Are We In The U.S. United By Language Faith Culture What Is Theology? Demystifying A Scary Practice

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What Is Theology? Demystifying A Scary Practice

Theology can seem like a scary word to some people. For some, this word conjures up images of large libraries and stuffy book lovers sitting on the library floor reading huge volumes of works such as Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics or H. Orton Wiley’s Three-volume Systematic Theology. For others, imagine a university or seminary where professional pastors and future teachers go, but return to your local church with words and ideas greater than you can count on your child’s language tasks. And even for some, the idea of ​​some professor sitting in an ivory tower writing and coming up with a new and new idea just to try to make your life miserable is definitely unbiblical. Of course, it is not something for the inexperienced or young Christian, and there is no way that a common person who has been in the faith for a while, like you, could ever understand or understand, it does not happen to sorry Sunday with the sermon and yours. devotions that are not always recorded. For many of you, I’m sure you’re just confused when it comes to this subject, I’ve probably met someone like you too in a similar boat, and I’m just wondering what theology is to begin with. That’s a good question to ask. The fact that you even ask shows that you take your relationship with God seriously, because this word and its many themes come in ways that we are not always aware of. So, let’s go on a journey and hopefully you will get some clarity on the matter.

“Theology” is a term that has been used since the 3rd century to mean “talk about God” or “science of God”. In itself, theology deals with the nature and relationship that people have with God and what the word “god” means to people. After all, “God” means different things to different people and different religious traditions. Muslims are told about Allah and the teachings of the Koran and the four other holy books of their Islamic faith. For the Jew it is Jehovah/YHWH and the respect of the Law. Both monotheistic traditions believe in a “God”, but what they believe about that “God” is very different from Christians. For polytheistic traditions (many gods) it could mean doing something for one god to avoid the wrath of another. For the Deist, it might just be to find general truths in all traditions and live a moral life and go to heaven. Everyone believes different things and this is essentially what theology is and the purpose of discussing. It is discussion about God or gods and the relationship that exists between us and them and us with each other.

What makes Christian Theology?

Christian theology talks about God in a Christian way. Christians, think about their faith. Christian faith is a matter of reflection and a result of that reflection. Looking at why we do the things we do and why. Consider why Protestants uphold the importance of Scripture and Catholics look to both Scripture and Tradition. To answer the question then of what makes Christian theology, it all comes down to what we believe. One such example of this in practice is the different beliefs about the Church itself.

For some people, the Christian Church should be only a body of believers, while for others they believe that it should be a mixed group. There are certainly other ideas here on the matter. Christian theology, however, forces us to think in an orderly way about the fundamental ideas of our Christian faith. Theology is, at least to a large extent, an intellectual reflection on the act, content and implications of the Christian faith. It is sometimes used to help communicate an understanding of certain elements of our Christian faith by asking things like:

• Where do these different approaches come from?

• What are the merits of such an approach?

• What impact or difference is made to the business of the Christian life?

Engaged ideas of theology

Christian theology is trying to understand why the Christian Church is committed to ideas that seem complicated and, at times, a little improbable. When we see the question of what is theology, we can consider such difficult concepts about the relationship of Jesus Christ humanity and divinity. Christians claim that Jesus is both 100% human and 100% divine, but some may ask why they say this when it is simpler to say that Jesus is truly human. Another example is the matter of the Trinity. Why is God a Trinity, when it just seems easier to believe in God? Theology responds to these challenges and gives voice to not only what we believe, but why we believe.

Does theology make faith unnecessarily complicated?

When answering the question of “what is theology” it is not uncommon to hear a theology question that makes faith unnecessarily complicated. And, I believe that the concern is justified, but to a certain extent. I often find it useful to remember what Anselm of Canterbury said about the matter of theology, and that it is “faith that seeks understanding”.

