What the heck is Theology anyway? I hear you ask.
“Christian Theology can never fully capture that vision of God, but it can at least challenge us to think more deeply about God, and cause us to get excited about its themes.”
A. Mc Grath
Theology is simply the study of God. Or to use St. Anselm of Canterbury’s centuries-old definition, Theology is “faith seeking understanding”. It is asking questions and seeking understanding about matters of faith. The word Theology comes from two Greek terms: theos (God) and logos (word, teaching, study) therefor the word Theology means “the study of God” (Frank Whaling).
“Theology is the systematic reflection on, and articulation of, the fundamental beliefs we share as followers of Jesus Christ” Stanley Grenz.
Its easy to think that Theology is a study relegated to dusty old men when in reality it is what we are doing all the time when it comes to matters of faith. Although Theology is closely connected to faith they are different. Faith is our personal experience with God and Theology is the study of God that supports and serves our faith (S. Grenz).
Theology draws from a number of sources, the four most recognised are: Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience. Also known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. These are the lenses that we use to gain perspective as we form our Theology.
- Scripture – what does God say?
- Tradition – historically what does the Church have to say?
- Reason – what does my brain say?
- Experience – what does my life experience and the life experience of others have to say?
Alister McGrath goes into detail about this in his book “Christian Theology – An Introduction”.
“No man ever saw God and lived. And yet, I shall not live till I see God: and when I have seen him, I shall never die”.
Each Thursday we will endeavour to look a little closer at Theology and Ministry. People who study, teach and work in the areas of Theology and Ministry will post articles and editorials which, because of their nature, will be more in depth and academic. We can get them to answer some of the hard questions, phew. Their answers will give us a deeper perspective from a biblical context.
Feel free to post some questions, topics or conundrums regarding Theology that you would like talked about and I will endeavor to track down and catch the relevant theological mind best suited to the task. Some Theologians you might like to start reading are: Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Stanley Houerwas, Alister Mc Grath, Eugene Peterson and N.T. Wright.
Alister McGrath “Christian Theology – An Introduction”.
Daniel Migliore, “Faith Seeking Understanding – An Introduction to Christian Theology”.
Stanley Grenz, Created for Community