The disingenuousness of the “no theological position” position


“In these matters, I don’t think anyone should have a theological position.”

During a recent interview, a well-known pastor and author was asked about his views on the afterlife and how they compare to those of a former colleague. This was his response (after a bit of dancing). Before even reading the interview, I already knew a bit of what to expect—the interviewer, interviewee and I would probably not exactly align on a number of key matters—but this response got me thinking:

Can someone honestly hold a “no theological position” position?

I’m not so sure.

See, here’s the thing: Any deeply held belief we have about who God is, what He is like, what He will or will not do, or our response to Him is a theological position.

“God created the world in six days” is a theological position. So is “Mankind came about via an evolutionary process.”

“It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” is a theological position. So is “salvation is possible for everyone, even if they don’t know the name of Jesus.”

Even the notion of offering “theological possibilities with a heavy dose of humility” instead of “theological positions” is a theological position.

It’s just a disingenuous one. 

Humility and confidence are not enemies. Yet too often we see people—out of what I hope is a desire to be kind and loving, and seeking to create opportunities for people to know Jesus—treat them as polar opposites. Position become possibility, certainty becomes option, and truth becomes opinion.

This is not what God wants for us. He wants us to truly know Him, to come to a greater understanding of Him, and to be transformed by that knowledge (Rom. 12:2). This is why He inspired the Scriptures—to make us wise for salvation and to equip us for every good work (2 Tim 3:15-17). This is what glorifies Him and pleases Him—not to act in ignorance any longer, but as obedient children to grow in holiness (1 Pet. 1:14).

These are all theological positions—and it’s right and good that we have them. Don’t let a false notion of humility be the guise for insincerity.

Posted by Aaron Armstrong

Aaron is the author of several books for adults and children, as well as multiple documentaries and Bible studies. His latest book, I'm a Christian—Now What?: A Guide to Your New Life with Christ is available now.