Why study theology?
There is a popular misconception that the study of Christian theology is a heady and fruitless venture, reserved only for academics and wannabe theologians. But "theology" merely means the study (or knowledge) of God and of what he has revealed to us in the Scriptures. And it's in this sense that R. C. Sproul says, "Everyone's a theologian." We may be muddled about what we believe, but everybody believes something about God. The Bible speaks of having sound doctrine (Titus 1:9; 2:1) and of rightly handling the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Connecting the truths of Scripture into a whole is what we call systematic theology.
Knowing God, therefore, involves first and foremost the use of our minds. It does not end with our thinking correctly, for truth must also be embraced, loved, and acted upon. But it must first be understood as clearly as possible. Many Christians feel it a waste of time to study theology, and so they rush ahead to feel and act upon truth before they actually understand it. For example, how can we go about living the Christian life without understanding what took place at the cross of Christ, the nature of law and grace, and the role of the Holy Spirit, as revealed by God? Studying theology, then, is a matter of seeking to connect and understand what God has revealed to us, and to do that with as much consistency as possible.
In our class on Introduction to Theology we will begin with two topics, Prolegomena and Epistemology. Prolegomena means "fore-words", or what we need to know before we study theology. Epistemology means knowing how we know things, or even how we know anything at all. This latter topic is very important in our time, for many people in our culture say it is not possible to know God, or even to talk about God meaningfully in a scientific age. This study will address the reasonableness of believing in God, especially in light of skeptical, postmodern claims. We can know God, and know that we know him.
Why not join us for this class? Or one of the other classes we are offering this fall. Click in the upper left of the home page to preregister and let us know of your interest. Thanks!
Image credit: Saint Augustine in His Study by Sandro Botticelli, 1480, Chiesa di Ognissanti, Florence, Italy, via Wikimedia Commons.
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