Theology, General – The Beginner’s Theological Vocabularium

Theology, General

The word “theology” comes from two Greek words, theos meaning “God” and logos meaning “the word about (or the study of)”. So, Theology is the study of God as He is revealed in the Scriptures. Even though our attempts to understand an infinite God will fall short because of our limited understanding (Romans 11:33-36), God has given us the Bible for us to study and understand who He is. Some people try to avoid theology because they believe it is divisive. However, understanding God as He is revealed is uniting and a beneficial thing (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Without theology, our relationship with God would be limited. Practically, theology is reading the Bible to discover what God has said about Himself. Theology teaches us that God is the Creator, Sustainer and Judge of all things; that He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all things; that He is, as Moses learned (Exodus 3:14), the great “I AM”, the free, purposeful, self-sufficient, almighty, self-existing, self-determining Being and not an impersonal cosmic force. Through theology we learn that God has revealed Himself to humanity through His Son Jesus Christ and that through His blood we have eternal life.

In our own lives, we must understand theology in order to live a life of love and obedience. How can we love God if we don’t know Him? And how can we obey him if we don’t love Him? As we get to know God better through reading His Word, our lives are immeasurably enriched by the comfort and hope that He imparts to those who know, love, obey Him. Inversely, poor theology and a superficial or inaccurate understanding of God will make our lives worse instead of bringing the comfort and hope we long for. Without theology, we have no direction about who God is and what He does, and we waste our lives and lose our souls.

All Christians should be preoccupied with theology—the intense, personal study of God—so that we may know, love and obey the One with whom we will joyfully spend eternity.