Guest / Limited Access /
Why Everyone Needs Theology
Why Everyone Needs Theology

Whenever we speak about God we are engaged in theology. The term "theology" means a word (logos) about God (theos), so when anyone speaks about God, whether that person dropped out of high school or completed a PhD in philosophy, he or she is engaged in theology. Theology is not reserved for those in the academy; it is an aspect of thought and conversation for all who live and breathe, who wrestle and fear, who hope and pray.

Theological questions surround our lives, whether we know it or not. A wife and husband facing infertility inevitably struggle through deep theological questions, whether or not they want to voice them. College students working through issues of identity, culture, politics and ethics struggle—in one way or another—with theological convictions and how to live them. Our concepts about the divine inform our lives more deeply than most people can trace. Whether we view God as distant or near, as gracious or capricious, as concerned or apathetic, the conclusions we reach—whether the result of careful reflection or negligent assumptions—guide our lives.

Christians must care deeply about theology. If the true God is renewing our lives and calling us to worship him "in spirit and truth" (John 4:23), then such worship includes our thoughts, words, affections and actions. Do we want to worship Yahweh or waste time and effort on a deity we have constructed in our own image? Ludwig Feuerbach (1804-1872), a nineteenth-century atheist philosopher, argued that talk about God is no more than amplified talk about ourselves: "God" is merely the projection of human thoughts and desires. Surprising as it may seem, Christians share a fundamental concern with Feuerbach, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
RecommendedDied: Kenneth Bailey, the Scholar Who Made Jesus Middle Eastern Again
Died: Kenneth Bailey, the Scholar Who Made Jesus Middle Eastern Again
The late scholar helped Western Christians see the Bible through a cultural lens.
TrendingNicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
Nicole Cliffe: How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life
I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Editor's PickWhat It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
What It’s Like to Be Gay at Wheaton College
The evangelical university has received negative press on LGBT matters. My own experience paints a different picture.
%%var.bookTitle%%
A Little Book for New Theologians: Why and How to Study Theology
IVP Academic
2012-09-03
126 pp., $9.00
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Why Everyone Needs Theology
hide thisDecember December

In the Magazine

December 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.