How biography writes theology

For this reboot of Warrior Poet, I want to introduce and discuss the theme: Biography writing Theology. Who you are, and who God is to you, interact forcefully, for both good and ill, on the individual and social levels. Yet every composition needs edits – thus the reverse is even truer that the Biography must write our theology: Jesus, the incarnate God, the perfect image of the Godhead, is that Biography. Keeping with our theme, let me illustrate from my life.

The fatherhood theme is interwoven into my biography and theology. In fact, this theme now holds it together. Yet before the Biography rewrote my theology, I had a badly written composition. I will not depart long into the story but skip to the end: every father I had left me feeling uncared for and abandoned. You see, when I wanted my fathers to be there, they weren’t; when I needed help, I had no one to teach me; I couldn’t depend on a fatherly largesse to help me in life.

My biography wrote a theology that my God was a careless and absentee father. Whenever I was in distress, indebted or discontented, I didn’t turn to God. Whenever I didn’t know how to do something, I didn’t ask God to teach me. If I was in need, I didn’t ask him. I had imputed to my heavenly Father the things my earthly fathers were.

Then, Jesus. A beautiful sentence in itself, so complete is he. These words by the Biography rewrote mine:

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

I came to see that I am his son; my Father does know – he actually is attentive and caring to my needs. He knows how – how much I suffer and want, and how to do things I need help doing. “How much more” has rang powerfully in my mind for years now; however good I can imagine an earthly father I can always say how much more is my heavenly Father. The Biography rewrote my theology to help me see the Father as he is, not as I imagined him to be.

He is still rewriting my theology. I haven’t arrived—I still struggle to fully embrace my sonship. But I strive to do one thing: tossing away the old drafts and writing this new theology with Jesus.

I will expand in later posts on Jesus as the Biography, but I find questions help spiritual progress, so I leave you with this: how do you think your biography has written your theology?

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