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Entries in Theological Foundations (6)

Monday
Nov042013

What is good theology?

I'm partaking of a series of lectures by Derek Thomas, through iTunesU. This series is called "Introduction to Pastoral and Theological Studies," and is basically an introduction to Reformed Theology. I thoroughly enjoy Dr. Thomas's teaching. He is an extremely articulate and passionate teacher. You cannot listen to his speaking without seeing a man with a heart for the gospel and for Scripture.

In this lecture, he discusses the importance for good theology. At one point in the lecture, he mentions with disapproval the kind of student who thinks that theology is unnecessary. He believes -- and I agree -- that it is very important. To quote him: "Good theology molds Christian character."

Here are his seven characteritics of good theology:

  1. Accurate; sound; healthy
  2. God-centred - his sovereignty and majesty
  3. Doxological - gives utterance to praise
  4. Eschatological - looks forward
  5. Christological - Christ as prophet, priest, and king
  6. Ecclesiastical - Church-centred, "Ecclesiology matters"
  7. Motivational - Theology is never an end in itself

He also quotes the Puritan William Perkins: "theology is the science of living blessedly forever." William Cunningham, a Scottish theologian defines it as "the knowledge of God and divine things derived from the Scriptures." Notice the return to the Word. It's not theology based on what we think is important about God.

Dr. Thomas also says this, which I loved: theology begins with listening.

And whom to we listen to? God, as revealed in His word.

Theology is so exciting, because it turns our hearts away from ourselves to God.

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