When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded that it is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind (Luke 10:27). It seems easy to think about the heart, as it relates to love. Hearts, as a universal...
The word “theology” is derived from two Greek words: “theos” (God) and “logos” (word). Theology thus tries to speak about God. It tries to describe God and everything that has to do with God, in precise and relevant ways. We call these statements “doctrines”.
What is theology useful for?
Theology can help us to deepen our understanding of God, and thereby increase our ability to serve God and to live according to his will. Only if we have true knowledge about God, we can really have a relationship with him. Theology thus is not just an academic discipline for a select group of fans, but is relevant for all believers. See for example this text from Hebrews 5:12-14 : “though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.”
Various disciplines within theology
The term “theology” covers a wide spectrum of efforts to understand God and the Bible better. One discipline, exegesis, is concerned with finding the right meaning of Biblical texts. This requires knowledge about a text’s linguistic features, and about historical and literary context. Using this work, biblical theology follows the movement and process of God's revelation in the Bible. It studies the content and main lines of Biblical books, and biblical concepts like “sin” and “salvation”.
A related discipline, but a little more abstract, is systematic theology. This discipline thinks through the Biblical teaching about certain topics and tries to give a logically coherent, doctrinal overview.
Then there is practical theology, which tries to implement theological truths in daily life and within the church. Lastly, apologetics is concerned with the defense and proof of the Christian faith when it is questioned by non-believers.
On this page, most articles will be about biblical and systematic theology. They deal with biblical concepts and with doctrines that humans made up, but that are based on and derived from the Scriptures.