Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Matter of Fact!

Written by: on October 15, 2015

a matter of fact

Who needs theology? I do! I accept the invitation to the study of God.

The only problem I have with accepting this invitation is that I am not so sure about the foundation. What is theology? “A revival of sound theological interest and reflection among God’s people.” What is the fear? Christianity may be in danger of becoming a mere “ folk religion” relegated to realms of sheer objectivity and emptied of public credibility, unless lay Christians and ministers catch the vision for an intellectually satisfying Christian belief system.”(10)

What is theology? “Authentic Christianity will always incline a person toward those commitments and attitudes necessary to becoming a theologian. It is unlikely that these could be totally absent in any person who truly has a heart for God.” (135)

Intellectually satisfying Christian belief system? Authentic Christianity? So that is what theology is?

What is theology? Theology is any reflection on the ultimate questions of life that point toward God. (13)

So theology is a knowledge that satisfies more than Jesus? The constant theme that I had running through my head while reading this book was this:   And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3

The straightforward attack on “folk theology ” and the elevation of “academic theology” was very disturbing but it did help me to discern who needs theology.
So what is theology? So many different definitions were given throughout the book that I am not sure if I know what a theologian is or not. Everyone is a theologian though so I must be one!   So who needs theology?

I need theology. Everyone needs theology. Everyone is a theologian. On these simple points I agree.

So what is theology: The study of God.

The book takes any individual on a journey, to becoming a deeper person of faith. The content of the book lines up with both of the systematic theology books that I have read extensively. It is very simplistic in view point and makes a great case for becoming a student of the Bible. There is a bit of a jaded viewpoint and I could be attached to that same view because of the denomination that I grew up in but I won’t let that become a liability and I won’t let it be a permissions slips to dismiss myself from it as well. Becoming a theologian means to me that you will stay in the structure and continue to educated and elevate the thinking of those around you.   Pointing a finger of blame as you head out the exit is not the best way to attack this problem but I do see theology as a foundation for change.


Here is what I have gained from our time in Hong Kong and from our reading for this week.   I believe that a theologian needs to be singularly on focus and have a keen understanding of what God is calling them to do and be. With those two things figured out, your theology serves a much better purpose. Being matter of fact. You are not tossed between all the different things. You have stability.

Jesus was matter of fact. ECC church was matter of fact. Jackie Pullinger was matter of fact. Theology or being a theologian leads to stability and a theologian who is matter of fact about, number one, who they are in Christ and, number two, what they believe, are able to lead no matter what is swirling around them. That is what I sense these authors are trying to communicate.   I believe it is what God is trying to communicate to me. Be so founded in your beliefs and in relationship with me that you can lead without hesitation or insecurity. What is theology? a matter of fact.


Some things of theology will never be settled or solved.   It they still matter when we get to heaven I am positive there will be explanation. One of the things that I saw as a sub theme though was this thought that theology will cause you to lose your faith. If your faith is established up faith in Jesus then I agree it will do nothing but strengthen it. If it is based upon other men’s understanding and teaching then I believe your faith can be lost or so diluted that it becomes pointless. So let your theology be matter of fact, because everyone is a theologian.


Tag   Olson


Kevin Norwood


About the Author


Kevin Norwood

My name is Kevin Norwood and I have been in youth ministry for the past 34 years. On February 14th, 1994, 27 years ago, we moved to Owasso OK and wow what a ride. My wife, Ann, is an RN and specializes in Clinical Documentation working from home. Maci is a my 21 year old daughter and she loves and shows horses. Her horse's name is Charlie. She is currently working with animals and loves to go on trail rides with her horse. London is my 10 year old son and he keeps me young. He absolutely loves life!! Golfing, baseball and Hawaii is his latest adventures. He skied for the first time in Colorado this year. I have started a coaching business for pastors at www.kevinnorwood.com and it is exciting the doors that God is opening. I earned my Doctorate in Leadership and Global Perspectives from George Fox on Feb 10, 2018.

4 responses to “Matter of Fact!”

