ADVERTISING
 
Friday, July 19   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Will Graham
 

Why Theology Matters

Four reasons why Theology is so important.

FRESH BREEZE AUTHOR Will Graham 23 APRIL 2016 09:20 h GMT+1

Theology has become a bad word in some quarters. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear ‘theology’ publically slammed from the Evangelical pulpit.



How come? Why has theology come in for such bad press?



I suppose it has a lot to do with theology being viewed as a dry academic discipline that has next to nothing to do with real life. J.I. Packer referred to such an arid discipline as “balcony theology”. Balcony theologians major upon the technical and abstract elements of doctrine without every translating their learning into the sphere of personal discipleship.



However, Packer also alluded to an alternative means of theology, that is, “pilgrim theology”. Pilgrim theology takes both doctrine and praxis seriously. It believes in a mutual, ongoing and vivacious relationship between discipleship and teaching. It is this type of theology to which we should all aspire as followers of the Lord. My beloved friend and co-minister in the Lord Keith Malcomson often quotes the adage of that old Puritan divine William Ames (1576-1633), “Theology is the doctrine of living unto God”.



So why does theology matter? Why should we oppose the current anti-doctrinal thrust at work within western Christendom?



Here are four reasons why theology matters.



Theology matters because...



 



1.- It helps us identify errors and heresies.



The history of the Christian church is awash with soul-destroying heresies and anti-Gospel deviancies. Subtle subtractions from (or additions to) the message of Scripture were prevalent in the first few centuries of the church’s existence. Here are just eight of them:




  • The Ebionites believed that Jesus was the Messiah but they denied His divinity. Salvation, as far as they were concerned, was chiefly a matter of fulfilling the Mosaic Law.

  • The Gnostics and Docetists denied that the Son of God had assumed a real human nature given that anything physical was necessarily sinful.

  • The Arians claimed that the Son of God was the first being created by the Father thus denying the divinity and the saving power of Jesus Christ.

  • The Apollinarians believed that Jesus did indeed have a human body but that his human soul was replaced by the divine Logos. Therefore Jesus did not assume a full human nature.

  • The Modalists taught that there was no personal distinction in the Godhead thus turning the Father into the Son, the Son into the Spirit and vice-versa.

  • The Nestorians embraced the idea that there was no union between Jesus’ human and divine nature. Within Christ, then, there were two wholly autonomous and independent beings at work –one divine and the other human. Jesus, according to them, was two people; not one.

  • The Monophysites, reacting against the Nestorians, put such an emphasis on the intermingling of Jesus’ two natures that he was a kind of “third substance” which was the product of them both. The divine element prevailed over against the human one (or so they speculated).

  • The Pelagians obliterated the doctrine of original sin claiming that all of Adam’s descendents were born sin-free.



Studying theology, therefore, helps us to identify the errors of the past and learn from so as not to fall into the same trap. Just last year, for instance, I was in dialogue with a brother who proposed to me a new Christological theory. He said, “Brother Will, I believe that within Jesus He only had a divine spirit. He did have a human body but He did not possess a human soul”. When I pointed out to the brother that his theory, far from being new, was a mere resurrection of Apollinarism his jaw dropped. If Christ did not assume a human soul, then our souls could not be redeemed. Such a small distinction can ultimately do way with the Gospel.



 



2.- It helps us to sanctify our mind.



Nowadays we remember that Jesus told us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and strength. But we forget that He also added that we are called to love Him with all of our minds as well. In other words, the sanctification of the mind has an important role to play in Christian discipleship. Intellectual laziness is just as wicked as physical laziness. God called upon the Israelites to meditate upon His Word day and night and to teach it to their children and their children’s children.



Constant mediation upon the grand central themes of Scripture helps edify us in sound doctrine and drive out erroneous thoughts. Evidently Scripture is the supreme source of authority in this process but we can also lay a hold of sound books written by solid Evangelical authors in order to refine our ideas and theology i.e. the Reformers, the Puritans, Whitefield, Edwards, Spurgeon and Lloyd-Jones.



As C.S. Lewis said: “Consequently, if you do not listen to Theology, that will not mean you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you will have a lot of wrong ones”.



 



3.- It helps us to minister more efficiently to others.



Not only is theology important for our own spiritual growth and sanctification, but it also spurs us on to help others. There are few things that make me rejoice more than to expose believers systematically to the deep truths of Sacred Writ. God’s sheep desire nutritious green grass. What a blessing to be able to feed others with the Spirit-inspired and Christ-glorifying doctrine!



If we build up our fellow-brethren in Scripture and the great themes of the Protestant Reformation, we will have strong Gospel-centred congregations that rejoice in exalting the name of the Lord of hosts alone! Such teaching will enable us to deliver others from the chronic man-centredness which is plaguing much of the North Atlantic Church.



 



4.- It leads us to praise.



One experience that sound doctrine always leads me to is praise. How often have I found myself immersed in some Scriptural doctrine such as the free imputation of Christ’s impeccable righteousness to sinners only to lift my hands in praise and worship unto the Lord? Sound theology does this. Theology’s outlet is doxology! If your theology doesn’t lead you to magnify the blessed Saviour, then something is seriously wrong with your theology.



Theology is like medicine for the soul and it puts the shine of the Gospel upon our faces. Not a bit of wonder Paul encouraged the Corinthians to bring a doctrine (1 Corinthians 14:26) to the primitive church meetings! Doctrine inflates us with the wholesome, life-giving oxygen of praise.



People in our age get excited about football, shopping and racing cars. But Christians should stoke their fire with Scriptural fuel. Theology is praise-inspiring! It leads us to praise and prayer.



 



Conclusion



All in all, we would do well to recover the importance of theology in our day and age. Not “balcony theology” but “pilgrim theology”!



Theology matters. It matters because...




  • It helps us identify errors.

  • It helps us to sanctify our mind.

  • It helps us to minister more efficiently to others.

  • It helps us to praise the Lord.



See you all next week, Lord willing!


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - Why Theology Matters
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together Practical ways to bring Christians from different generations together

What if young people were on church committees? asks David Hilborn, Principal of St John's College (UK).

 
Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa Evangelical students from around the world gather in South Africa

A short video summary of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students (IFES) World Assembly, July 3-10.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer Luis Palau arrives in Madrid for first overseas outreach since his diagnosis of cancer
At the invitation of hundreds of churches in Spain, the Luis Palau Association are sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ in Madrid, June 15-23, 2019, through numerous outreach events and a 2-day family festival in the heart of the city.
 
What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context? What are the most important truths that Christians should seek to convey in a secular context?

Espen Ottosen talks about the truths Christians should share with people who have little knowledge and/or many prejudices about Christian belief.  

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.