What is Christian Theology?

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Christian theology is a culture appropriate retelling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Scripture. Theology, being an ordered articulation of faith, must be articulating some kind of faith. In the discipline of Christian theology, the theologian is engaged in articulating his faith concerning the Christian God, the Christian Triune God. Theologians seek to bring forth a detailed presentation of theology, anthropology, Christology, Pneumatology, ecclesiology, and eschatology, all of which are interpreted in light of the source of knowledge of the Christian God: the Bible.

A cultured appropriate retelling of the Gospel of Jesus Christ consists in communicating accurate beliefs about the Gospel in a manner that our culture is able to understand and respond to our call. Since we cannot avoid the culture in which we are doing theology, and since we are not trying to get out the context of the world, Christian theologians are looking forward to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that will simplify the understanding of the unbeliever. Christian theology, therefore, seeks to bridge the abyss between the culture of the time Jesus lived and the XXIst century culture that we live in.

Christian theology is retelling the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Theologians are telling the same story of the Bible in a culture appropriate way in order for people to understand what the Bible truly means. Theologians, then, make use of symbols and acts to retell that story.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the focus of our theology. Since Jesus Christ is the cataclysm of the Christian worldview in history, everything must be done around it. And since Jesus spoke that the Old Testament was all about him (Luke 24), and since the New Testament is done around him, theologians must have Jesus in the center of their theological method.

Basically, Christian theology stands out from other disciples from its starting point. Philosophical theology starts with the purpose of apologetics, answering questions like “why is there something instead of nothing?” Historical Theology, on the other hand, seeks to understand the history of the world in a way that it shows that God is transcendent in creation, yet immanent in history and redemption. Historical theology is more focused on how people acted and talked about God than trying to determine what is the right thing to say. Systematic theology, different from all two cited above, is proposing and ordered and systematic organization of the truths of Scripture. Systematic theology, also known as concordance theology, is focused in organizing the truths of Scripture in a way that can be used like a concordance, and that is one of the reasons of why it carries that name. Ethical theology, similar to philosophical theology, is a study of the virtues based on the true claims of Scripture. Philosophical theology is different from Christian theology because Christian theology already assumes that there is a God out there and that this God is the Triune God who revealed himself in Scripture; it is different from historical theology because it is focused on the communication part of the logos, it seeks to help believers communicate, live, think holy under God; it is different from systematic theology because it is not done in a vacuum, if you will, for it seeks to engage culture and apply the true claims of Scripture in a way our culture can understand and respond; it is also different from ethics for it is also focused on the communication of the Gospel through words, not merely actions.


Photo by Aaron Burden

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