Like my, "Ten Common Mistakes about the NT," some of these are slam dunks and a few more debatable, but here are 10 common theological mistakes you hear all the time that I think are pretty easily dismissed:
1. God made the world because he was lonely and needed us.
Nope, a core Christian doctrine is the self-sufficiency of God, his "aseity."
2. God learned what it was like to be human and to suffer when he became Jesus.
Nope, God created the world out of nothing and thus created the possibility of suffering, what it would feel like, etc. There is no distinction in God between his theoretical and his experiential knowledge. He created experiential knowledge.
3. When God forgives us, he forgets our sins and can't re-remember them.
God is omniscient and doesn't literally forget anything. This is a poetic statement. In fact, read the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
4. All sin is sin.
Not according to the New Testament. There is a "sin unto death" and a "sin not to death" in 1 John 5, for example. There are sins Paul scolds and sins that get you kicked out of the church and delivered over to Satan (1 Cor. 5).
5. Everything happens for a reason.
Only in the sense that God has a reason for allowing the laws of nature and free will to play themselves out without always intervening. Wesleyans don't believe God micromanages the creation this narcissistically.
6. God turned away from Christ on the cross when Jesus took on our sins.
Nice story, just not in the Bible. Jesus suffered for our benefit. Jesus "became sin" (a poetic statement). But God is not a legalist. Jesus may not have felt God's presence at the end, but I believe God was there.
7. The Bible has all the answers.
The Bible has all the principles, but we as the church have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. All we need for salvation is there, but there is no passage on abortion or when to disconnect the feeding tube, if we listen to what the biblical texts were actually about (rather than making them say what we want them to say). Theology is where the church prays through the content of the Bible's books, written for specific ancient audiences, and tries to discern how to apply those principles to new issues and situations.
8. If God knows what's going to happen, then he must determine what's going to happen.
I continue to marvel either at my own stupidity or the stupidity of the people that think this. It seems to me that people who think this do not fully appreciate what it means to say that God is outside time and created the universe out of nothing. If God is looking on the future right now as well as the present, then for him to know the future is, at the minimum, him simply knowing what he is seeing in the future right now and has seen at least since the creation of the world.
9. God wouldn't be sovereign if he gave us free will.
Why, because that would make him weak? What an immature sense of being in control. Having the power to do anything and choosing not to use it is not only just as powerful as using it, it shows he isn't intimidated by us or our defiance. After all, doesn't our defiance just reflect how pathetic we are?
10. What we believe is all important.
God more looks on the heart. If the history of Protestantism is any illustration, God must smile/shake his head at all the little denominational conclaves that finally give the "right answer" on what to believe and put it on their websites. Of course he probably wasn't smiling when all the Christians were burning each other at the stake in the 1500s and drowning people in the river to mock their re-baptism.
It seems to me these are all, to greater and lesser degrees, fairly obvious theological mistakes.