Theology is for Everyone (Ryan Oberhellman)
Theology is greatly misunderstood in our day, in our time, and especially in our nation. Many people are very resistant to the term “theology” perceiving that it is some high-level scholarly study that involves shelves full of large books in small print, Hebrew and Greek grammar, an intense vocabulary of strange terminology, and dogmatic doctrinal arguments. Many are repelled away from theology believing it to be reserved only for licensed ministers with impressive initials following their name proving that they had been to seminary. All of those things are necessary and needed in their proper place, but I propose a much different approach to theology.
Theology in its simplest definition is this – the study of God.
Theology is not reserved for just pastors, evangelists, prophets, Bible scholars, Bible teachers, and people in ministry. I believe with all my being that every professing Christian from the wisest of elders to the newest of converts needs to center their life in theology, because knowing God is the center and source of the Christian life! If we as Christians desire to follow God we must first know God; to know God we must study God. Theology in its purest and simplest form is when man breaks open the pages of life found in the Holy Scriptures with only two simple questions in mind… “Who art thou and what is thy will, o God?”
Everything we know about God comes from the divinely inspired writings of the prophets and the apostles. The revelation of God’s character and nature is found in the pages of the Bible which we in 21st Century America are so greatly privileged to have in such great abundance, for it has been given to us, not freely, but at innumerable cost! Men like John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, Desiderius Erasmus, Martin Luther, Thomas Cranmer, and many more believed that man’s opportunity to know God was more valuable than their vary lives, and died for that belief! Moments in history record the blood such men ran in the streets ankle-deep as they rather chose death than to release their grip upon the very words of God. Great men have willingly been beheaded, hung, and even burned alive to give us what I believe to be the complete revelation of God in the form of the written words we call the Holy Scriptures.
Let us not fall victim to the accusation Jesus made of the Samaritan woman he met at the well when he said “you know not what you worship.” God has revealed Himself to us – may our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds be open to receive that revelation!
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