“Theology simply means “the study of God,” and doctrine means “teaching.” Since the main message of Scripture is the unfolding mystery of Christ, who reveals his Father and reconciles us to him, theology is a central concern of every believer. It would be odd if we told our spouse or other loved ones that we wanted to spend time with them and experience their fellowship regularly but did not want to know anything about them… Yet when it comes to God, people often imagine that it is possible to have a personal relationship with God apart from theology. In fact, some Christians assume that knowing doctrine and practical living are competing interests. The modern dichotomy between doctrine and life, theology and discipleship, knowing and doing, theory and practice has had disastrous consequences in the life of the church and its witness in the world. I hope to change some readers’ minds about systematic theology and its relevance by first changing our working assumptions about its nature, goals, and methods.”
Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Zondervan, 2011), 13-14.