  1. Claire Appiah says:

    Thanks for your post with so many insights. You mentioned that you were disturbed by the elevation academic theology was given in the book. But, in a closer look at academic theologians you will see that they are not so highly elevated after all. Their speculative, philosophical theology causes them to be, “disconnected from the church and it has little to do with concrete Christian living . . . the church and individual Christians struggling in the real world gain little from it” (33). They are not about “faith seeking understanding” but, about believing only what they understand (33).
    You provide a great summation of what true theology looks like at the end of the day. What is of utmost importance is that: one understands who they are in Christ and what they believe; one maintains critical thinking in theologizing and “elevates the thinking of those around you;” one is focused on understanding God’s call on their life, and one is stable and grounded in the Word of God and in a relationship with Him.

  2. Claire,

    Thank you for the words. I do understand that the authors ruled the “upper theologians” but to do that they had to also rule out the “folk religion.” I don’t ever see Jesus ruling out the “folks!” He stated that we need to come as children to him to have faith.

    Now to gain higher education is fine but to qualify it as the mark of being a Christian. I am sorry that is not how I read the word. We must be grounded in the Word of God but the level of my Christianity has to do with my “love” level more than my IQ.

    Thanks for interacting with my work.. God Bless


  3. Phil Goldsberry says:


    I am not sure I agree with what you said….”One of the things that I saw as a sub theme though was this thought that theology will cause you to lose your faith.” As I read the book it seemed that Grenz and Olson were attempting to help focus where you are in one of the five forms of theology: folk, lay, ministerial, professional, and academic. (p. 26)

    There will be naysayers on both sides of the “theology fence”. Sometimes there has to be a rude awakening before there is a great awakening. What caused you to think they were casting a sub theme that it will cause someone to lose your faith? They acknowledged that this is a true danger.

    Your thoughts….


  4. On page 18 ” Perhaps you have been warned by some well meaning Christians to beware of the study of theology because it might destroy your faith…..some of our spiritual mentors have tried to dissuade us from the study of theology because of the deeply ingrained bias that sees it as a substitute for faith.” They bring up this subject matter from the very beginning and seem to bounce most of their illustrations off this thought. Usually putting themselves in the professional theologian seat talking to “well meaning” Christians, who I will point out they have declared to be theologians. Is everybody a theologian or are there “well meaning Christians” that don’t make the grade as theologians because they have seen happen what they have warned about. I have seen students run into someone who is so “spiritually minded that they are no earthly good,” that changes the direction of their life forever. They can’t recover because someone introduced them to freedoms based in theology that allowed them to lead a sinful life under the disguise of spiritual freedom. Sorry, I have seen that happen many times. So that advice is not something to scoff at but to be a good theologian and be very aware of!

    Pg 24 “and don’t professional theologians– those who specialize in this study and get paid for researching and teaching–complicate beyond all comprehension the simple faith that ordinary Christians seek to understand?” They are posing this question and then say they will address it later in the book. Once again if everyone is theologian wouldn’t ordinary Christians be in that mix. So many labels and the constantly have to declare that they are professional theologians.

    So the danger they pose is one of the professional theologian but they take a complete all encompassing swipe as professional theologians at all denominations and all common Christians… “Folk theology is found in every denomination and very commonly among people who consider themselves Christians.”27 So the professional takes a big brush and states that the foundation of denominations and of most Christians is founded on no theology. Really? You made yourself out at the savior for all us ignorant folks who believe?

    And then again their stories and illustrations presents them as superior to the discussion of all this ridiculous faith stuff.

    Maybe I am reaching a bit when I insert denominational faith for folk theology in there discussion.

    Denomination are an inadequate place for most Christians. Denominations encourages gullibility, vicarious spirituality, and simplistic answers to difficult dilemmas that arise from being followers of Jesus Christ in a largely secular and pagan world. They stunt growth and blunt the influence of Christianity in the world.” Sorry guys I did my study in church history and those who were so “professional theologians” are who corrupted the word and made it where they were the answer instead of the Bible or Jesus. Sounds like these guys are headed down the same road.

    Just a couple of things that I saw and couldn’t get past.

    They use way to many sweeping and ALL inclusive statements for me to be able to track with them. This language creates that case for this undertone of them being the answer.


    My soap box is finished. I though about writing about this in my post but decided it was just me. But as I have reread some of this to answer your question…it is there.

    Let me know your thoughts. Maybe my theology has just gotten out of whack!!


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