A strict etymological definition of theology means the study of God. That can be a little misleading because it is not like biology, which is the study of life. What I mean by that is we can’t put God under a microscope for a closer look.
Everyone has a theology, that is, everyone has given some thought to the idea of God’s existence and what that means to him or her. Even an atheist has a theology, he believes there is no God, and that is a theology in a sense.
Since we can’t put God under a microscope, how does God reveal Himself to us? He reveals some of His attributes to us in Creation. The believer can gain an appreciation for God’s majesty and omnipotence in the wonders of nature. But we need the Scriptures to give us a fuller revelation of God’s nature and will.
It is in the Bible that men inspired by God give us the clearest picture of who He is. Sadly, though eighty-six percent of Christians claim to believe in God to be essential to their religious identity, less than half (42%) believe reading the Bible or other religious material is important to their Christian witness.
When Jesus was tempted and questioned about His teaching and practices He quoted the Scriptures as His reason for what He believed and did. It is inconceivable to me for someone to claim to be a follower of Christ, but does not believe in reading and studying the Scriptures as He did.
They must be getting their Christian theology from a mixture of hearsay and their imagination if they are not getting it from the Scriptures. If they don’t read the Bible they are opening themselves up to deception and confusion, not knowing what they believe or why.
Since “each one of us will give an account of himself to God,” Romans 14:12, we should not leave our spiritual welfare solely in the hands of others. Each of us needs to take responsibility for our own theology.
Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth,” 2 Timothy 2:15.
I hope to finish my seminary work later this year, but my basic beliefs were forged during years of personal Bible study and prayer. Yesterday I read the last five chapters of Revelation finishing my fifty-first reading of the Bible, and today I have started reading through it again.
My dedication to reading the Word of God is not so I can be a whiz at Bible Trivia, but so I can be “a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” I welcome anyone who wishes to join me on Facebook as I begin reading through my Bible again.