Theology

Editor’s note: I am significantly revising this page, which has not gotten meaningful updates in many years. If you’re seeing this note, know that it is a work in progress, and feel free to contact me with any questions or thoughts in the meantime.

I love theology. Why? Because theology means, “words about God,” and I love God. Everyone – Christian, atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Jew, Hare Krishna, or something else – “does theology,” too, which means understanding theology is both essential to understanding life on earth and a wonderful way to understand each other.

What I mean when I say that everyone “does theology” is that everyone has ideas about God: who He is, how He acts in our world, and what it means for us. That doesn’t mean, of course, that we have consistent ideas about God or ideas that withstand scrutiny.

This is why theology is important, because it’s a bit like driving: everybody does it, but not that many people do it well. Personally, I think that, if our beliefs about God determine our actions and the meaning of our lives, then we ought to try to get it right. Deciding what we believe about God is a bigger decision than what we eat, where we go to college, or even whom we marry, because it affects every other decision in our life. It even affects the range of options available for many of these choices; it may improve our selection by weeding out bad options, or it may lead to choices we will inevitably regret.

Never base your theology on your own thoughts alone; somebody else has almost certainly thought of anything you have thought of, and somebody else has probably found a good argument against it. Likewise, you should never base your theology entirely on any other person’s ideas. Really, you should read materials by multiple authors after studying issues from the Scriptures for yourself; in this way, you learn on your own, by reading and studying, then reinforce, challenge, or refine your conclusions by sharpening your mind against others.

I hope to add to this page in the future. In the meantime, please contact me with any questions or thoughts; I absolutely love to talk about theology or any related issues.