What if I said that I love my wife, want to spend forever with her, and that she is the best thing that ever happened to me? You would say, “How sweet.” What if I went on to say that I don’t really care to know anything about her and that what people think about her is not important even if what they think is completely wrong? You would say, “I don’t get how you can love her and not know anything about her?”
This is what it is like when people say that they don’t care about theology or that it is not important what people think about God as long as it is true to them. How can we love someone (whether it is our wife or God) and not care to know the details about them? When we love someone we want to know the details. We want to know what they are like, what they think, what they love, and what they don’t like.
Theology is the details. Theology literally means:
Theo = God
Logos = Words or logic
So theology is words or logic about God. Theology is the study of God… what He is like, and so on.
All Christians, and non-Christians for that matter, should care about theology. For Christians it serves to help us know what we believe, why we believe, and who it is we believe in. For an unbeliever it serves to give clarity about what it is they are rejecting.
Here are some basics of Christian theology that all Christians have always agreed upon.
1. God is the creator of heaven and earth and is eternally existent as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are one in essence and three in person.
2. Jesus is God in the flesh, was born of the Virgin Mary, lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose again on the third day.
3. The Holy Spirit is God and empowers believers, convicts of sin, reveals Jesus, and regenerates us in salvation.
4. Salvation, a relationship with God, is given by grace through faith. It does not come by our good works but is a free gift of God to those who trust in Christ’s death and resurrection.
5. The Bible is the inspired word of God and is infallible and without error. It is the final rule for belief, salvation and living.
This is by no means the whole of theology but it is a good start. These truths are the foundation of believing with a sense of intellect and not just believing because we are told to believe. Each of these is simple in one sense and infinitely complex in another sense. We can all understand them in a way that leads us to love and obey Him but none of us can say that we know all there is to know.
He reveals enough for us to know Him but leaves more to be learned so that our life is one of pursuit and not laziness. This is theology. It is not just for the professionals, the pastors, and priests. It is for everyone.