What is Theology?

Advertisement

People often hear pastors and Bible teachers talk about theology, but they want to know, “What is theology?”

Well, here is one definition of theology:

What is theology?

Did that definition of theology help any?

I didn’t think so.

If you are like me, you are probably more confused (and bored) now than you were before you read that definition of theology. If you are asking, “What is theology?” the only thing you really learned from that definition of theology above is that theology is confusing and boring. But take heart, theology doesn’t have have to be this way.

When properly taught, theology is not confusing and is never be boring. When properly studied, theology sets the heart on fire and opens up the mind to imagination and wonder. Let me show you how.

What is Theology?

Here at Till He Comes, my goal is to Bring Scripture and Theology to Life. I not only desire to write about these subjects in ways that are interesting and engaging, but also write about them in a way which shows how they affect your life right now.

So when people ask, “What is theology?” I not only seek to answer the question and provide a definition of theology that makes sense, but also to show how theology matters and how it makes a difference in your life today.

What is theology? Here is the basic definition of theology: Theology literally means “the study of God.”

But theology is so much more than that. When theology is truly studied, it ushers you into a deep relationship with God. Theology is not simply the study of God, but an interaction with God, a conversation with Him and with others about the deep mysteries of divinity. Theology is thinking God’s thoughts after Him. It is tracing the mind and heart of God, and learning to see the world through the eyes of God.

What is theology? Theology is entering into a lifelong conversation with God about Himself, ourselves, and how He wants to live life with us.

What is theology? Theology is learning to make God your best friend.

That sounds more exciting than the boring definition of theology provided in the image above, right?

Learning Theology

I suppose my answer to the question, “What is theology?” needs some examples.  If theology is ultimately an adventure with God, then theology cannot really be taught, but must be experienced. However, learning theology is the first step in experiencing theology. So below I provide some basic instruction about theology, the various categories of theology, and some of my own thoughts about theology.

You may notice by looking through the posts below that this is a work in progress. But that again is a truth about theology. When we ask, “What is theology?” we cannot expect to learn theology in an afternoon. Learning theology is a life-long process, which I believe will be continued in eternity. Just as God is infinite, so learning about God requires infinity.

In the post below, I seek to answer the question “What is theology?” by sharing with you some of what I have learned about theology over the years, and by asking some of the questions I still have.

There are two types of posts below. Some contain summaries of my seminary class notes. I know this might sound boring, but I do my best to summarize them in an interesting way.

However, after I summarize my notes, it is then that things really get lively. I take the theology I was taught, and then challenge, question, and critique it in a way I was not able to do in seminary (at least, not if I wanted to graduate).

Eventually, there will be hundreds of posts on this page, so you may want to Subscribe to the Blog so that you get new posts as they are published.

The posts are divided into the traditional categories of Systematic Theology:

What is theology? Click on a link to jump to that section of the page
|  Introduction  |  Bibliology  |  Theology Proper  |  Anthropology  |  Hamartiology  |  Christology  |  Soteriology  |  Pneumatology  |  Ecclesiology  |  Eschatology  |  Angelology  |


What is Theology

Introduction to Theology


Bibliology

Bibliology

Theology Proper

Anthropology

Hamartiology

Christology

Soteriology

Pneumatology

Ecclesiology

Eschatology

Angelology

Books that Help with the “What is Theology?” Question

If you are eager to learn more about theology and cannot wait for me to finish the posts above, here are a few theology books that I recommend which will help answer your questions about theology. If you still want to know “What is theology?” the books below will help.

If you have any questions about theology you want me to answer, let me know in the comment section below, and I will try to write a post which answers your theology question.

Comments

  1. Mark Hanson on Facebook says

    Linguistically, “theology” is the “study of God” and only a real relationship with God can produce a profound theology.

  2. Bob MacDonald says

    OK – I have a couple of questions. (Your comments on Hebrews 6:8 coincide with my reading of the psalms and the way in which I have received the teaching of the Most High – in joy even when corrected). So: from a theological point of view.

    1. Is Jesus who is the Christ also in Christ?

    2. Does the lamb of God also have Yhwh as shepherd?

    • says

      Whew! Tough questions and I am not sure I can answer them. I don’t think Jesus is “in Christ” since He Himself is Christ.

      Regarding the second, I guess I would say Yes. I believe Jesus prayed Psalm 23.

      • says

        There is no inherent contradiction to Christ being a member of Christ. He is the head in Paul’s image of the body. (For contradictions in members of a set, see Russel’s paradox. The paradox is presented with negatives rather than positives.)

        Nonetheless, both these questions raise the issue of the incarnation and the question of our obedience in faith and of faith to our calling in Christ (or in God to cite Psalm 3). Theologically what do you make of the comment in John 14:28 that the Father is greater than I?

        • says

          I always took that to mean that the Father was kind of the “commanding officer” of the Trinity, though all are completely equal in power and divinity, one member is the “Head” of the Trinity, which is God the Father. So God the Father is not greater than Jesus in His being, but greater in position or authority. It is kind of like Paul’s husband-wife analogy of the husband being the head of the wife. The husband is not better, wiser, smarter, or more powerful than the woman, but is placed in a position of authority.

          That is sort of what I was taught in Bible College and Seminary, anyway.

    • says

      Not exactly my style of music but I got a big kick out of that video – Heaven is a ghost town – a Holy Ghost town? The City of God. I think heaven like hell is over-determined by the current Christian theories. There’s more to the canon than the three tiered universe. Good song though…

    • says

      I thought it was an interesting video. He is right… if only saints get in, heaven is a ghost town. Thankfully, not only “saints” get in. Sinners “get in” all the time. And as for “down below” well…. that place might be a different kind of ghost town.

  3. Sean says

    If one is to relate to God, then connecting to truth obviously becomes a major component. However, I have yet to meet a religious person who does not place their religious beliefs at the top of the ladder instead. In doing so, the truth is thrown out the window since truth is not placed as top priority.

    One is only dependent upon a belief if one is located at a distance from the truth in the first place. If you are located at a distance from the truth, you are certainly not directly connected to the truth, thus you are located within the zone of less than truth. If you stick to your beliefs, then you stick to being located at a distance from the truth.

    Thus the believers will only accept a certain measure of the truth, meaning the percentage of the truth that can still be seen when being located at a distance from it. Thus if truth is presented directly to a believer in the here and now, hence the absence of distance, the truth will be spat at, flogged, scourged, and crucified, as was demonstrated approximately 2,000 years ago.

    In turn, one can obviously not speak truths directly to believers. One must therefore speak to them indirectly. One must speak to them via parables.

    Thus if true proof of the existence of God is presented in the here and now to believers, they will flog it, scourge it, and crucify it in an instant by whatever means.

    As an example, recall the “Bible Code” concept and its eventual rejection.

    How many code languages are there that can exist? Is it just one? Were all countries limited to only one common top secret spy code language during World War II?

    Obviously, the number of possible code languages is greater than one. In fact, the number is virtually infinite. Therefore the number of possible ways to encode information within the Bible, is virtually infinite.

    Thus if one specific code language was actually applied to the Bible, then the remaining massive number of possible code languages would immediately be identified as false Bible Code languages.

    Thus if a false Bible Code language was studied and later identified as rubbish, one would obviously not say that “Bible Codes” are rubbish, unless one was incredibly intellectually impaired. But this is what took place despite the fact that Infinity minus one, clearly does not equal zero.

    See http://www.outersecrets.com/real/biblecode2a.htm , and click on “Watch/Listen” and sit back and listen to the True Bible Code basic introduction.

Add Comment Register



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>