We are all Theologians
Dr. Valson Abraham
is a word that causes deep misunderstanding among many kinds of people. There
is a general misconception that theology is only for religious specialists who
spend years in college and seminary and church pastorates. Not true. In truth,
we are all theologians. Theology is the study of God, and whether our beliefs
are well-formed or half-baked, all of us have ideas about God and the world in
which we live. Our decisions and our att itudes about life are infl uenced by
Therefore, the wise person sets out to determine just what his beliefs about God are and to correct those that are wrong or defective.
Our beliefs about God come from various sources: (1) our own family backgrounds, whether positive or negative experiences and (2) the culture and society in which we have been raised. (3) All of this must be evaluated and corrected in the light of the revealed Word of God which is the fi nal authority. We should each clarify what we actually believe about God and whether our beliefs agree with the revealed Word of God-The Bible. It may be that what we say we believe is not what we actually believe in practice.
The word “theology” is derived from two Greek words, “theos” meaning “God” and “logos” meaning “word or doctrine.” In short, theology is teaching about God and the things of God. We must make a conscious and constant eff ort to align our beliefs with Scripture to help us make wise life decisions and decisions that aff ect us and those around us for eternity.
Christian theology is based upon the revelation found in the 66 books of the Bible. On the other hand, there is also natural theology which what God has revealed about Himself in nature. But natural theology is incomplete without the revelation of divine will in the Bible. The main divisions of Christian theology include (1) exegetical theology (interpretation and study of scriptural texts), (2) historical theology (the history of doctrinal thought), (3) systematic theology (arranging the teachings in a logical order which includes apologetics and ethics, the doctrine of origins to the doctrine of last things) and (4) practical theology (salvation, preaching, education, administration, worship, the Great Commission).
To eff ectively live our Christian lives, we must have strong foundations in each of these various areas. This means we must make a regular habit of studying our Bibles and reading books by reputable Christian authors who help us to understand and think through our beliefs. In this regard, all of us have areas of strength and weakness. We all have areas of inconsistency that we must correct if we are to more eff ectively serve God and the people around us.
Of course, Christian theology is more than the sum of correct beliefs about God. It involves our response to the work of the living God in our lives, moving us to act in love and obedience toward Him. Our correct beliefs become a living faith as we listen to God and learn to do His will in our lives.
For example, if we say we believe in an omnipotent God, we will trust God to do great things in our lives and the lives of others. We will give ourselves to prayers of faith. We will not become discouraged when things do not always go our way. We will trust God to be stronger than the circumstances that surround us. We will hunger aft er the promises of God, expecting Him to be faithful in honoring them even if God does not follow our timetables.
We will also get our priorities straight when it comes to the Great Commission. We will more readily see the lost world around us and ask God how He can work through us to accomplish His redemptive purpose among the spiritually lost at home and abroad. In India, millions of people remain in spiritual confusion and because of diabolically distorted and darkened perceptions of God. Join us with your prayers and resources to insure that the Bread of Life reaches all who hunger for it.
Take time to evaluate if God is calling you to study the Bible seriously, to correct your faulty theology, to make sure that it is aligned with the authority of God’s Word. It may be that God is even calling you to come to India Bible College and Seminary or one of our other schools to strengthen your theology and determine how to practice it. Pray about this today.
Father God, help me to know what and why I believe that I may more eff ectively serve you and those whom you love and seek for your kingdom. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.