Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Theology is More than Head Knowledge

I enjoyed this recent post by Lisa Robinson on the blog Parchment and Pen. She writes about how Theology is More than Head Knowledge and addresses the age old attitude about how we don't need more theology we just need more people walking the walk!

Well worth the read.


Learning theology is head knowledge. It is just obtaining information. Unless, we are participating in some form of ministry and downloading the information, theology is useless.

While I would wholeheartedly agree that the tangible outworking of our faith is important, I think the statement that theology is nothing more than head knowledge is a mis-statement and does a disservice to actively pursuing the knowledge of God.

Everyone is a theologian. Everyone has a theology of some sort – Everyone. Why? Because of what theology is. It is the study of God – theo (God) plus logos (reason, wisdom or thought). Theology is reasoning about God or “God-Thought”. It is how we learn about God and think about Him. To the extent that we are engaged in this task, is to the extent that we are thinking and learning about God.

Whatever methodology is employed to grasp the study of God, will shape how we think about him.

Shunning any type of theological study as just gaining head knowledge is saying that learning is not important and maybe even irrelevant.

Theology is practical. Theology is useful. Theology will be lived out, whether we participate in formalized ministry or not.

Theology is more than head knowledge – it is faith seeking understanding that should cause us to be reflective Christians that care deeply about the Christian faith enough to gather as much information as we can about it.

Grenz and Olson say it best,

Engaging in theology is finding answers to questions that arise in the course of living the Christian life in contemporary culture. Any person seeking to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ in today’s world will encounter questions…[but] theology is not so much a set of pat answers to these and other similar questions as it is a way of thinking toward answers. The only alternative to honestly seeking answers is refusing to live Christianity in public and thus refusing to engage in discussions with questioning seekers. This alternative is hardly compatible with authentic Christianity.

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