In this ever changing world, it seems that nothing is stable anymore, including the very nature of theology itself. After all, how do you define something in a world that works so diligently to redefine everything? However, this is exactly what Stanley J. Grenz, a minister and co-author of 25 different theological books, and Roger E. Olsen, a professor of Theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary and author of a number of books, attempt to do in their probing, intriguing, and perhaps even controversial book, “Who Needs Theology?” This work demonstrates the struggles that arise out of the study of theology as a result of not just the various interpretations of what theology, but also due to the fact that the authors believe that, “anyone who reflects on life’s ultimate questions-including questions about God and our relationship with God-is a theologian. This topic and book study has prompted numerous book reviews as well as some independent opinions in pursuit of asking the same question. One of these articles was posted by Jason Dulle, on his website blog; in which Dulle writes, “Theology is for everyone. Although the study of God’s Word will be done on different levels in the body of Christ, it is the duty of every member of the body to study to show themselves approved to God. Theology is the heart of the Christian faith…” Herein lies the controversy; is theology a Christian discussion, or is it a universal discussion, regardless of religious views, opinions, or even lack of religious belief? According to Grenz and Olson, “In this general sense, theology is not uniquely Christian. It is rather a nearly universal human endeavor, of which Christian theology is a specific embodiment. The unique thing about Christian theology is that Christians seek answers to the ultimate questions by looking to Jesus Christ because they are convinced that “Jesus is the answer.”
The struggle with a study such as this one, remains that interpretation will always cloud an issue like this one; does interpretation get to alter the meaning of the a word…especially when the root words are so telling to the discussion. The word “theology” has two Greek words and one modern day definition of clarity. If at first we just identify that the two Greek words are “Theos”, which translates “God”, and the second being “logos”, which translates “Word.” However, by definition, we are taught fairly early on that the ending “ology” always means “the study of…” and therefore, we would tend to translate Theology as “The Study of God.” However, perhaps it is not that simple. The very fact that the word “logos” is used here makes a Christian take note of what Scripture says regarding the “Word.” “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” This distinction gives motivation to translate the word theology as “Theology” (notice that the capital “T” was added to make a point). Throughout Scripture we see two different listings for deity; when referencing the One All-Power, Creator of the All, we use “God”, however if the Scripture is referencing false gods or pagan gods, there is never a capital used; in fact, in the Greek, it seems that whenever God is referenced, the Greek adds the article “the” to show that it is speaking of “The God.” So is everyone truly a theologian; maybe, however, not everyone would be classified as a “Theologian”; and in all fairness, should not be. Because the title of this particular work includes a sub-title of “An Invitation to the Study of God”, it is in error to believe that everyone is a student of the same God.
“The unique thing about Christian theology is that Christians seek answers to the ultimate questions by looking to Jesus Christ because they are convinced that “Jesus is the answer.” This statement is the very reason I bring light to this discussion; the reality is that as Christians, we do not entertain the idea that there are other gods for discussion, nor do I believe that we should entertain that there are other religious views for consideration. Scripture teaches that “there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” The authors wrote that “Theology’s constructive task is to set forth the unity and coherence of the biblical teaching about God, ourselves and the world in the context in which God calls us to be disciples.” Though I agree with this statement, I also believe that God sets that context, not mankind. There are too many accommodations made to scripture by people who seek to define what God is, and what His Word should mean…especially when they determine that His Word should mean different things to different people. If “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever,” then why does the meaning and interpretation of who God is get to change simply because people define “theology” different? Can the problem be solved with a simple change from a “t” to a “T”, or is it the responsibility of true Christian Theologians to protect the Word of God? We have seen so many different things changed by society that God has never authorized; marriage, rights, and even sin itself; at some point, God’s people are going to have to take a stand. True Theology is the study of God and His Word; it should be presented as such.
Dulle, J. (n.d.). Who Needs Theology? . Retrieved November 30, 2017, from onenesspentecostal.com: http://www.onenesspentecostal.com/theology.htm
Grenz, S. J.; Roger E. Olson. (1996). Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. (Kindle Locations 56-57). Kindle Edition.
Scott, C. L. (2013, July 25). Review of Who Needs Theology? Retrieved November 30, 2017, from Christopherscottblog.com: http://christopherscottblog.com/review-of-who-needs-theology-by-grenz-and-olson/
Who Needs Theology . (2009, May 4). Retrieved November 30, 2017, from Intervarsity Press: https://www.ivpress.com/who-needs-theology
 Who Needs Theology . (2009, May 4). Retrieved November 30, 2017, from Intervarsity Press: https://www.ivpress.com/who-needs-theology.
 Grenz, S. J.; Roger E. Olson. (1996). Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. (Kindle Locations 56-57). Kindle Edition.
 Ibid, Kindle Locations 322-324.
 John 1:1-2.
 Grenz, S. J.; Roger E. Olson. (1996). Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. (Kindle Locations 323-324). Kindle Edition.
 Ephesians 4:4-6.
 Grenz, S. J.; Roger E. Olson. (1996). Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. (Kindle Locations 1038-1039). Kindle Edition.