Song Lyrics and Theology

Yesterday I heard a sermon in which the pastor quoted from the second stanza of the lyrics from the Twila Paris song “Do I Trust You.” In this portion of the song she states

I know the answers, I’ve given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul

I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don’t mean much to me
This time there’s only one thing I’ve got to know

Here Twila is in essence saying that her trust in God comes from some other place then the doctrine and theology she has learned. This however is a problem. Since all our knowledge of God comes from His revelation of Himself and that revelation (or teaching) is the doctrine by which we have come to an understanding that we can even trust the Lord.

So when Jesus tells us in the Great Commission of Matthew 28 that “I am with you always, to the end of the age,” when the Proverbs tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding,” or when the psalmist tells us “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” These are all statements of doctrine and theology that inform us and give us the basis for trusting God in our own circumstances.

When we separate doctrine and theology from our experiences in life then we only turn mysticism and subjective feelings to determine to our response to our circumstances. Although Twila’s song may evoke an emotional response, it makes a false dichotomy that is unfounded and even dangerous, that can draw us away from the truth of Scripture and the very God we need to place our trust. Therefore, as Scripture makes clear, let your response to your experiences and circumstances be determined by the right and correct doctrine and theology found in the Scriptures, not abandoning the truth of God’s Word.

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