Saturday, February 24, 2007

Dog and Cat Theology...

was in the news.  A friend found an old newspaper clipping from March 2004 on a Missouri Baptist University Spring Lecture Series on "Cat and Dog Theology".  The seminar thrust was to challenge postmodern thought that interprets the Bible only through personal experiences.  (In defense of postmoderns, has a credible hermeneutic such as using Scripture to interpret Scripture been consistently taught in the plethora of church movements and fads, Bible studies and Christian books that flood the evangelical market?)

The seminar described two Christian viewpoints with a dog and cat metaphor.  The dog is described as believing, "You pet me, You feed me, You shelter me, and You love me.  You must be God."  Whereas the cat's intrinsic belief is described as, "you pet Me, you feed Me, you shelter Me, and you love Me.  I must be God."

Gerald Robinson, one of the speakers, stated, "The average true believer says the Bible is all about God, but lives as if humanity is...Humanity often replaces God on the throne."  Bob Sjogren, co-authored with Robinson, challenged the listeners to switch from "me-ology" to theology.  Theology being accurately described as the study of God in Scripture that reveals God to be the main character and not humanity.

From Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Man doesn't even enter the world stage until the 6th day when with his life companion in hand, he and she very quickly begin to egocentricize the harmony of the garden to that of meeting their felt needs. 

Genesis 3:6, "When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.  She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it."

Good, pleasing, and desirable--now there are some words of personal experiential interpretative standard, for sure.  I'm not dinging personal experiences because obviously God gives those too, He is the sovereign One.  He knows the frailty of our physicality and allows events to occur that like a child touching a hot stove or feeling a mother's caress, remind us in our flesh of the power of His hand.  However, when personal experiences in this case, or in any other, were, or are, held only to that of man's wisdom, a limited entity, and not to God's wisdom, an unlimited and infinite entity, trouble happeneth.  And it still does today.

Personal experience as an interpretative standard alone, without Scriptural parameters of God's instructions, from His Word, fails.  "He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe."  Proverbs 28:26

God alone must be the study in our -ology. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil."  Proverbs 3:5-7

But here's my question, what do you think God feels thinks about herding cats?


  1. Os Guinness says, "Christianity isn't true because it works, Christianity works because it is true."

    Sadly, experience seems to be the thing upon which we base truth these days, rather than the inerrant Word of God.

    Great post, Elle!

  2. Perhaps this explains why I am so totally a dog person. :) I love the dog/cat analogy and your thoughts on it.

    Now about that last line...which cracked me up...herding cats is what we call it when we're trying to get the kids to get something done. Now there's so much more meaning to it!

  3. Hey,
    Found you! Neat post. I'll be back.

  4. Tragically, much of the postmodern Church embraces cat theology. The Word Faith teachers are famous for telling their generous followers that they are "little Gods" ( Kenneth Copeland, Word Faith Mega Pastor, even goes so far as to deny the divinity of Christ.

    Jesus told Copeland, "They crucified Me for claiming that I was God. But I didn’t claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with Him and that He was in Me. Hallelujah." (Kenneth Copeland, Take Time to Pray, Believer’s Voice of Victory February 1987)

  5. Love the dog / cat theology! How true! Wonderful post, as always...

  6. Thanks for the analogy - I just heard it a week ago, for the second time, and thought I'd look it up. God bless.

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