What's the Deal with Theology?
Have you ever gotten into a theological argument with one of those guys? You know the guy I’m talking about. The guy who listens to all the sermons, has read all the books, and loves debating so much that he traps you in a conversation about some point of theology and you're left standing there wondering when he's going to be finished. Those guys are called theologians, and much like the children’s song regarding Joshua’s spies - some are good and some are bad. The type of theologians I just mentioned are bad ones. This type of theologians are giving theology a bad reputation leading many to become hesitant to study theology.
Some do not study theology because they view it as unimportant. “I don’t know about theology but I know about Jesus” they say. Or perhaps you’ve even said, “I study the Bible not theology.” How do you know Jesus though? How do you study that Bible? Theology. While some look at theology like a four letter word, it simply means the study of God. It is how you study the Bible and join similar truths together. Theology is how the Bible’s truth fits together. Theology is absolutely essential to any Christian. There are many reasons to study theology but let me just give you 3.
Theology increases your awe for God.
The more you study about God the richer in love and admiration you have for God. As we see how Biblical truths about God fit together with other truths and God’s purposes we understand God more. We will never fully understand Him, but God has revealed truth to us in His Word so let’s study it. Jared Wilson describes this well when he writes, “Purposeful theological study of God, as an expression of love for God, cannot help but deepen our love for God. The more we read, study, meditate on, and prayerfully apply the word of God, the more we will find ourselves in awe of Him. Like a great ship on the horizon, the closer we get, the larger He looms.”
Theology keeps you from heresy.
Heresy is incorrect information regarding God and His Word. Heresy devastates us. It clouds our understanding of God, distorting His character and His purposes for man. Good theology keeps us from these errors. If we do not know and truly understand the truth, then we cannot tell the difference when we hear heresy. We could be swayed and believe something incorrect about God. Paul writes about this Ephesians 4:13 “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.”
Theology helps you grow in faith.
As our awe for God is increased so will our understanding of the need to fight sin, love others, and pursue righteousness. Good theology has a practical impact in our life. It isn’t just about our heads and what we think, but it’s also about our hearts and what we believe. It’s about our faith. Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” This famous passage says that faith is assurance and conviction. Wilson writes, “It stands to reason that the more theological facts we feast on in the Word, the more assurance and conviction—and thus the more faith—we will cultivate.” Theology improves our faith. It helps us grow as Christians.
Good theology is practical theology. If your studying of theology isn’t impacting your life than you need to reconsider what you’re studying. Theology isn't just for pastors, but every Christian is called to know God more which is impossible without theology. The benefits of theology are rich and vast do not neglect it, Christian.
Wilson, Jared C. "Why Theological Study Is for Everyone." Tabletalk Magazine Apr. 2014: Print.