Question: "What is Christian Theology?"
Answer: The word “theology” comes from two Greek words meaning “God” and “word.” Combined, the word “theology” means “study of God.” Christian theology is the study of what the Bible teaches and what Christians believe. Many believers treat Christian theology as something that is dividing, something that should be avoided. In actuality, Christian theology should be uniting! The Word of God teaches truth and we are to be united behind that truth. Yes, there are disagreements and disputes in Christian theology. Yes, there is freedom to disagree on the non-essentials of Christian theology. At the same time, there is much that Christians should be united over. A biblically-based Christian theology will enable us to better understand God, salvation, and our mission in this world.
For some, the word “theologian” conjures up images of crusty old men poring over dusty volumes of ancient texts in dimly-lit rooms, studying things completely removed from real life. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Second Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is inspired by God, literally God-breathed, and is indispensable to us because it makes us complete, lacking nothing. To be a theologian is to be one who seeks the face of God in order to encounter the creator of the universe and His Son, Jesus Christ, and embrace Him as Lord of our lives, so that He becomes the center of our desires, affections and knowledge. This intimacy spreads into all aspects of our lives—thrilling us with its blessings, comforting us in times of loss, strengthening us in our weaknesses and upholding us to the end of our lives when we will see Him face to face. Scripture is God’s story and the more we study His Word, the better we know Him.
Below are the various categories of Christian theology. Understanding what the Bible says about the various areas of Christian theology is key to spiritual growth and effectiveness in the Christian life.
Theology Proper / Paterology - the study of God the Father.
Christology - the study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ.
Pneumatology - the study of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
Bibliology - the study of the Word of God.
Soteriology - the study of salvation through Jesus Christ.
Christian Anthropology - the study of the nature of humanity.
Hamartiology - the study of the nature and effects of sin.
Angelology - the study of angels.
Christian Demonology - the study of demons.
Ecclesiology - the study of the nature and mission of the church.
Eschatology - the study of the end times / last days.
Recommended Resource: Christian Theology by Millard Erickson
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