The subject of theology has taken a real beating of late. Those who have grown to question the relevance of theology in general, do so for a number of reasons. For instance, they say: theology is boring; theology is too complicated; theology is over my head; theology is divisive; or theology is impractical and unrelated to my life. But theology that is rightly understood and defined--the study and understanding of God--is the most important topic in all of life to master! It is admitted that theology has often been taught in a boring way; has been made complicated by some; sometimes seems to be beyond the grasp of the average Christian; has occasionally divided believers; and is sometimes wrongly applied, or most dreadfully not applied at all! But all of these things do not have to be this way! Theology, rightly studied, is the key to all right thinking and right living. R.C. Sproul has well written,
(Essentials Truths of the Christian Faith, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1992, p. vii)
Every Christian is a theologian. We are always engaged in the activity of learning about the things of God. We are not all theologians in the professional sense, academic sense, but theologians we are, for better or worse. The 'for worse' is no small matter. Second Peter warns that heresies are destructive to the people of God and are blasphemies committed against God. They are destructive because theology touches every dimension of our lives. The Bible declares that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he...Those ideas that do grasp us in our innermost parts, are the ideas that shape our lives. We are what we think. When our thoughts are corrupted, our lives follow suit. All know that people can recite the creeds flawlessly and make A's in theology courses while living godless lives. We can affirm a sound theology and live an unsound life. Sound theology is not enough to live a godly life. But it is still a requisite for godly living. How can we do the truth without first understanding what the truth is? No Christian can avoid theology. Every one has a theology. The issue, then, is not, do we want to have a theology? That's a given. The real issue is, do we have a sound theology? Do we embrace true or false doctrine?
Adapted from "Calvinism and Arminianism" Before and After: A Brief Historical Sketch",
David Steele, Curtis Thomas and Lance Quinn, The Five Points of Calvinism, Appendix G