Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why Every Christian Needs to Study Theology

Many times average church-going Christians feel that reading academic books or studying topics such as theology are too esoteric and filled with too much "head knowledge" for them to worry about. "Just give me Jesus and I'll be fine" they believe. But that's not the biblical model. What we know about God matters very much. David F. Wells of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary sums it up here:
Let us not think that we really have a choice between having a theology and not having one. We all have our theologies, for we all have a way of putting things together in our own minds that, if we are Christian, has a shape that arises from our knowledge of God and his Word. We might not be conscious of the process. Indeed, we frequently are not. But at the very least we will organize our perceptions into some sort of pattern that scans to make sense to us. The question at issue, then, is not whether we will have a theology but whether it will be a good or bad one, whether we will become conscious of our thinking processes or not, and, more particularly, whether we will learn to bring all of our thoughts into obedience to Christ or not. The biblical authors had a theology in this sense, after all, and so too did Jesus. He explained himself in terms of biblical revelation, understood his life and work in relation to God, and viewed all of life from this perspective. He had a worldview that originated in the purposes and character of his Father and that informed everything he said and did. (Emphasis added.)
1. Wells, David F. No Place for Truth: or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology? (Grand Rapids: Wm. Eerdmans Pub., 1993). 3-4.

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