Biblical doctrine is much simpler than human theology.
Most confusing doctrines are confusing because they are someone’s idea of what the Bible says, not what the Bible says.
The problem is that biblical doctrine is straightforward. A little too abrupt and real. It tends to mess with life.
Theologians enter the picture to “clean up the mess” by telling you the Bible doesn’t mean what the Bible simply and clearly says.
The main job of a theologian is to impress you with their theological astuteness. In other words, they prove their doctrinal superiority by being confusing.
“You’re too stupid to understand, that’s why you need us smart theologians.” Is the attitude. We go along with them because they tell us why we don’t have to listen to all those parts we wish weren’t there, which suits our flesh fine.
You know you’re dealing with human theology when you are reading quotes of people more than quotes of Scripture. When you are using multiple, giant theological words that don’t appear in the Bible. When the word “theory” is used, as in The Theory of Substitutionary Atonement. When more time is spent telling you why the verse doesn’t mean what it says than is spent telling you how to apply what the verse does say.
If you’re confused by theology, that’s OK. Theology is confusing. Most confusion that believers have is trying to bring together what that guy said with what that other guy said.
It’s best just to forget the guys and read the Bible. Don’t worry if having five Solas is confusing. Don’t worry if there are verses that interfere with established church doctrine. Go with the verses.
You don’t need seminary to understand the Bible. You might need seminary to understand human theology.
I suggest you understand the Bible. It’s up to you whether you want to try understanding human theology.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
–2 Corinthians 11:3