Who Needs Theology?

We are told that “God-talk,” as Christians have historicaly practiced it, is a refined sort of nonsense, and knowledge about God is strictly a nonentity. Types of teaching which profess such knowledge are written off as outmoded-“Calvinism,” “fundamentalism,” “Protestant scholasticism,” “the old orthodoxy.”

J.I. Packer

Objections to Studying Theology

Some do not want to study theology because it is (1) boring, only for people who lived in the 15th century. They reason out that we are already technologically advanced; (2) it is not necessary. They relegated the study of theology for ministers only; and (3) it is irrelevant/outdated, the document from where we get theology is archaic and was only written by fishermen.

These typical objections to the study of theology as Packer noted are due to the underlying issue which the Scripture emphasizes as sin.

For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
Romans 1:21-23 ESV

But theology is essential to the Christian life. Since theology is “knowing God”, it is crucial in our lives. Packer warns,

Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you. This way you can waste your life and lose your soul.

Now, if theology is important, what are the things we need to know about God? Here are the five basic truths, five foundation principles of the knowledge of God:

  1. God has spoken to man, and the Bible is his Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.
  2. God is Lord and King over his world; he rules al things for his own glory, displaying his perfections in al that he does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore him.
  3. God is Savior, active in sovereign love through the Lord Jesus Christ to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as his children and to bless them accordingly.
  4. God is triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and the work of salvation is one in which al three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it and the Spirit applying it.
  5. Godliness means responding to God’s revelation in trust and obedience, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word.

According to Packer, this is true religion. These are the essential truths of Biblical Christianity. To deny these is to give up true theology.

Questions for meditation:

  • How does knowledge of God affect salvation and your Christian life?
  • Can a truly saved believer ever be apathetic to God’s word?
  • What should the Christian response to Theology be?

Note: This is from our Youth Bible Study. Citations are from Packer, J. I. (1993). Knowing God. Intervarsity Press. pages 18-19

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

4 thoughts on “Who Needs Theology?

  1. Another reason to study theology is because it is a source of deception. One needs to be able to point out that deception, hence know enough theology to do so.

    For example, I consider it a form of deception to claim that the days in Genesis 1 were not 24-hour days, to claim that Adam and Eve did not exist only thousands of years ago, to claim that the Fall did not actually happen, to claim that the flood in Noah’s time was not global, or to ignore the Babel event as the origin of modern language families.

    However, I hear such things coming from people who have been trained in theology and/or Christian philosophy. (See William Lane Craig on Adam.) So what I usually want to know about a theologian is what they think about Genesis 1-11. If they fail that test, I ask for their views on abortion, LGBTQ and replacement theology knowing already what to expect.

    Liked by 1 person

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