Today I start a new series called Theology Thursday. Every Thursday I’ll take a look at a different theological topic and write about it from the perspective of a conservative Calvinist. You can throw out your thoughts in the comments section and we’ll think through the topic together.
To kick off the series I’ll answer this question – What is theology?
Simply put, theology is the study of what a religion (in this case, Christianity) believes to be true, and/or the body of beliefs held by a religion. The word technically means the study of God (theos – God; logos – knowledge, study), but Christian theology has been broken down into many categories depending on what specific topic you are studying and therefore I think a broader definition is the easier one with which to work.
The second part of that definition is very important. If theology is the body of beliefs about God, everyone is a theologian. It is not something we can leave to the scholars and pastors. When someone makes a statement about God, they are making a theological statement.
Jesus is God – theology.
There is no god – theology.
We are all part of god – theology.
Whether their statement is right or wrong, orthodox or heretical, well-thought-out or simply shot from the hip, the things someone says about God are their theology. Even statements like “I don’t do theology” or “Theology is divisive” are theology because they are reflecting what someone believes about the importance of knowing the truth about God and our relation to Him.
What you believe about God is of incredible importance and carries huge consequences. It is worth taking the time to figure out what you believe, studying to find out if what you believe is right or wrong, and then learning more. It won’t be easy, but it will be infinitely rewarding.
For a post on the objections raised against learning theology, go here.