If you are not a Bible scholar, it’s easy to become intimidated by terminology like eschatology, theology, melodic line and hermeneutics, to name a few. One might be tempted to feel inadequate to engage with Scripture or with people using these terms. But we don’t need to let unknown concepts scare us. Instead, let’s spend some time learning the meaning of these words. For the next several months, in Bible 101, I will expand upon these terms so you and I can approach our Bibles with confidence and boldness.
The first term on our journey is theology. And to be honest, when many of us think of theology we think, “Boring and complicated!” or “That’s for my pastor.” However, for those who want to know God more, theology is essential. After all, what you and I believe about God affects everything – family, marriage, raising kids, ministry, vocation, hobbies and more. If our knowledge of God is low or our view of Him is wrong it impacts every aspect of our lives. A.W. Tozer said, “What comes to mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
The Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary defines theology as the science which teaches the existence, character and attributes of God, His laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe and the duties we are to practice. A simple definition of theology is the study of God. The term comes from two Greek words, theos (God) and logos (word). The primary purpose of theology is to know God and to grow more like Him. The study of God is not a detached, unemotional activity, but rather, a heartfelt pursuit of God as He is revealed in Bible. It’s learning to understand everything from His viewpoint and responding with a desire to be more like Him.
Those who study theology (God) are referred to as theologians. Mistakenly, many assume a theologian is one whose vocation is the study of God. However, a theologian is anyone whose life is devoted to knowing God and His Word. The theologian’s (vocational or lay) deepest heart’s desire is to be shaped and molded by God’s truth…to be transformed from the inside out through studying and knowing God more. If you are passionate about growing in your knowledge of God, and as a result, you think, ponder, read and study the Scriptures, you just might be a theologian!
Next month’s Bible 101 we will dig into another familiar term – Biblical theology. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that the same as theology?” Stay tuned to find out!
Many Blessings My Friend!
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