Friday, March 18, 2005

Cat & Dog Theology

Following hard on the heals of Piper and Storms comes Cat & Dog Theology from Bob Sjogren and Gerald Robison. Their challenge to contemporary Christianity hinges on the difference between cats and dogs.

A dog says, "You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, you must be God"
A cat says, "You pet me, you feed me, you shelter me, you love me, I must be God"

And so, they observe we work out our theology. The danger they warn is that we become cats. Cat Theology is idolatrous because it says I'm the centre of everything. Dog Theology says God is central and everything is for the purpose of making God look glorious. Cats have staff, Dogs have masters.

This is a quirky, easy to read but not so easy to put into pratice book that has masses to say to the church today - and indeed to the wider world, this is the anti-cat gospel and it is very much needed.

Thanks to Rich for supplying the book, I needed to hear this again.


  1. Don't I just know abut cats - fickle, aloof, bloody minded things. We have two, Bagera and Twiglet, and they're occasionally very pleasent. Dave the dog's not much better though, destroying a lot, being all clingy and emotionally dependent.

    I'd suggest that a dog isn't all that good a metaphor either - that sense of depenence might not be the best way to think about how we relate to God. But having said that, the greater sense of relational identity is pretty important.

  2. Of course every illustration has it's limits...

    That said, i think the exact point of this illustration is our dependancy upon God - the point is that we read the Bible, do our living and thinking as if we're the centre of the universe.

    The reality is that this is God's universe to display his glory. We are not the point. We are not the centre of everything. Life is not primarily for our benefit.

    And yet, when God is central then the greatest joy results.

  3. Far too many Christians became Christians so God would save them from hell. That is, they were won to Christ because of what He would do for them... and they continue in their Christian walk for the same reason - What else He might do for them. Their prayers seem to begin and are prolonged by requests of what more they hope and expect from Him. Their prayers are little more than a worksheet or a "to-do" list for God to fulfill. A Dog's primary concern is pleasing His Master. For those who want to "get to the point" of the illustration - read the by-line: "Rethinking Our Relationship With Our Master". I would strongly suggest attending a live "Cat and Dog Theology" seminar - if there's one near you, and if not, invite me and we'll get one to you!!
    --Gerald Robison