DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Back to the Basics

Written by: on October 22, 2015

Introduction

Alister McGrath’s “Theology: the Basics” is just that, the very basics of theology. Perhaps because it’s about the basics, I found myself getting frustrated and asking myself the following questions: Why am I reading about the basics of theology again, and how is this connecting to my program of leadership and global perspectives?

Summary

Mc Grath states that Christian theology is “talk about God.” He goes on to say that when Christians talk about theology it’s a process of reading the Bible and weaving together its ideas and themes. However the ideas are sometimes referred to as doctrines, which is from the Latin word “doctrina” meaning “teaching.”

In terms of theology, my theology rests on the Word of God and a deeper study of His absolute Word. For me, I believe everyone has a purpose. And, my purpose is to minister to addicts by revealing the Bible and the God of the Bible who is the answer to their hurts, habits and hang ups.

Analysis

I’m having a hard time understanding how the repeated study of theology is bringing me closer to my Savior’s command to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

I can see that theology can be the basic foundation for my DMin program as well as the other challenges I face in this program, helping me learn to practice ministry. When I give my personal testimony, I can be sure it’s built on a strong theological foundation.

This study of the basics of theology reminds me of a statement made by one of my favorite seminary professors, Dr. David Chung (Faith Evangelical Seminary). He said “Theology and theological arguments never won anyone to Christ. What wins people to Christ is your personal testimony.” I think I agree.

 

About the Author

Anthony Watkins

5 responses to “Back to the Basics”

  1. Hi Anthony. I think you and I are pretty like-minded on this one. I think the strength of your blog is your personal story. No one can take that away! However, like most things in life, our greatest strengths can also be our weakness. By this I mean, the challenge for you (and me) is to not universalize our story and/or place our story first above scripture and theology. McGrath is a good reference in checking scripture and history when people come our way and superimpose their experience above what God word has to say.

  2. Anthony, good post, but I have to ask you a question. What do you say to a mormon who has a personal testimony? They claim that they have a burning in their bosom (ie heart) about the truth of the book of mormon. May I propose that your personal testimony is only as valid as the theology in which it is built. How do you balance both theology and personal testimony?

  3. Aaron Cole says:

    Anthony,

    Great Blog! I found your quote: “Dr. David Chung (Faith Evangelical Seminary). He said “Theology and theological arguments never won anyone to Christ. What wins people to Christ is your personal testimony.” very interesting and I find much truth in that statement myself. That being said, why do you think we are reading the theology books?

    Aaron

  4. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Anthony,

    Thanks for your honesty in your post.

    As I think about what you wrote, I’m reminded of Johnny Wooden: one of the greatest college basketball coaches in history. He won a number of national championships at UCLA. He once said that he never stopped teaching/practicing the basics: how to dribble, how to pass… He had the most skilled players in the country, and yet he continually stuck to the basics.

    Does that idea address your frustration over rereading theology?

  5. mm Phil Goldsberry says:

    Anthony,
    Thank you for your insight and passion to share Christ with people.

    One of my takeaways from this book was that theology is progressive and the progression is not the responsibility of “truth”. Do you believe that theology is static or progressive? Do books like McGrath’s and others help us to stay progressively pursuing truth?

    Phil

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