When I was about six, I constructed a theology of Sundays. I knew that Sundays were a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. I knew that “Sunday” had the words “Sun” and “day” in it. I surmised that God had ordained it that Sundays would be always sunny in honor of that most wonderful of miracles. I recalled that all the Sundays in my memory (at that time, perhaps as far back as a month) were, indeed, sunny.
And so this became an article of faith. My faith was confirmed for a number of Sundays thereafter.
And then, we had a cloudy, grey Sunday.
I revised my theology: God just made sure it didn’t actually rain on Sundays.
Then we had a drizzly Sunday. I reasoned that God had held back a larger storm. Then, rain that even I couldn’t explain away.
What to do? This could have shaken my faith in God, as happens to people when their faulty theology is exposed. I could have kept revising reality to fit my theology: people do this all the time. Or I could have concluded, as even at six I did, that my theology was wrong.
Theology is a human endeavor. Like that other human endeavor, science, we need to write our theology in pencil. That is what my professors at Gordon taught me.