Thursday, July 7, 2011

Reflections of a Theologian 01

Theology is normally defined something like "the study of the existence and nature of the divine and his relationship to and influence upon other beings." In laymen terms, theology is generally what we believe about God and how He interacts with us. Today I am starting a series of blog posts that I am calling "Reflections of a Theologian." These blog posts will be my thoughts about what I am learning in my study of theology. My plan is to post a new blog on this topic every Thursday.

Let me make a promise at the very beginning. I promise that I will make every attempt to make it understandable. I do not plan on making these blog posts uncharacteristically long. I want them to be helpful. I want them to be read. While I think the best way for anyone to study theology is to pick up the Bible along with some helpful theological work, I also know that many people are busy. I want to do this series to help people because I think most people are theologically ignorant.

I apologize if that is offensive. However, I cannot tell you how many people I talk to who say they believe things they have no idea how to defend. I often wonder if people believe things more based on Christian sub-cultures than they do because they are taught in the Bible. Therefore, I want to do this so that others might grasp a glimpse of theology and might be able to process a few concepts in their mind.

I also anticipate that I will ask more questions than give answers in this series. These are going to be my thoughts as I wrestle through tough topics and thoughts about God. I will give what I believe is truth about these things, but anticipate doing so through the form of questions. As any theologian knows, good answers only come from good questions. I hope you will see my thought process.

Much of this will be the result of a study with my fellow elders at Cornerstone Bible Church. As I challenged them to study theology more in depth, they quickly decided to take time once a month in our elder meeting to study. As elders, God has called us to know the truth and to guard it. He has called the elders of the church to hold "fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict" (Titus 1:9). I particularly hope those from CBC will read these posts and ask questions back as well.

Let me end with one quote from the main book we will be using to enhance our study of theology. The name of the book is Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem (I was fortunate enough to have him as a professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). Here is his take on the need for theological study in the life of the church:
"I am convinced that there is an urgent need in the church today for much greater understanding of Christian doctrine, or systematic theology. Not only pastors and teachers need to understand theology in greater depth--the whole church does as well. One day by God's grace we may have churches full of Christians who can discuss, apply, and live the doctrinal teachings of the Bible as readily as they can discuss the details of their own jobs or hobbies--or the fortunes of their favorite sports team or television program. It is not that Christians lack the ability to understand doctrine; it is just that they must have access to it in an understandable form. Once that happens, I think that many Christians will find that understanding (and living) the doctrines of Scripture is one of their greatest joys." (18)
Amen! That is why I am engaging in this blog series. Please spread the Word!

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