What is the Intended End of Christian Theology?

Christian theology finds its intended end in praxis. This practice of Christian theology could be summarized into three intended outcomes: to think rightly about God, to speak accurately about God, and to live properly before God. Christian theology, then, is not simply an intellectual task to orderly and systematically organize Biblical doctrine for the sake of knowledge itself, but relational communion with God, personal exercise of faith that flourished from faith, and finally a community act.

Christian theology must not drive its student to more theology as if theoretic expansion of his or her knowledge were the ends to why he or she engages in the difficult task of the study of Christian divinity. Having said that, Historical Theology is of great importance to observe essential characteristics of the greatest theologians that had ever stepped on this earth. Take for example Charles Haddon Spurgeon, British preacher of the 18th century, who preached countless times on the topic of predestination, Calvinism, and the doctrine of unconditional election. The same man who believed God had predestinated even the smallest particle of dust in this universe, opened one of the UK’s leading children charity that is still in full activity almost 150 years after its foundation.

The Christian engaged in Christian Theology must also be conscious of the psalm of number 27, specifically the fourth verse. David assures: “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after” (Psalm 27:4a [ESV]). It is clear in the mind of the old king that what he asks from God is associated with action, for he will seek after his request. The individual committed with the enterprise of Christian theology must ask the Lord what he desires, that is, to know more of Him. For even Paul acknowledged that to know Christ is the most valuable thing in this earth (Philippians 3:7-10). However, Christian theology can not be merely summarized as simply the task of asking God for more of him and working hard in one’s own intellect to accurately understand the words from God found in the Scripture. Psalm 119 goes deeper in this matter for it gives the reason of why David was inquisitive regarding the knowledge of God and his law. To walk according to the law of the LORD, to keep his statutes, and to obey His decrees was the reason of why the psalmist engaged himself in the task of knowing God’s words (Psalm 119:1-2, 5).

Since Christian theology must involve the individual’s asserted thinking about God, he or she must perform his or her thinking with “the mind of Christ” (1Co. 2:16). To think with the mind of Christ will lead him to follow Jesus’s steps. One does not need to be a PhD in theology to observantly annotate patterns that were common to Jesus while he was on earth. H was passionate about children (Matthew 19:14), extremely concerned about the less fortunate— for “though he was rich, for your sake he became poor” (2Co. 8:9 [HCSB]), and that because “when he saw the crowds, he felt compassion for them” (Mat. 9:36)—, and lived with ardent tenderness towards the unfairly treated (John 8:1-11); and all that “to the point of death—even to death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8b).

Jesus answered many theological questions by incarnating the answer. The question that was answered now was also answered by Jesus, for the man with the most accurate knowledge of God ever lived his whole life serving the community surrounding him. To think rightly about God will lead us to reflect on Jesus’ life. To reflect on His life will set our hearts on fire for human beings made in His image (Genesis 1:27). Christian theology, then, will accomplish its intended end by changing our thoughts, words, and actions.

 

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One thought on “What is the Intended End of Christian Theology?

  1. Pingback: What is Christian Theology? | Think Critically

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