Theology by Lego

By Chris Cunningham
Spiritual Life Local Outreach Coordinator

Block of Legos


Legos are awesome. And by now if you’ve seen the Lego movie, you know that everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.

Building with Lego blocks consumed at least a fourth of my childhood (and probably more of my parent’s lifetime income). While it’s fun to build what the instructions tell you, any Lego Maniac (90’s reference) knows that the real fun comes when you toss the instructions to the side, throw the bird to the man and start building whatever comes to your adolescent mind.

Dinosaur Truck? Built.

Horse Boat? A proud accomplishment.

Eight Wheeled Space Ship with built in house and snow skis in case Mars has an unexpected avalanche? Oh yeah, I built it all.

The point is Legos are fun toys as long as they stay that. Fun toys.

Walls Glued Together

Without giving too much away, a certain funny guy in the Lego movie, who also plays the role of a certain news anchor in another movie, is cast as a disgruntled dad who can’t handle the idea that his son plays with Lego outside its intended use.

In efforts to calm his son’s unreasonable love for toys, this dad begins to super glue every Lego block together, piece-by-piece, in the exact position the instructions suggest, so no block can be misplaced or misused ever again.

When I first encountered Jesus and began to really read the Bible for myself in college I began to see that many things I had learned in my specific faith tradition growing up were wrong.

Being a younger Christian, my passion for God’s Word became misdirected and I promised myself I’d never allow myself to be wrong again. I began to pride myself in reading and gaining knowledge, searching the scriptures for God and all the while missing the one who it all pointed to, until a series of tragedies shook my beliefs to the core.

I began to question everything I had learned and read. I stopped reading books. The letters on the page became foreign symbols, communicating an irrelevant idea. My prayers went from consistent to scattered to confused yells at a God who seemed more like an abusive dad who super glued walls together to make it impossible to touch him.

All the things I’d known and studied, the framework and theology I claimed was so solid began to slowly crumble around me, like it was built out of Lego bricks.

How do you reply to the person whose world is collapsing?

As we learn what it means to follow Jesus, at varying times we build our life on things that can’t hold the weight of human purpose. When life hits hardest we truly begin to see what our life is founded on. It’s these times that we learn life is more than a well thought out answer.

Theology and the study of God is necessary but as followers of Jesus it’s more crucial that we don’t begin to turn aspects of faith that have been deemed a mystery for thousands of years, into foundational pillars that we stand on and use to criticize everyone who disagrees with us.

When this happens we stop loving the very people Jesus came to save. We start to super glue our ideas to God and start condemning anyone who would try to love Jesus without loving our “bricks.”

The Gospel we believe in and the theology we promote is no longer relevant when it ceases to bring hope to the margins of our society – the unlovable, the sick, the poor, the oppressed, those in the minority. If you preach a Gospel (Good News) that condemns, shames or pushes someone further away from God, you’ve missed the full purpose of the message you claim to know.

The pieces aren’t where they’re supposed to be

Again, theology is important, but be on guard against a theology that’s more concerned with preserving a system, a way of doing things that you miss the human beings God lovingly created who’ve found another framework or another means of worshiping the same God.

At times I laugh thinking about how God must see me, a little boy running around with my ideas super glued together with my Lego block theology, trying to figure life out. But in God’s Eternal Kingdom these things are toys.

Brothers and sisters, in your journey through this short life, don’t be that child who holds so tightly to these toys that you miss what it’s all about. Bratty kids, who get to be adopted by the perfect dad who doesn’t care if you don’t put all the pieces where they’re supposed to go.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.