago “There is nothing new under the sun.”  And, the denial of truth was one of the many things that Jesus had to deal with.  That’s why Jesus instructed his disciples in John 8:32, “”If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Many times we only hear the phrase, “The truth will set you free.”  But the truth Jesus was referring to was not mere fact.  It wasn’t points of information.  It was the absolute truth of God’s word.  Jesus said, “If you abide in My Word.”  That was the condition in order to know truth, and in order to be set free.  “If you abide in My Word.”

So this was why my Dad loved theology.  It was the study of God’s Word, so that my Dad would be free from the power and corruption of sin and so that He could KNOW and LOVE God.

By the grace of God, my dad was able to quote Jesus in John 17:17, “Your Word is Truth.”  That’s what he stood on.

The truth that my Dad clung to was this, “There is salvation in no one else.”   I know that such a position is not only unpopular today, but it can also be offensive.

But, there is no other name under heaven by which sinful man can be saved from the wrath of God.  That was my dad’s faith.

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So as I have reflected on this eulogy, there are several points of application I wish to make.

  1. One of the key tests to see if you are doing theology right is your study’s destination. Does your study of the Bible, including and especially the hard passages, does it lead you to delight yourself in the Lord?  Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.”

One key place to test yourself is the Song of Solomon.  The SoS is one of the greatest places to find your heart wooed to Christ.  However, that assumes that you are reading the book looking for Jesus.  (Unfortunately most modern scholars and commentaries only/primarily see in the SoS a handbook on marriage.)

  1. Having theological knowledge doesn’t make a person a mature Christian. To be sure, theological knowledge is an absolute necessity for Christian growth. You will only be as mature spiritually as you are mature theologically.  However, having such knowledge is only the beginning.  Theological knowledge must teach us to love Christ.  And, the more we love Christ, the more we hate our sin.  How much we hate our sin is revealed in how often we repent of our sin.  Theological knowledge is again required to affect a deep and maturing repentance.
  1. The way to know Christ and to love Him is through thinking scripturally. Most Christians believe they think biblically. I would beg to differ because their minds are not “stayed upon Jehovah.”  Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”  How often in the day do your thoughts run to a specific Scripture verse?  The mature Christian constantly has scripture in his mind because he can’t do otherwise.  He is memorizing, not simply a verse, but a passage of scripture and that passage of scripture is being applied to the circumstances of life, whether they are big events or small.

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