26 Oct '13
Theology for non-theologians
Posted by T.J. Addington in theology
Theology is a word from a Greek word that combines the words "God" and "study of," therefore it means the study of God. By definition, every believer, or follower of Jesus is also a student of God and understanding Him.
Obviously this means that we are regular readers of the Scriptures. This is where our churches can be a huge encouragement to the body to be regularly in the text. I am deeply encouraged by whole congregations that are reading through the Bible together. Ministries like Bible Study Fellowship, Precepts and others make huge contributions to the body in this regard.
Every believer should understand and be able to define key biblical words and concepts that define theology: incarnation, redemption, reconciliation, the fall, sanctification, gospel, salvation, creation, the image of God, heaven, hell and sin. These and other words come directly from the Bible and are absolutely key to the understanding of who God is, what he has done for us, his eternal plan and our place in that plan. This is not exhaustive obviously but illustrates the point.
I have another conviction. Almost all of us have the ability to read and understand books on theology. There are many theological books that are very accessible to the average but discerning reader. We read many books on the Christian life. What about reading books that directly help us understand who God is from those who have spent a lifetime studying Him?
In addition there are many online courses available today from great Christian colleges and seminaries. My challenge is that however we do it that we regularly are learning more about God, His Word and the central themes of Scripture. Central themes of Scripture should be known and understood by His followers.
I titled this blog "Theology for non-theologians." The truth is that every believer is by definition a theologian. The question is whether we are good theologians or poor theologians.