In theological circles the term used a lot is systematic theology. That is the systematic study of major themes in the Bible. For example, one might have a question about what the Scriptures has to say about Angels. The serious student then begins to scour the Word looking for passages that talk about this topic. After locating the verses then the student gathers his/her thoughts together and begins to talk about their findings. In this example the results would be presented as the Theology of Angels or better known as Angelology.
There are several key themes and guys a lot smarter than me begin to write and speak about these topics. A general list includes
- Doctrine of Bible – Bibliology
- Doctrine of God- Theology Proper
- Doctrine of Jesus- Christology
- Doctrine of Holy Spirit- Pneumatology
- Doctrine of Church- Ecclesiology
- Doctrine of Angels- Angelology
- Doctrine of End Times- Eschatology
- Doctrine of Sin- Hamartiology
- Doctrine of Man- Theological Anthropology
- Doctrine of Salvation- Soteriology
Before you let your rolling eyes get the better of you and you begin to nod off, lets at least talk about why you should even consider studying theology.
Studying theology makes you a better person!
What? Howitzer, you have absolutely lost your ever-loving mind.
Well maybe. but hear me out. There were days when the sophisticates could dialogue in deeper matters- including theology. This was the day before relativistic thinking permeated our thoughts. We live in a day where whatever is right for me is right and whatever is right for you is right. That is unless you disagree with me. We have lost the ability to traffic in coherent thought on topics that impact our lives (whether we realize it or not, theology does impact our lives).
Many people have no real depth of thought as to what they think and why they think the way they do in areas of faith and practice. For example- what do you know about angels? Write down 100 Biblical thoughts you have in the area. For most of us the conversation ends after we talk about angels in the Christmas Story. But the Bible has a lot more to say than that.
Studying theology makes you a better person because it shores up your shallow thought patterns and begins to deepen your convictions on key areas of life that the Bible speaks of. Just because you don’t study Theology don’t assume you are not a theologian. All of us have a personal practical understanding (or lack of understanding) of these major themes and we live them out in our lives.
Ok so what does all this mean? I am realizing that I need to shore up and review some of my theology. I need deepening in my wisdom in some of these key areas. So, God willing, I am starting a 10-year study of the key areas listed above. This year I am tackling Christology.
I titled this article Random Theology because I am going to be randomly posting about things that I am learning in Christology this year. You are welcome to join me in my study let me give you an idea of some resources I am going to tap into for my study:
- The Bible
- WE BELIEVE – SURVEY OF THEOLOGY Class by Fellowship Bible NWA- http://www.fellowshipnwa.org/curriculum-bild
- Basic Theology by Charles Ryrie
- SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY by CHARLES HODGE
- Systematic Theology by L. Berkhof
- SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY BY AUGUSTUS HOPKINS STRONG,
- Systematic Theology an Introduction to Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
- THE Moody Handbook OF Theology by Paul Enns
- CONCISE THEOLOGY A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs I. Packer
- Institutes of The Christian Religion by John Calvin
- Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics Norman L. Geisler
- Biblical Theology IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH A Guide for Ministry Michael Lawrence
- If you have another classic book let me know in the comments
To be honest I am more interested in the practical part of theology than the intellectual part, meaning I am concerned about how does this stuff effect my life. So, this study will be more of a search for how should theology effect my life and ministry.
I am writing this down, not to impress you with my knowledge (and that will be easy to do because I don’t have much) but rather I learn stuff better when I write about it. so, if you are interested subscribe to the blog and let’s begin the random study of theology!