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Theology Is the Gospel Repair Shop

Author Sinclair Ferguson provides a helpful illustration to explain how theology works:

There is a program on BBC television I enjoy. It is called The Regular Shop. Ordinary people bring their damaged, decayed, distorted, and well-nigh destroyed heirlooms for repair. They often tell profoundly moving stories--of why the article (which may be of little value in itself) is so important to them because of its connection to a loved one.

We then watch the extraordinary skills of craftsmen and women. Experts in woodwork and metalwork, mechanical work, furniture work, and musical instruments, working what seems to be magic. Whereas people like me patch up and hope for the best, they first deconstruct and only then reconstruct and restore the long-lost glory to the precious objects.

Then the wonderful (unveiling): we witness the various owners overwhelming gratitude, their praise, and often their joy as they are moved to tears as the restored object is revealed in all its furnished glory--usually from underneath a very ordinary blanket (how suggestive of a greater restoration).

Theology is the gospel repair shop. Its various topics (God, creation, fall, providence, redemption, glorification) are, as it were, so many departments of experts that first deconstruct our personal damage and then reconstruct us until the original vision in our creation is realized.

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