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Does theology play any role in your life?

Written by: on October 19, 2015

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Introduction

In most cases, we go to church, sing worship songs, read scriptures, dance, preach or listen to preachers. Some of us have Christian songs in our iPods, laptops or even mobile phones. Some of us attend night concerts organized by various preachers across the world. It’s obvious that if I sample 2000 Americans from one state and ask if there are any of them who have attended Michael Smith, Joel Osteen, Miles Munroe or TD Jake’s shows, I’ll get quite a number.  These are all common practices of believers. People believe in Christ Jesus. They believe in the power of God and have what is termed as theology. Theology, through faith, makes people believe that God exists and thus He is the creator of heaven and earth and everything in them.  Like any modern society, wherever there are inquisitive and exploratory mindsets, it is so common for a normal person, whether Christian or non-Christian to ask the origin of theology. We know we were created by God but how did theology come about. In philosophy, there are pioneers of various theories. They include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and other prominent ancient philosophers mainly from Greece. When talking of the origin of psychology, we talk of Sigmund Freud and Wilhelm Wundt among others. But when talking about theology, who can we mention? Is there a relationship between theology and philosophy? Is there a relationship between theology and culture?

Summary

Alister McGrath’s book, “Christian Theology Reader” offers excellent piece of information that are direct answers or can be interpreted to answer the questions about Christian theology. The book is a helpful collection of various excerpts on writings of theology since the beginning of Christianity[1]. The excerpts are arranged in topics enabling readers to identify the various differing perspectives that range from the interplay between theology and philosophy to other various topics on theology and its relationship to different subjects. The book provides cogent explanations of the origin of the Catholic Church, the Protestants churches and many other Christian faiths. One may wonder, what is the reason behind the existence of many denominations in the world yet we all worship one God. McGrath illustrates the concept of theology in the book in different chapters. The first chapter of the book is “The First Vatican Council on Faith and Reason “explains the reason behind the formation of the first Vatican Council. Vatican is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. The reason for the formation of the council was to respond to the Napoleonic and the French Revolution Wars[2]. In addition, the council also responded to other several intellectual trends that called upon its authority to act. Studying this keenly, we learn to get the relationship between theology, signified by the council and the society. From this context, a child studying religion can easily understand the relevance of theology in today’s society.

The relationship between theology and culture is explained in a variety of topics from the book. Culture is the people’s way of life whereas theology guides our morality and spirituality and ensures that we live well. The book has excerpts from the traditional famous authors such as Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., John Polkinghorne, Elizabeth A. Johnson, Pope Benedict XVI, and John Yoder.  The book also explains the existing war between religion and Science[3]. Religion relies on faith whereas science relies on reasoning and experiments. A typical case is identifying which existence theory one should believe in; whether the scientific evolution theory or the creation theory described in the bible. Reading the book will make you understand the validity and reliability of the creation theory since it makes it easier for readers to understand the power of God.

Reflection

In life, we are sometimes faced with dilemmas and different situations. We tend to apply our intellectual capabilities in making decisions in such cases. We also apply the spiritual knowledge as well as the religious teachings and doctrines in such situations. However, using such platforms of rationality always prove challenging and may lead to other dilemmas. For instance, a sick patient may be faced with two options. The first option is going to priest to pray for him. The priest is known to pray and patients get well immediately after the prayer. The second option is going to hospital where he will be treated by a well-trained doctor with a good reputation. Such cases instances call for proper understanding and decision making. Reading the last five chapters of the book answers such scenarios. One has to be a critical thinker and ask himself or herself questions before making decision in such scenarios. What is the role of education in our society? With this, we are able to know that education aims at bettering the society, and thus a doctor is also created by God to help peoples’ get well and lives better. Knowing the priest is also crucial to ensure that he or she doesn’t practice any other religion but that which ordains God. In short, the book is great and is perfect for those who would like to learn about theology and its history as well as its applicability in the current society. I like the book. It answers quite a number of questions in life.The question to you is “Does theology play any role in your life”?

[1]McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. <http://maryland.lib.overdrive.com/ContentDetails.htm?ID=260E6D5F-AE01-40E6-AFA5-EC149103CB7B>.

[2]McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. <http://maryland.lib.overdrive.com/ContentDetails.htm?ID=260E6D5F-AE01-40E6-AFA5-EC149103CB7B>.

[3]McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2001. <http://maryland.lib.overdrive.com/ContentDetails.htm?ID=260E6D5F-AE01-40E6-AFA5-EC149103CB7B>.

About the Author

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Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

3 responses to “Does theology play any role in your life?”

  1. Claire Appiah says:

    Rose,
    When looking over the reading list for this class, I was glad to see a book by Alister McGrath as one of the assignments. After reading his book, Christianity’s Dangerous Idea: The Protestant Revolution—A History From the Sixteenth Century To The Twenty-First, I knew I was in for a treat with our textbook. This work is an impressive resource on Christian theology at the introductory level, covering the nuances of the faith across the timeline of Christian theological thought.

    Because the book has so much substance and addresses so many theological themes, it is valuable to Christians on any level. It encourages one to engage in critical analysis concerning what one believes and the reason for believing it. Some of the theological themes addressed are controversial and have to be pondered over before arriving at a decision about them. You ask the question, “Does theology play any role in your life?” I think after reading this book most Christians would say, “Yes,” because it encourages them to engage in theologizing. I believe that Christian theologizing is not static, but an active, progressive endeavor of revelation and discovery through the work of the Holy Spirit.

  2. mm Rose Anding says:

    Thanks Claire for your response, it was great.
    Yes, our theology should be active; because God’s desire is that we will glorify Him by enjoying His …God-ness. The unbeliever will ultimately glorify God by magnifying His justice—God will get glory from your life one way or the other because this is His universe. In Romans 11:33, Paul is on top of a theological mountain. It is impossible to thwart God’s created purpose for the universe—He will gain the glory from all He has made.
    Because we live in a media culture; we are lazy intellectually…but theology stretches the mind and penetrates beyond our shallow thinking. God’s will and God’s mind must establish a mastery over your life (so much so that the Word of God dominates exceptionally over all of your life). Only then will you have a passion to know God; to love God; to do His will; to choose patterns of fellowship which manifest the knowledge of God. We preach the gospel, and declare Christian theology, but at the same time we are stabbing our neighbor in the back and thinking we are great theologian? Do you think it is, “Self Theology”, that’s practiced? WHY?

    • Claire Appiah says:

      Rose,
      I don’t know what term to use for that kind of behavior, but it does sound like a pseudo-theology or self-made theology that is in operation here. For sure, it is not the theology of the Bible. In I John 3 much is said about that spiritual condition. For instance, verse 6, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not; whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him;” and verse 10, “In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” Christians need to take these passages much more seriously than they do. It would bring correction to their Christian walk.

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