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?
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.
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.