Tackling Theology – What is Theology

What is Theology and Can We Grasp It

What comes to mind when you read the word, theology? Boring? Academic? Intellectual? A common misconception among many Christians is they believe a vast gap exists between what they think are “ordinary Christians” and those who are known as theologians.

The reality is everyone is a theologian. Anytime a person reflects on the great “why” questions of life, he or she engages in theological reflection. For example, any time suffering occurs, a common question raised is, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” Such reflection is theological in nature.

Questions often fuel theological reflection. In my own life, questions about life and culture drove me to grow in my theological reflection. I picked up a book by R.C. Sproul called “Essential Truths of the Christian Faith.” Reading that book was the beginning of a quest to know God more and that quest continues to this day. Learning theology enlivened my mind and ignited in me a passion for the Triune God!

That’s what I want for you. My goal in these weekly posts is to sharpen your mind, increase your passion for Christ, and enrich your life.

Let’s start with some basics. Theology stems from two Greek words, theos which
means God, and logos which means reason, or thought. Theology, at its most basic
level is the “study of God.” God is the source of theology; He is the teacher and His textbook is His Word (2 Tim. 3:16-17). God is the subject of theology and He is also the goal of theology. Theology leads us to God. The goal of theology in the words of Puritan William Ames is “living to God.” Theology, rightly understood, leads one to have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) — a renewed mind (Romans 12:2) that is aligned with the teaching of Christ (Matthew 28:18-20).

Questions

1. What is your reaction to the idea that “everyone is a theologian?”
2. What sort of questions about God have you struggled with in the past or are
currently struggling with?

Next week: We will address the Bible, the source of Christian theology.

– Pastor Tim