What is Theology?


There’s a word you won’t find in your Bible, yet you’ll find the subject all over your Bible: theology. What does theology mean? Augustine was perhaps the first to use the word, theologia in both Greek and Latin, which he defined as “reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity.”

Now, people often say things like, “Well, I’m a spiritual person, but I’m just not theological.” “I love the Bible, but I’m not interested in theology.” “Don’t give me theology, just give me Jesus!” They make these statements because they’re ignorant about theology — or what the word even means!

Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church shared this: “Jesus never let His theology get in the way of His ministry.” (Huh?) Andy Stanley instucts pastors to “Separate theology from ministry.” (What?) And apologist William Lane Craig said, “We’re not doing theology. We’re doing apologetics.” (D’oh!)

“When you separate theology from ministry, you liberate your ministry and have better theology.” Andy Stanley at Catalyst, April 22, 2016. (No, Andy.)

If you are opening your mouth and talking about God, you are being theological. If your theology is not grounded in biblical orthodoxy, in other words right teaching, you might be a heretic. The Bible tells us to study theology. Specifically, the Bible tells us to study right theology.

“Everyone is a theologian.” R.C. Sproul

Paul told Timothy, “Charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith” (1 Timothy 3:1-5).

“If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing” (1 Timothy 6:3-4), when we understand the text.

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