There is a general misconception that theology is only for religious specialists who spend years in college and seminary and church pastorates. Not true. In truth, we are all theologians. Theology is the study of God, and whether our beliefs are well-formed or half-baked, all of us have ideas about God and the world in which we live. Our decisions and our attitudes are influenced by those beliefs.
Therefore, the wise person sets out to determine just what his beliefs about God are and to correct those that are wrong.
Some of the sources of our beliefs about God come from the revealed Word of God. There are moments in which God may have indeed spoken to us to clarify truth about Him. At other times, our beliefs come from questionable sources, such as negative personal experiences or cultural influences that tell us lies about ourselves and about God. These unconscious but erroneous beliefs can have a devastating effect upon us and those who must live with us.
At times, we should each clarify what we actually believe about God and whether our beliefs agree with the revealed Word of God. It may be that what we say we believe is not what we actually believe in practice.
Theology is not just for theologians, seminary students and pastors, it is for all of us. We must make a conscious and constant effort to align our beliefs with scripture to help us make wise life decisions and decisions that affect us and those around us for eternity.
The main divisions of Christian theology include (1) exegetical theology (interpretation and study of scriptural texts), (2) historical theology (the history of doctrinal thought), (3) systematic theology (arranging the teachings in a logical order which includes apologetics and ethics, the doctrine of origins to the doctrine of last things) and (4) practical theology (salvation, preaching, education, administration, worship, the Great Commission). To effectively live our Christian lives, we must have strong foundations in each of these areas.
Of course, Christian theology is more than the sum of correct beliefs about God.
It involves our response to the work of the living God in our lives, moving us to act in love and obedience toward him. Our correct beliefs become a living faith as we listen to God and learn to do His will in our lives.
For example, if we say we believe in an omnipotent God, we will trust God to do great things in our lives and the lives of others. We will give ourselves to prayers of faith.
We will not become discouraged when things do not always go our way. We will trust God to be stronger than the circumstances that surround us.
We will also get our priorities straight when it comes to the Great Commission.
We will more readily see the lost world around us and ask God how He can work through us to accomplish His redemptive purpose among the spiritually lost at home and abroad.
In India, millions of people remain in spiritual confusion because of diabolically distorted and darkened perceptions of God. Join us with your prayers and resources to insure that the Bread of Life reaches all who hunger for it.
Blessings in Christ,