The Ology

7:30 AM

What comes to mind when you hear "theology"?

"Uh oh, another discussion way over my head."

"Please, let's talk about something unifying for once."

*YAWN*

Theology presents an understandable boredom block and brain shutdown for the average Christian layperson. It is neither quick nor easy nor altogether interesting at first blush. Not only does one have to learn terms like credobaptism or sola fide, one must also wade through such words as exegesis, efficacious and anathematize to even begin to enter into the discussion. Works that are thorough are dull; works that are witty are insiders' business; works that are moderate leave questions unanswered.

That is understandable. The lukewarm daily devo sounds very sweet to an overloaded brain. And sometimes I wish theologians would plaster warning stickers over works containing big words. (Insert corny "it's Greek to me" joke.)

To that I say, buck up and take it like a Christian. Apparently, the Word Hoarders cornered the market on deep things. It would naturally follow that bigger ideas require bigger words. How else do we learn chemistry, without element, fluoride and calorimeter? How else do we learn English, without present partciples and metonymy? How else do we learn geometry, without theorem and polygon?

Christianity, like any language, like any study, has a grammar and a vocabulary. Ignorance of terms should be expected.

What I cannot understand is Christian anti-theologianism (my word, though it wouldn't surprise me if it's an actual ism). The thought goes that emphasis needs to be on evangelism, on unity. It's said that it's more important to live and preach the Gospel, to live a good life, to actually have a relationship with God. Or if it's not said, it's implied. When was the last time your Sunday school studied church doctrine? When was the last time your Sunday school studied a Christian's approach to lying or fear or immorality?

Actually, I agree that we need to present a united front. And I think it's absolutely essential that we focus on being a Christian and knowing God than knowing about being a Christian and knowing about God. But even if one's focus is divisive or empty, it isn't theology's fault. It's the empty-hearted Christian's.

If our focus is on unity and knowing God, then we have absolutely no excuse not to study theology -- and indeed, that goal of true communion with God and with others will bring to life what otherwise seems stuffy. If one wants any knowledge at all -- any basic sort of knowledge -- studying theology is the way to go. It's the ology of all other ologies, the basis for all living and thinking.

And since I see most of you either stifling yawns or raising eyebrows, I shall stop. But don't stop thinking. And do tell me what you think. Is theology the ology of your life?

You Might Also Like

4 impressions

  1. I am not yawning. I like studying theology (in small, manageable bites because I am slow of mind sometimes!) for this reason: it helps me to know God and who I am in relation to him. It helps me to more greatly appreciate God's majesty, power, justice, mercy, love, holiness, and sufficiency and the awesomeness of my redemption from misery and destruction and my restoration to peace with God through Jesus Christ. How awesome is that? The more I learn of who God really is and what the work of Christ on the cross really did, the more I love and worship God, my Creator.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well heeeeer it comes.

    I'm not the smartso argumentive theologian - more like the ostrich with it's eye bigger than it's brain.

    To rephrase - my theology is small - but then if my big sis learned it - perhaps her little sister can too. :)

    *hugs*

    ~Bethany

    ReplyDelete
  3. A question for you - were you in our car on Thursday? I mean seriously these two thoughts - "What I cannot understand is Christian anti-theologianism (my word, though it wouldn't surprise me if it's an actual ism). The thought goes that emphasis needs to be on evangelism, on unity. It's said that it's more important to live and preach the Gospel, to live a good life, to actually have a relationship with God. Or if it's not said, it's implied." and "I think it's absolutely essential that we focus on being a Christian and knowing God than knowing about being a Christian and knowing about God."
    honestly sound *EXACTLY* like what we were talking about during our four hour drive on Thursday. It's weird. :)
    We were staying with some friends in Phoenix and my dad and Mr. K. had stayed up til 2 am discussing theology and the next day we all were talking about what they had been discussing, and someone there said they were "too busy to study all that technical stuff" (paraphrased) and she is very much a person who is focused on evangelism and unity. So later after we left we were discussing how dangerous that sort of mind set can be. The person who had said that says she spends her time reading the bible and focusing on just practical application, which is wonderful, and we should all spend more time doing, but you know, if you aren't soundly grounded in doctrine and theology, you are so easily swayed by every theory and new religious fad that comes along, even if you spend many hours reading your bible. I'm not sure if I'm coming off clearly, as I am a bit tired, but I hope it makes sense :)

    Fantastic post! I wish more people, and especially young women your age thought this way!

    Love you girl!
    ~Elissa

    ReplyDelete
  4. Elissa, you are always so encouraging! Unfortunately I missed out on that car conversation, but boy, is it right up my alley. :o)

    I know exactly what you mean. To me, Josh Harris summed it up when he said that if we don't base our Christianity on the truth of God (via theology)...then what are we basing it on? Falsehood? Ignorance?

    And who can truly love and serve somebody they've got totally wrong?

    Love you too! Thanks for brightening my day with such a perfect comment. :o)))

    ReplyDelete

Hit me with your best thought! I'm very interested in your unique perspective. If you'd like to discuss things in private, feel free to email me! :)