Theology: Whether You Want To Or Not
The·ol·o·gy – “The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions”
Theology. Kind of sounds like a bad word in today’s culture, doesn’t it? We associate it with extreme liberalism or ultra conservatism. Often times people assume that one that is concerned about theology is really only viewing God through the glasses of academia. We associate Theology with the mind and the rest of Christianity with the heart. Somehow we’ve cast this ever-important part of our faith away into a collection of archaic disciplines. There is a misconceived assumption that one has to be named Eusebius, Ambrose, or Augustine in order to understand anything that remotely deals with Theology. It is a sad state that we are in. In our Post-Modern culture, in which we value opinion over truth, and the search over the end result, many people don’t care about important Theological issues. We like to throw important doctrine under the rug for the sake of “searching for ourselves”. It doesn’t matter if Theologians spent gave up their lives to defend heresies or become catalyst for reformation. We would rather neglect that knowledge in order to mysticize our faith.But there is one thing we’re forgetting. Whether we embrace theology or not, we our creating our own theology. It doesn’t matter whether or not we say we are theologically minded or not; we cultivate our own theology each and everyday. Theology is more then being able to argue the peccability verse the impeccability of Christ or being able to adequately explain the governmental view of atonement. Theology is any study and understanding of God. If we tell people that God is love, then that is part of our theology. If we show mercy to one another, because God showed mercy toward us, that is theology. If we explain to people that we need to bring lost souls back into union with God, that is theology. Simply by the way we live we are developing our theology. Theology doesn’t have to be all lofty ideas and concepts, although there is great benefit in knowing those, it is also the specific way in which we see the nature of God. We share our theology with people everyday in the way in which we live.
Harry Reeder III tells a story about a woman coming up to him after a service and explaining to him that she has a question. She says “don’t worry though, it’s not theological”, to which he responds “well, you really don’t have a question then do you?”. He was simply explaining that everything in our lives is theological. Not just whats in our textbooks, but every action we do.
What it comes down to is that you are theological, whether you want to be or not. Just by the way you live your life and the things you tell people about God, you are forming a theology. So this demands some questions: are you spreading true theology? Are you demonstrating the correct nature of God in your actions and your life? Paul talks a lot throughout his epistles about keeping the message true and constantly rebuking false teachings. I think it goes without saying that one of the best ways for us to betray the Gospel message is through the way we live our lives. Do not betray the life changing message of the Gospel through sinful actions. Make sure your theology is sound.
* This is a repost from my former blog on blogpost. I still think that this is a very pertinent issue that needs to be discussed.