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Dr. Randy White, host of a new radio program, "Ask the Theologian," says the church today is offering a biblically invalid theology he calls "Twitter theology" – pithy doctrinal sayings limited to just a few words, posted and reposted to create a mumbo jumbo of sound bites.
"Theology is so absent from the church today. Almost everything that a Christian can find in sermons, Bible studies, Christian books, and even seminars and conferences is 'felt-need' oriented," the pastor of First Baptist Church in Katy, Texas, says in an interview published in SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) Today.
White, who is the contributing writer for the SBC publication, says he launched the radio ministry earlier this month in response to this notion of absent theology. He says that the development of good theological thinkers is crucial for a healthy future of the church.
"I am worn out with the 'Twitter theology,' as I call it, which encapsulates a pithy doctrinal saying into a few words, but is often not even biblically valid," White explains. "Yet, because it sounds good and is about the Bible, Christians like it, post it, retweet it, and praise it. It is time for Christians to question the assumptions of these statements. Sadly, many sermons and Bible studies have become Twitter theology, but with a longer character space."
On the Randy White Ministries' website, the pastor defines Twitter theology. It is "a spiritual statement that is easy to post and repost, to 'like' and to share, and to put into sound bites and onto the church marquee," writes White.
He says that "What would Jesus do?" is an example of pre-twitter era twitter theology. "And I want to question it," he writes. "What would Jesus do for breakfast? Biblically, the only time that we see him eating breakfast, He is eating fish."
White elaborates: "The bottom line is that when we fail to 'rightly divide the word of truth,' we create a mumbo jumbo theology that has absolutely no consistency. I think this is one of the reasons that young people so quickly leave the church when they leave home. The church and its WWJD ethic code just often lacks logical sense."
He tells SBC Today that he named the program "Ask the Theologian" because a pastor should be a theologian, "someone who can really help people answer their deep theological problems."
He says he would have been more comfortable with "Ask the Pastor," but then realized that "this thinking is indicative of the problem in the church today: the pastor and theologian are not considered as the same person."
The pastor adds that the Southern Baptist Convention needs a "resurgence of traditional, biblical theology" to counter the "insurgence of Calvinistic theology that is gaining prevalence." The radio program "will help believers understand these and other matter of theological import."