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The Christian beliefs of a preacher make a huge difference in what he preaches and teaches, as well as what he does in the ministry.
Our philosophy tends to reflect our parental upbringing and other outside influences we had growing up including church and school. In other words, who did you listen to and who did you watch while forming your beliefs about life, faith and ministry.
Certainly one's genuine conversion experience can redirect one's influence from the past, but it is still a consideration in the coloring of one's ministry in the present and the future.
Obviously, to be a good Christian Minister, all of that influence should be filtered by way of what God thinks. And you find out what God thinks in His Word, the Bible. Of course, God allows a lot of creativity and flexibility in the ministry.
But our core Christian beliefs and philosophy should never contradict His Word and His specific will for our lives.
There are several areas to consider when talking about the Messenger's Philosophy:
Theology means "the study of God." Yet, many people form their opinion of God and the things of God based on already formed philosophies of man instead of starting with the revealed Word of God...what He thinks.
I personally think this is the foundational core Christian belief that will affect everything that the minister thinks and does, good or bad. More on theology later.
Bibliology basically means "the study of the Bible and Bible doctrine." Theology brings up this other relevant matter, which is whether or not the preacher even believes that the Bible IS His Word to us.
Even if you believe in God but don't believe that the Bible is His Word to us, you still have a problem of what to believe about God. You also do not have a standard on which to base the rest of your beliefs and behaviors. More on "Bibliology" later.
Anthropology is "the study of man." What you believe about man depends on what you believe about God and His Word.
Is the account of creation in the book of Genesis a spiritual myth or is it an accurate account of our beginning?
The three age old questions come to mind. Where did we come from? What are we doing here? Where are we going? Once again, what one believes about God and His Word makes a difference. More on anthropology later.
Ideology is "the study of ideas." This includes the study of ideas of individuals and groups. It is a system of doctrine that drives one and his or her group. This is how a country or a religion or a denomination separate into fundamentalists, evangelicals or liberals. More on ideology later.
Methodology is "the study of methods." Or as we use it today..."how we operate." What is our methodology. I think God gives us great range in our methodology. I don't believe He gives us great range in our core theology, but I do believe He gives us creativity in our mode of operation.
This is where it would be essential to know the difference between conviction and preference. More on methodology later.
Eschatology is "the study of end times." Some would include the end times of an individual as well as a people.
In other words, they would include death, judgment, and afterlife. Of course, from God's point of view it would involve His end times of the world and His relationship to man. More on eschatology later.
I think it is clear that our basic Christian beliefs will affect who we are and what we do and what we say as preachers. And in turn that philosophy will affect those to whom we minister. We have a tendency to teach what we are taught. And those we teach will have that same tendency.
According to God's Word, we will be held responsible for what we preach and teach to others. What an awesome and awe-inspiring responsibility.
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