Yes, it may be a wonderful (and necessary) entryway, but without depth of knowledge and understanding, it will be “blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14).
One of my theology professors is so passionate about this issue that he has brought up the same metaphor at least three times this semester. It goes something like this:
“Why do people say they want to ‘know God, but not know about Him? That is absolutely ludicrous!
Imagine if I told you ‘I love my wife, but I don’t know anything about her.’
You could ask me where she was born and I would shrug.
What type of music or food does she like?
I don’t know.
What color are her eyes?
No idea. But I love her.
See how insane that sounds? The more you come to know about someone, the more you are able to love them.”
Yet we have no problem remaining ignorant Christians, floating on the surface of our knowledge of God. And then we wonder why we have such trouble witnessing to others or describing what we believe, or why we believe it, to others.
J.P. Moreland, in his book Love the Lord Your God With All Your Mind, demonstrates how the Second Great Awakening led to the beginning of emotional preaching and impassioned calls to a quick conversion experience, as opposed to a period of contemplation, learning and discovery of the Christian faith and doctrines. We live in the fallout of that style of thinking. Moreland writes, “The intellectually shallow, theologically illiterate form of Christianity…came to be part of the populist Christian religion that emerged.”