Why Should Christians Study Theology?

Posted: August 11, 2008 in Uncategorized

Anybody into theology feels like a geek to begin with but the Emergent crowd has made doctrine sound so bad that you feel like if you get caught with a Wayne Grudem book then someone with a bottle of Guinness and a Celtic tatoo is going to sneak up behind you and give you a wedge.  So, why should you study theology? Well, how about this one? Jesus i.e., the one true king of all creation who will judge the living and the dead, said “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20).

Grudem writes, “Now to teach all that Jesus commanded, in a narrow sense, is simply to teach the content of the oral teaching of Jesus as it is recorded in the gospel narratives.  However, in a broader sense, “all that Jesus commanded” includes the interpretation and application of his life and teachings, because in the book of Acts it is implied that it contains a narrative of what Jesus continued to do and teach through the apostles after his recurrection (note that 1:1 speaks of “all that Jesus began to do and teach”). “All that Jesus commanded” can also include the Epistles, since they were written under the supervision of the Holy Spirit and were also considered to be a “command of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14:37; see also John 14:26; 16:13; 1 Thess. 4:15; 2 Peter 3:2; and Rev. 1:1-3).  Thus, in a larger sense, “all that Jesus commanded” includes all of the New Testament.

Furthermore, when we consider that the New Testament writings endorse the absolute confidence Jesus had in the authority and reliability of the Old Testament Scriptures as God’s Words, and when we realize that the New Testament epistles also endorse this view of the Old Testament as absolutely authoritative words of God, then it becomes evident that we cannot teach “all that Jesus commanded” without including all of the Old Testament…

The basic reason for studying systematic theology, then is that it enables us to teach ourselves and others what the whole Bible says, thus fulfilling the second part of the Great Commission.” (pp.27-28).

Furthermore, studying theology helps us: (1) overcome wrong ideas; (2) make better decisions; and (3) grow.

Objections to studying theology and a more in depth discussion of how will come later.  Until then, prepare to get your geek on!

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