Why Theology (and Theologians) will always be Dismissed yet Direly Needed in the Church.
Whenever I seek to be hyper analytical about Pauline Theology or Gospel terms of real Eschatology, my fellows in church congregation and bible study are quick to either correct me or warn me that I should not be so Intellectually occupied. Do they have a point? This is not the question that concerns me, the question that concerns me is: Do I have a point in taking theology seriously and to the next level?
The strongest argument in support of my stance that theology is most valued of mind-to-thought processes and knowledge-to-faith application is that things called ‘First Order Theological Questions’ are a plague to unthinking churches and a divine gift to those with the courage and horse power to tackle them. And if you think that theology is just a past time of those with too much to do, you are missing the vital importance that such thought has in carrying on its back the belief and hopes of a congregation—not to mention the all embracing repose of Truth.
You see, all churches poor and grand will have members of the congregation that have been reading their bible. And all church leadership will have to answer both doctrinal and also basic questions about God, Jesus, the Gospel, Covenant, and the Apostles besides all the secondary noise from philosophy, atheist and worldly unbelieving knowledge. These basic questions are called ‘First Order’ theology. Is there such thing as Heaven and Hell? If so will I go there? Should I be working for my salvation so that I do go to heaven? How can I be assured my faith is real? Where is Jesus now? When will the Apocalypse take place? And on and on.
Now my fellows in Christ can tell me that I am too analytical or too much in my own head; but when they come asking around for these questions inevitably and frequently, they will be happy to have a theology nerd to at least clarify their questions. And at best answer some of them with historicism, sociology, and sound biblical exegesis.
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