Why Is Theology Important?
Why is theological discussions important? Isn’t theology just for those who want to study the bible in a way that can be confusing for a normal person? Can a person really understand the scriptures by studying theology?
Theology is very important because it helps a person understand God. There are different types of theology. You have biblical theology, which looks at a book and tries to see how it fits in the big picture. Then there is systematic theology, which looks to see the big picture by organizing the bible into different theological topics. Natural theology takes knowledge of God from nature. Historical theology is how God has worked through history. Practical theology focuses on practical ways to live out theological ideas in our own lives today. That is just a sampling of the many types of theology out there (and just in the Christian worldview). Other worldviews have ways they do theology as well.
It is important for every believer to study theology. That does not mean they need to pick up a systematic theology book and start digging into something like soteriology, pneumatology, the trinity, or transubstantiation. What I mean by studying theology is studying His word. This would be a practical application of biblical theology. Read the Bible and study God, what He has done, what he will do, and figure out where you stand in all of it.
I read a couple articles recently that exclaimed God is not real, that there is no proof of God, and said it was more right to believe man or extraterrestrials accomplished the miracles of the Bible than it is to believe in God. One article even listed many questions which seemed to focus primarily on who God is.
A couple of the questions in the post are easy to answer; some on the other hand are not. One basically asks how did God become supreme, magical, and powerful if it was not for a complex phase of evolution? How did God exist without space or time? Both of these questions are grounded in the idea that God was created. No where in the history of the Bible does God say something like “I am created.” He was there before creation according to Genesis 1 and John 1. He did not need space or time as we think of it. He is preexistent.
The main question I’d like to look at this week though, is How do incidents go out of God’s control?
We will start by looking at the Fall of man and seeing what happened. According to Genesis 3, the serpent held a conversation with Eve (and Adam who was with her). He was able to convince her that it would not be wrong to eat of the forbidden fruit, and so she did and gave to her husband as well. After God finds them he starts with the serpent and starts giving out punishments because of the disobedience. The serpent would crawl on his belly and be trampled on by man. Eve received pain in child bearing and also the desire to control her husband. Adam had to work hard for what he wanted. But, what is usually passed on in this passage, because people like to look at themselves, is what happened to the earth. It was cursed because of mankind’s disobedience to God. It now will bring forth thorns and thistles.
How did this action go without God’s notice or out of God’s control? If God had stepped in and done something, then the ground would not be cursed, the woman would not have labor pain, and the man would not have to work as hard. How did this happen?
Let’s look at a father watching his son. His son has to learn some things the hard way. The father can tell the son many times not to do something because they can get hurt, but the son ignores the dad and chooses to do it anyways. The dad can force the child to not do it, or he can let them learn so maybe they will think next time. My youngest (2 years old) has a habit of throwing himself on the floor when he has a temper tantrum. The first few times my wife and I tried to stop him, but nothing we did would stop him. We have hard floors, and guess what? He learned quickly that throwing himself around on the floor is not smart and hurts. His tantrums transformed from throwing himself around to slowly lowering himself to the floor and then rolling around. He learned because he would not listen.
I believe that is like God. He used his words, but mankind chose not to listen. Thus, the earth became cursed and peoples heart became darker. Was it out of God’s control? No. God could have stopped it. But, as an old argument says, “God did not want robots, He wanted people to choose Him.” It would have been easier for God to make someone a “yes” man. Lord knows we would have a lot less meaningless fighting going on if God did that. But God chose to let man decide and freely choose what to do.
How does an incident go out of God’s control? It doesn’t. God just allows others to make decisions instead of being a dictator and forcing His will on others, even if its wrong.
What does that mean to you? Well, if you are a believer, is your will conforming to the will of the Father? God does not force himself on you, but He does call His children to be obedient and wants them to follow Him in a Christlike manner. Christ was completely obedient to the father.
If you are not a believer, that is your choice. You may read this call it a bunch of hogwash (and maybe some other choice words), but that is your choice. I cannot, and will not, force God on you. But I will pray for you and also tell you about His love.
Leave comments, questions, and concerns and I will be glad to answer!