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

Who Needs Theology?

Written by: on October 11, 2013

My favorite line in Who Needs Theology? comes almost at the end of the book and it sums up my feelings in four simple words… “Theology is not easy.” (P138)

This book reminded me that no matter where you find yourself on the theology scale, theology is difficult because it requires you to deal not only with the world around you, but with everything that is inside of you. People stay away from engaging theology because an honest theological study will challenge, stretch and push you out of your comfort zone. Most of us don’t want to be uncomfortable so instead of critically thinking about our faith, we claim that theology will push us away from having a childlike faith. We forget that children grow up and though we are called to have a childlike faith, we are not to remain childish in our attitude and engagement with the things of God.

What I appreciated the most was the breaking down of Christian belief into dogma, doctrine and opinion (P73). This portion caused me to step back and reexamine my belief system and see weather or not I’ve made some aspects of my belief more important than they should be. It’s amazing that when you stop and think about what is really dogma, essential to our Christian faith, the list becomes really really short. It’s incredible that most of Christendom proclaims those things that are dogmatic, but when it comes to unity instead of holding dogma at our core we emphasize doctrine on our best days, but most of the time we allow our opinions and preference to break the body of Christ apart. Our focus needs to be change. Dogma needs to be brought to the forefront and people need to be constantly reminded that Jesus is ultimately the one thing we all have to agree on. Everything ales is details and preference. No, we shouldn’t neglect the other things but we should not die over them.

Most people struggle with control. Good theology helps us discover that we are not in control. Good theology humbles us, comforts us, convicts us and at the end of the day it gives us a clearer understanding of ourselves, the world in which we live and a God who is sovereign above all things. Good theology is hard because it requires that we would be willing to work on ourselves and work on reconciling our faith with life.

At the risk of getting on a soapbox I want to close with this. Good theology requires a couple of more things. First, people actually need to read their Bibles. Second people need to think about what they read and finally people need to at least attempt to apply the Bible to their lives. You can only do good theology when you are actually attempting to live out your Christian faith. As I was reading I was thinking about application in my own context, but it comes down to this… people need to start with reading their Bibles. Maybe “Bible reading” needs to be moved into the dogma category.

About the Author

Stefania Tarasut

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