How to Think Theologically
Theology gets a bad rap sometimes. It is a discipline that can sometimes be deemed too difficult or daunting, so it is not engaged by the average Christian. In some evangelical circles it is seen as somehow suppressing the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in an individuals’ life (as if learning more about God will hinder His presence), so in depth theological study is avoided. Others believe that it is only a discipline for the “professionals.” You know, the pastors and professors because, well, it’s their job. So, they can spend all their time studying thick theological tomes, and then they can just tell us what they learned on Sunday morning. We don’t need to become theologians because there are already theologians who have devoted their lives to studying the Bible and the history surrounding it. But even though theological study can be difficult, and the average Christian doesn’t need to be able to understand and explain deep theological concepts to others the same way that pastors and professors do, it is a discipline that all faithful Christians should strive to continually grow in. And it is not that we study theology so that we can grow to become theologians. All of us are already theologians.
Theology Leads to Worship
Every one of us live in the universe that God has created, and we all have certain beliefs about God and His relationship with His creation that inform our lives. In fact, every time we talk about God we are engaging in theology. Theology comes from the two Greek words theos (God) and logos (words). So, the word “theology” just means to speak words about God, and we have all done that. Whether we have the deep theological understanding of St. Augustine or express our doubts and fears about faith, or even wonder if God exists, we are doing theology. No matter how sophisticated or unsophisticated our beliefs about God are, we all have them, and they inform our lives and worship.