What is it?
Merriam-Webster says, “the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially the study of God and of God’s relation to the world.”
In some ways, an unconquerable subject, for God is infinite. He is beyond our complete grasp and full understanding. At the same time, a subject of vital importance, for what can be known of God has been made plain by Him to us generally through nature and specifically through Scripture.
A subject not for the academics alone.
Every Christian is a theologian. It is not just professors of theology or those who have academically studied in seminary who do theology. Every Christian is a theologian. In virtue of the fact that you are a Christian you are committed to certain beliefs about reality – a certain worldview that God exists, that God is three persons, that Christ is both human and divine, that God has created the world, that we are morally fallen before God and in need of His forgiveness and cleansing. All of these are Christian doctrines, or the stuff or subject of Christian doctrines. Therefore, the question isn’t whether or not you are going to be a theologian; the question is whether you are going to be a poor theologian or a good theologian. Just by being a Christian, you are committed to being a theologian.
There is no subject about which I am more passionate. It took me 9 years, 4 schools and 3 changes of major to finally realize that I wanted to learn all the big words that explain the Big Good Book so I could turn around and explain the big words using small, simple ones. I want to tear down the walls of intimidation. We all learn differently and we all have different gifts, but there is no reason that we shouldn’t all possess the same understanding.
For the next 31 days, we are going to feast on theology. We are going to fill our spiritual bellies with the good stuff. Some of these words and phrases will be familiar to you. Others, perhaps not. In no way will this be an exhaustive course. Don’t email me a disgruntled, “Why didn’t you write about _____________?” This is, instead, me helping you break down common terms you might see in articles or hear in church. Perhaps you’ve been too scared to admit that you don’t know what they mean. Perhaps you know what they mean, but you haven’t been able to word the meanings in such a way that they are easily grasped by others.
Let this be your starting point, your launching pad. Most of these entries will be short and easily digestible. Let them prompt you to engage in more detailed study.
The point of theology is never knowledge for knowledge’s sake. As we learn and grow, our hearts should swell with praise that can’t help but escape our lips. If you still have trouble understanding some of these things at the end of our journey, but you love God more deeply and find your faith strengthened, then I’ll be happy. The goal is not for you to ace a written exam. It is, instead, for you burst with gratitude and reverence.
With that in mind, let us allow Nathan Drake to usher us into worship:
For all entries in the 31 Days of Feasting on Theology series, go here.