*Every Friday, I answer questions that people ask in the comments section. Feel free to add your own answer or ask a new question for a future post.
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Today’s question comes from Daniel: “Why do we need theology when we have a clear message in the bible? theology was created by us, humans, and yet we treat it like it is the gospel. Answer me Evan.”
Answer you I shall Daniel! The first thing we must do is define “theology.” I’m not interested in re-writing the book, so we’ll go with my friend Webster, who defined theology as “the study of God and of God’s relation to the world.”
According to this definition, you make a mistake by separating theology from the Bible. In fact, the Bible is 100% theology! Every page works together to tell God’s story and how He relates to the world.
Granted, there is human created theology, and some of it is absurd. People choose to worship everything from a golden calf to a spaghetti monster to the money in their bank account. But man has also created gods that do not sound so crazy, they actually sound quite appealing. After all, who wouldn’t want a god who’s chief purpose was to make you happy?
"All Scripture is breathed out by God"
The problem is, if we really want to know the truth about someone, we cannot trust our own reasoning. We must go to the source! For instance, if you wanted to know something about me, it would be better to ask me than your inner self.
With God the same logic applies. If you want to know Him, you must listen to His telling of the story. And as you said, He gives His message clearly in the Bible.
Without God’s Word, we would have no idea who He is. There are philosophical arguments, some done reasonably well, that prove God’s existence, but no one can describe Him solely based on their own knowledge. If we want to know God, we must go to Him.
True theology, then, is not man made. It comes from God and the Bible. Considering that it is a rather large book, we cannot expect to know it without studying it. Theology helps us understand the Bible as a whole, and not just individual parts.
Reading or listening to “theologians” is an extremely helpful way to understand the Bible. They often have great insight and wisdom. There are two important rules for this, however:
First, know that a theologian cannot replace the Bible. Read theology books, but don’t stop reading the Word or take a theologian’s version of truth over God’s version.
Second, spend the majority of your time reading theologians who believe the Bible is God’s Word. If they do not, then their own flawed logic will dominate their theology instead of God’s revealed truth.
One last warning about theology. I made the mistake of wanting to know about God so much that I forgot to know God. What I mean is this, if we treat God like a science experiment that we need to figure out, we will totally miss out on having a relationship with him. If you truly want to know Him, focus on the relationship and you’ll figure things out as you go.
Thanks for the question Daniel! I am curious to hear what other people think, so please chime in.
Also, who are some of your favorite “theologians” to read or listen to? I’ll answer first in the comments…