What is theology? | WednesdayintheWord.com

Theology and its task

  • “Faith seeking understanding.” – St. Anselm
  • Providing an ordered view of the faith of the Christian community.
  • Articulating Christian faith in terms that are intelligible to the wider culture.
  • “A continuing search for the fullness of truth of God made known in Jesus Christ.” – Daniel Migliore
  • “The science of living blessedly forever.” – William Perkins
  • “Theology teaches of God, is taught by God and leads to God.” – Thomas Aquinas
  • “When rightly pursued, theology reminds us of who we are in light of who God is and moves us to worship Him with our whole being.” – R.C. Sproul
  • “One is sometimes (not often) glad not to be a great theologian; one might so easily mistake it for being a good Christian.” – C.S. Lewis

Divisions of Theology

adapted from J.I. Packer

  • Exegesis: What did the author intend to convey in this text/passage? This leads to the question, what then does it mean to us?
  • Biblical Theology: What is the message of each author and of the Bible as a whole about various topics?
  • Historical Theology: How have Christians understood various elements of the faith in the past?
  • Systematic Theology: How should we state the total Christian faith today, topic by topic, and as a whole, in light of current interests, assumptions, questions, challenges and culture?
  • Apologetics: How should we explain and defend the faith today in the face of contemporary unbelief, mistaken belief and puzzlement?
  • Ethics: What are the ideals and standards of Christian behavior? How do we justify them against criticism and bring them to bear upon particular situations?
  • Missiology: How should we understand and fulfill the ministering tasks on which God sends His people in this world?
  • Spiritual Theology: How should we understand and practice the life of communion with God?
  • Liturgical or doxological: How is God best and most truly worshiped by His people, and how may we achieve true worship in our churches?
  • Practical: How should we understand and further God’s work in our particular roles, situations, professions, etc.?

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