Theology school is like a furnace. It burns your faith. It refines your faith. What remains after exposure to intense heat is what your faith really is. There might not be much left.
It strips your faith bare of all its dross, to its inner core, if there is one. If there isn’t your faith wasn’t real. Calvin talks about the implicit faith that trusts everything the church has taught you about God, the world and yourself. Implicit faith is gullible faith; blind faith.
Calvin questions: Faith that understands nothing – is it faith? The theologian, Anselm of Canterbury, coined the famous phrase: fides quaerens intellectum (Faith seeking understanding). Faith must keep on growing, keep on seeking for understanding.
Implicit faith is a danger in church today. Sunday-School-faith is passed on from parents to children (if that were possible). Pastor-congregation faith is passed on. Even lecturer-pastor faith is passed on. All are implicit faith that one blindingly accepts it as truth.
Implicit faith is weak faith, if faith at all. Theology shakes your faith until it collapses if it hasn’t been strengthened by personal exploration of the Word and communion with God. Wolves of heresies blow down your straw-like faith houses at the slightest puff because your faith wasn’t yours to begin with. It was someone’s else’s faith.
Until implicit faith becomes personal faith, you cannot grow in your personal life.