What Is Theology?

The Great 19th Century Baptist Preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said:

“It has been said by some one that ‘the proper study of mankind is man.’ I will not oppose the idea, but I believe it is equally true that the proper study of God’s elect is God; the proper study of a Christian is the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, the mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of a child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom he calls his Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity; so deep, that our pride is drowned in its infinity. … No subject of contemplation will tend more to humble the mind, than thoughts of God. … But while the subject humbles the mind it also expands it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the man who simply plods around this narrow globe. … the most excellent study for expanding the soul, is the science of Christ, and him crucified, and the knowledge of the Godhead in the glorious Trinity. Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great subject of the Deity.”

This is not just another subject to study like math or logic or grammar, this is thee subject that is not even truly a subject because it is the whole sum and goal of life! What is your purpose, what is the meaning of life, why have you been put on this planet in this time and place? To answer these questions we must first define our terms so we know exactly what we are talking about and the consequences of how dire this study is to mankind.

The most basic and common definition of theology is “the study of God” but I want to suggest another definition. Like I have said before, theology is not just another subject that we are to master and examine like we do specimens in science experiments, it is the object that we are to subject and submit ourselves to know even the slightest bit of truth so that we may behold the glory of God. As a definition for theology, I would rather say it is:

“The Art and Science of Knowing The Triune God and His Grand Story.”

This definition captures not only what we are doing, but why we are doing it to begin with! 

1. It is an art, for what we are studying and coming to know as everything to do with the trifecta of the good, the beautiful, and the true. 

2. Its a science, for here we are studying every crevice and deep cave that we can explore in order to search for evidence, fact and truth. 

3. And its all about Knowing God and how he is and has saved us through the grand redemptive story of history. 

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