This post actually started it's life as a comment on this post over at Matt Hall's blog
. He's talking about an experience he had with Theopedia
-- a wiki-like theology encyclopedia.
I think that one of the major problems with the Church is our Open Source Theology. Open-source software is, for those who aren't familiar with it, software that encourages people to write changes or additions to it that make it more functional for users. We're doing the same thing with theology. We're trying to make it "work" for everyone, and rather than letting God's Word speak to hearts, we're changing things, making things easier.
Have a problem with repenting from sin? No biggie -- here's the "Easy Believism 1.0 Patch". Now you can have a "great relationship with Jesus" without all that "Go, and sin no more" stuff.
You want to learn all about Jesus, and have that be enough? No problem -- the "Sandemanian Patch" will give you an intellectual faith without all that nasty faith stuff.
Here's our newest patch: "Open Theism .95". It's still in beta testing right now, but it's based on some really old patches. It lets you believe in a God that really depends on YOU to chart the course of the future. Now THAT makes you feel important, doesn't it? Go is waiting for YOU to act before HE can know what's going to happen!! WOW! What a neat patch!
I'd say that Theology should be licensed software. There have been some updates from the Manufacturer (like the Trinity 1.0 update) that clarified some things in the software. There have been some patches (Reformation 1.5) that were designed to completely update the system (even though many people didn't upgrade at that time). Other people have written "patches" for the software, but they AREN'T licenced by the Manufacturer, and their use can corrupt your whole Theology system. You should ALWAYS try to check the certificate on any Theology-based download that you encounter, and make sure that it is a licenced, authorized upgrade from the Manufacturer.