As I said in the sections above, Christianity thinks about its faith. We make different claims about God and what we are taught and read about God and the relationship we have with God. However, we are also curious people and have questions, sometimes questions about divorce and marriage or baptism of children. In essence we say and profess one thing, but now we answer the why aspect of it. It seems simple to just say well the Bible says xyz about divorce, but what about sexual or emotional abuse that leads to leaving a marriage? Are you biblically justified in leaving that marriage? The answer on this matter becomes a little more complicated, because now the contextual elements are needed not only from the teaching of the Bible on marriage and divorce, but it is the teaching on violence and the duty of care of the spouses have to the marriage and how the cultures in which the marriage. biblical authors write approaches and experienced things. Sometimes, you need to look at historical Christians and other writings of that time to learn what happened and then approach the matter from an informed opinion with a set or reasons and advice. It is about putting theology into practice, it is an area called Biblical Theology and that deals with hermeneutics and exegesis and other elements of biblical literature and study.

Another consideration to answer the matter of this is complicated is that Christians meet non-Christians. Sometimes non-Christians are interested in the Christian faith and knowing more about it. Maybe they are curious or not sure what to believe. Maybe their parents never emphasized the importance of religion growing up and they feel like they are missing out. Or maybe you’re in a college course discussing atheism. Simply stating that “because the Bible says so” does not fly in these situations. In fact, for the curious or agnostic they can simply think and believe that Christians worship a book rather than an almighty God who really exists. They need some background on why the Bible is important and not just a book or moral teachings and sayings. Theology offers people in these situations an explanation of the Christian faith and helps them understand why Christians differ in some important points such as baptism by immersion or by sprinkling.

Perhaps the most compelling reason regarding the importance of theology and doing it even if it seems complicated is the discipleship of the mind. Theology is the discipleship of the mind. Deut. 6:1-24 and Matthew 22:37 both address the importance of our belief in God and to live obediently, which happens to include the love of God and others with our whole being. The Apostle Paul appeals to us in Romans 12:1-2 about the importance of the renewal and transformation of our mind on the things of God so that we can worship God properly and follow the will of God. When we engage in theology in the contemplation of the act and being of our faith, we have a look at the internal dynamics of a life of faith and its desire to understand what is believed.

Other benefits of theology

Of course, there are other aspects of engaging in theology for the everyday Christian. One such example is that it gives a person a deeper enrichment and appreciation of his faith. Perhaps the most exciting thing about Christian meetings and the time I spent with other members of God’s family is in celebration and contemplation of ideas to engage others for the Kingdom of God. We read and study scripture and other Christian writings or videos for ideas and insights to help this process and respond to challenges. This is a commitment of theology.

Another benefit is that there tends to be a sort of excitement that comes when one wrestles with God. Augustine once expressed this very idea in saying that theology was and eros of the mind. Anyone familiar with the Greek and the words for “love” or even familiar with human intimacy, will know that this is where the term erotic comes from. Theology is an erotic sensation that engages us with our Creator. It is “a sense of longing to understand more about the nature and ways of God.”

And finally, the most important benefit of theology that I can think of is that it has a transformative impact on people’s lives. This not only happens to us personally as we learn and grow, but is also fundamental to why we do things. It is at the heart of Christian outreach and social services that are carried out in certain ways. That is why the many food banks are sponsored and managed by Churches and Christian organizations. It is about saying that there is a God who loves others and calls us to be his hands and feet in a wounded and lost world.

Closing thoughts

I hope you understand that answering “what is theology” is an important thing to struggle with. Having this understanding is fundamental before even trying to engage any other issue or talk about any other issue. We must be clear not only what we believe, but why we believe. It’s not about trying to change what the Bible says or coming up with a new doctrine, but it’s about engaging that biblical text and giving an account of what we believe. I am excited to see what the future holds for God’s Church and I hope this will encourage you and help you engage your faith on a deeper level as you grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God, your partner. If you have questions or are just curious, we encourage you to leave a comment. God bless and talk soon.

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