Many in the Church believe that theology takes our eyes off being faithful to God in our discipleship and our call to be witnesses in the world. Dr. Johnson explains that the opposite is actually the case.
What exactly are some misconceptions people have surrounding the study of theology?
When students hear that there are other options and things they haven’t heard before regarding the Christian faith, it can take them in one of two directions—away from or toward the faith. Pursing theology can actually be an act of faith.
What are central points we agree on as Evangelicals? Dr. Johnson says we can look at it in the story of the gospel: confession and belief of the risen Jesus. We are united in Him and filled with His Spirit. As we develop these, we can begin to think about patterns of thought that shape our theology in helpful ways.
What does it look like for the Church to take seriously our call of theology as discipleship? First, Johnson says, we must remember that we are all theologians. We need to understand how we work through differences and similarities and who is God in life and in the issues with which we deal.
Johnson discusses theological false premises and why the discipline of theology helps us to be more precise in our words and how we portray God. Finally, he talks about how to hold to differences while clearly staying focused on unity and a witness of who God is.
Lynn Cohick is Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College.
Ed Stetzer holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair of Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College, is Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, and publishes church leadership resources through Mission Group.