1

Your cart is empty.

Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

07 Feb '13

Every believer is a theologian

Posted by T.J. Addington in theologians, theology
One of the unfortunate results of our western emphasis on education is that we create professional theologians while the average believer knows very little basic theology. Yet, an understanding of God, of His Word and of His desired work in our lives is not the purview of theologians but of each one who follows Him. Every believer is a theologian as one who follows Him. How deep our theology is however, is another matter.

Here is an example. When reading a book the first chapter is pretty important as it sets the stage for everything else the writer has to say. The same is true with Scripture. In Genesis chapters 1 - 3 lay the framework for what God intended for His creation, a world gone wrong and the beginning of His meta story to redeem and ReImage images destroyed in the fall. If we are to understand the rest of the story properly we need to understand the theology in these chapters.

Yet, most believers don't see themselves as part of a bigger story (Ephesians 2:10). For most of us, it is our story we focus on rather than God's story of which we are called to be divine players.

Or take the fact that every man, woman and child is made in His image, tarnished as the image became in the fall. If that is true, how can we marginalize anyone we meet? Every person, no matter how flawed and sinful is made in His Image and is a potential son or daughter of the king. If we understood that fact we might even treat one another in the church with greater kindness: Theology made practical!

How do I share my faith without a basic understanding of theology? It may be why many believers don't. They don't have much to say because they don't understand their God and His plan very well. Yet all of this is within our grasp through the study of His word and the reading of others who study His word (the second must not substitute for the first). 

Paul, a learned man did not shy away from explaining the basics of the faith with theological terms when writing to those who were not learned. His message, and theology was accessible to those who served in Roman government as well as to the cobbler in Corinth. In fact, he assumed that Christ followers must and should understand the basics of their faith and of God. It is when we don't understand that we move away from the way of God (hence the Galatians) and from healthy faith.

When professional theologians (pastors and teachers) do not continually point their people back to Jesus and His word and encourage them to explore Him themselves they do their people a disservice. Every believer, by virtue of being a believer is a theologian. Hopefully we are growing theologians who thirst to know and understand the amazing One who has changed our lives for eternity and who has asked us to join Him in His plan to change a world gone wrong.