When most people think of theology, they think of something that is reserved for the academics or the dead guys who wrote big books a long time ago. But theology isn’t reserved for the academics or the dead guys, theology is for everyday life. Theology may not be a popular word, but it is something for all of us and it should flow into all of life. Our theology should shape the way we raise our kids, relate to our spouse, and do our work.
We are all theologians.
You may not immediately think of yourself as a theologian, but you are one. Theology is simply the study of God, which means that having some kind of thoughts, ideas, or beliefs about God make you a theologian. Even believing there is no god is technically a theology. So while you may in your mind picture a theologian as someone with a long white beard, several degrees, and a lot of books, you’d do much better to simply look in the mirror. Because you are a theologian.
R.C. Sproul said it beautifully:
“No Christian can avoid theology. Every Christian is a theologian. Perhaps not a theologian in the technical or professional sense, but a theologian nevertheless. The issue for Christians is not whether we are going to be theologians but whether we are going to be good theologians or bad ones.“ - R.C. Sproul
Good theology makes God the hero.
There are a ton of ways that we could describe what would constitute as good theology. But for sake of simplification I want to make one simple way of describing good theology. A good theology always makes God the hero; a bad theology makes you the hero. Anytime you encounter a theology that tells you what you can do to make yourself right, find a path to holiness, or have all the desires of your heart….be very afraid. A good theology is never going to make you out to be the hero, because if you are the hero we are all screwed. Because you are never going to be good enough to make yourself right, you are never going to pursue God enough, pray enough, or have enough faith. But when God is the hero, he is the one that makes us right, he’s the one that grants the faith, and he’s the one that gives every good gift. This is foundational and if understood will flow into every area of our life.
Good theology matters on Monday morning.
A good theology isn’t simply something that you talk about on Sunday mornings. A good theology has implications for how you live your life. This is why Martin Luther’s theology was so influential for people living out their faith in their careers, families, and communities. Because Luther taught, “God doesnt need your good works, but your neighbor does.” The great theology that rightly taught whose work sets us free from sin also sets us free to do our work for the benefit of our neighbor. If your theology doesn’t have implications for your normal, ordinary, every day life - than it might just be time to find a new theological framework to work within.