I love theology, because I love the study of God as revealed in his Word and world. Yet, I also realize that life is not about theology and we don’t worship theology. Theology is a discipline, that when kept in its proper place, and based on the right foundation, allows us to worship God in a more knowledgeable and enlivening manner. Theology is the dish upon which the glory of God is served.
So, while I understand that theology is not life, I do believe that every Christian ought to be actively studying theology for the purpose of knowing God better. As a theology professor, it is somewhat disheartening to hear the average Christian express disinterest, boredom, or indifference when it comes to the soul-enriching glorious truths of sound doctrine.
Although I don’t desire for a return to the tumultuous centuries of the early church when the doctrine of the Trinity was being hammered out amidst profound confusion, I would love to see some of the same universal interest among Christians regarding important theological matters, such as this description by a bishop of Constantinople in the fourth century:
If in this city you ask someone for change, he will discuss with you whether God the Son is begotten or unbegotten. If you ask about the quality of bread, you will receive the answer that ‘God the Father is greater, God the Son is less.’ If you suggest that a bath is desirable, you will be told that ‘there was nothing before God the Son was created.’ (Bruce Shelley, Church History in Plain Language, 99).
Obviously, confusion reigned at this time, but at least Christians were thinking and talking about important truths. How often in our diversion-saturated culture do we think and talk about everything but the most important matters?
This convicts me because I have found it easy to talk about theology in seminary, but not so easily outside. I find it easier to talk about the weather, politics, or sports than to initiate a conversation with a fellow believer about something eternal. Yet, when conversations do turn theological, I find my soul nourished by the interchange. So, let’s talk more theology and see if the glory of God is not served more often to hungry souls, including our own.