3. Cafeteria Theology
Why did Jesus have to die?

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If a group of people are asked the question, “Who is God?” there will probably be different answers. Josh’s greatest fear is that the majority of believers in the world are not worshipping the one, real, true God, but they are worshipping a figment of their own imagination, which you may call “Cafeteria Theology.” If we do not know who God really is, it is very difficult to know why Christ died or even to know why we need salvation. Is getting to know God like choosing what entices your palate at lunch?

Transcript

Why did Jesus have to die?

You know, if you do not know why Jesus had to die and for who He had to die, usually you will have a wrong concept about who God is, who you are, and what Christ did on the cross. It is that critical.

Now the question is: who is God? You know, you could go out in a plaza anywhere, or a shopping center; and you could talk to 20 people, and you could get 20 different opinions about who God is. Even if 18 of them are Christians, you would still get different opinions about who God is. Who is God?

My greatest fear is that the majority of believers in the world are not worshipping the one, real, true God; but they are worshipping a figment of their own imagination. I call it cafeteria theology. You say, “What do you mean?” You know in a cafeteria you pick this or that thinking: I like this. I like this. That is what people are doing when they are describing God. “I like this, I like that. That will become a part of my theology.”

You know one reason I say that? Now, I do not want you to misunderstand me here. I love praise and worship. I love to be involved in praise and worship. But I am convinced that most people in praise and worship are not praising the One True God but the figment of their own imagination. You say, “How can you say that?”

Well you try it on your own. I will be at conferences. Young people, others, older people, will be up front with their hands raised, some on their knees, in praise and worshipping God, and very respectfully I will approach a number of them (as I have done for ten years), and I will say, “Who is God? Do you know?” And in almost ten years not one single person has even come close to telling me who is God. And yet they are there praising and worshipping God.

How in the world can you praise and worship God when you do not know who He is?

This is why I am so convinced that those who lead praise and worship ought to context their songs. What does that mean? Most people feed their own meaning into the words, not the meaning out of the Scriptures into those words. If we do not know who God is, it is very difficult to know why Christ died; to know why we need salvation or how to praise and worship.

Who is God? I’m going to answer that for you [in the next video].

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Questions

1. How do people usually answer the question, who is God?
2. What are many people worshiping today?
3. What kind of god does cafeteria theology produce?
4. What question does Josh ask worshippers?
5. What is difficult if we do not know who God is?

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Find resources to live, defend and share your faith in our online store. Our favorite ones for this topic of Resurrection are:

The Resurrection and You Booklet (10-pack) ($29.90) — When Jesus died on the cross and was buried, all seemed lost. But everything changed three days later when he rose from the dead! Then Jesus made some amazing promises. His resurrection would change every aspect of our lives and futures

This 64-page booklet is ideal for initiating conversations with neighbors, friends, and family about the death and resurrection of Christ.



Evidence for the Resurrection ($14.44) — Josh and Sean McDowell will lead you through God’s original intention in creation, how that intention suffered a damaging blow, and his incredible solution for once again restoring relationship with man and woman. They present a thorough but accessible exploration of the many compelling and abundant evidences that Christ conquered death and the grave.

And they challenge you to answer the question: If Jesus rose from the dead 2,000 years ago, what does it mean for me today?


Evidence that Demands a Verdict ($22.49) — Bringing historical documentation and the best modern scholarship to bear on the trustworthiness of the Bible and its teachings, this extensive volume has encouraged and strengthened millions. Now, with his son Sean McDowell, PhD, Josh McDowell has updated and expanded this classic resource for a new generation. This is a book that invites readers to bring their doubts and doesn’t shy away from the tough questions.