What is “theology”?

I want to use this blog to help clarify some things that, especially within the church, are too often assumed or taken for granted. A topic that we will regularly visit is theology. It is a topic about which everyone I know has an opinion. In other words, all of us are theologians. That might lead some to ask, “What is theology?” Let’s start at the beginning…

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines theology (thē-ˈä-lə-jē) as the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God’s relation to the world.1

Simply put, theology is trying to make [at least some] sense of God.  It is something that most of us try to do along this journey we call life.  While entire curricula have been created to cover this topic, if you have ever asked questions about God then you have dabbled in theology.

  • “Is there a god?”
  • “What is God like?”
  • “Why would God allow things like ________ to happen?”
  • “Does God care about me?”

If you have reached a point that you are prepared to render a conclusion about those (or similar) questions, you have become a theologian. Each of the following conclusions can only come from the mouth of a theologian.

  • “There is no God!”
  • “God is love.”
  • “If God exists, I don’t want anything to do with him/her/it.”
  • “God is cruel.”
  • “God is beyond my ability to know or understand.”
  • “God is merciful.”

Since we are all theologians to one degree or another, all are welcome here. It is my goal that this would be a place where we can teach and learn together. Among the things our world needs to remember, we can have very different [theological] perspectives and still be kind and respectful to one another. Even if we have completely opposite views about God, life, and/or politics we can still call one another “friend.”

1 https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/theology (accessed 4/19/2020)

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