Too many Christians outgrow this and think they know enough. All Christians should know Bible doctrine, not just the preachers and theologians. Ignorance is no virtue. Willful ignorance is sin 2 Pet. A mind is a terrible thing to waste. God created us with minds as well as bodies, and commands us to use both to His glory cf. It is ingratitude, laziness and selfishness to use our minds in such a way that we neglect learning what God really wants us to know.
Jesus Himself was a teacher, a rabbi, a theologian. God has given many lesser teachers as gifts to His Church, to teach and instruct them e. A teacher teaches doctrine; he is a doctor of doctrine. The teachers are not as important as what they teach. God gave us a Book of words to learn and teach, not a book of pictures to look at.
Teachers are to teach Bible. Both are important, but must be in the proper order. They also must not be separated. Doctrine without practice is dry, stale and useless, producing only pride. Practice without a valid doctrinal foundation can be legalistic or mystical.
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The more we know, the better we can live to God. The indicative statements precede the imperative commands. We must be willing to learn and obey John And the more good Bible doctrine we know, the more our faith grows and the better we can love and worship our God. Theology is the science or study of God, just as biology is the science of life, anthropology is the science of mankind and zoology is the science of animals. Theology is concerned with God, His Word and His works.
True theology is based on the Word of God. Theology, then, is simply serious Bible study. It is based on Exegetical Theology — the study of individual words and sentences. All these are links in the great Bible chain. All complement each other; there are no contradictions. Systematic Theology deals with the Bible as a complete entity.
Just as a deck of cards can be dealt out numerically, it can also be categorized by suits. This explains the harmony of all the parts, and shows the many inter-relationships of individual doctrines. Among the categories are Christology science of Christ , Soteriology salvation , etc. Just as Biblical Theology deals with the progression of revelation in history, so Historical Theology deals with the progression of the study of revelation among Christians. But the two are not equal in importance. Church history deals with Christians, events, dates, places, churches, etc.
Historical theology deals with the theological controversies, theologians, books, councils, etc. Few heresies are really new. Truth and error have been debated repeatedly on a host of fronts. Certain truths were discussed and challenged at specific times in particular: the one true God up to AD , person of Christ and Trinity , justification by faith , etc.
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Similarly, each Christian engages in his own personal historical theology as he grows in the study of the Bible. This form of theology shows the relationship between Biblical principles to personal practices. It explains the underlying reasons behind Biblical commands and examples.
Thus there is a theology of evangelism, prayer, church life, and many others. It is also called Theology of Spirituality. Tradition can be good or bad. The prophets and apostles and even our Lord Jesus spoke many things not written down in Scripture cf. John , But we have no authoritative record of that.
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This Jewish tradition was later written down as the Mishnah. The Catholic Church repeated the same mistake. Tradition, therefore, is not a solid foundation for theology. Only the Bible is. Religion is the Practical Theology of Worship. James gives both. The good sense is that Christianity is the true religion in that it alone provides the true way of worshipping God. All other religions are false. But religion, or the practical exercise of worship, must be based on theology and not the other way around.
Christianity is more than rituals and ceremonies. Moreover, the elaborate Old Testament worship ceremonies were replaced with two simple ceremonies baptism and Communion , and now the emphasis is more spiritual. True religion is neither magic nor superstition, but the worship of God in Spirit and in truth John True Theological Method is Important.
Both the content and method of theology are important. True theology must be based on the Bible alone. And that is the basic principle of theological method. True theology presupposes the total truth of the Bible. Theology is received by revelation of God, not conceived by the mind of Man Col. God is the subject, not the object, of theology. That is, He Himself teaches us about Himself. Thus there are both similarities and differences between theological and natural science. Another important principle is seeing how the NT uses the OT.
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The Bible itself uses logic, but logic itself must be subject to the Word of God, else it becomes mere philosophy. These may be stated in only 2 or 3 words, or longer sentences. Some are given only once; others, many times. They are universal and absolute, undeniable and irrefutable I Tim. They are plainly stated, yet infinitely profound.
They are like axioms, maxims and formulas. By comparing spiritual things with other spiritual things I Cor. The Trinity is not stated in any one verse of the Bible, but is the implicit teaching of Scripture, seen when we combine verses such as Deut. The NT sometimes draws on underlying principles of certain OT verses and develops a new doctrine of practice e. Thus, principles of theology are important.
But we must be careful to observe the limits of this theological method, and stay close to Scripture and avoid speculation. We use it in English to refer to the right mainstream as opposed to the unusual fringe such as orthodox medicine vs. The Greek Orthodox Church once held to Biblical orthodoxy, but no more. The test of Christian orthodoxy is not antiquity, but Scripture. That doctrine alone is orthodox which is Biblical.
They are the basics, the ABC doctrines. Dogmatic theology is concerned with the essential truths of Christianity. Christian dogma is not defined by a church as Romanism claims for itself , but by the Bible alone. One must believe these essential truths to be a real Christian. It is impossible for someone who rejects, substitutes or adds to these essential truths to be a true Christian.
The Gospel is the Main Message of the Bible. Among the essential doctrines is the Gospel. It is a divine record of facts to be believed, not a command that is Law. Specifically, I Cor. There is only one true Gospel, but many false Gospels Gal. The OT preached the same Gospel in advance by prophecy Gal. The true Gospel calls for only one response for salvation: faith and repentance Mark , Acts To add good works or baptism to this is to preach a false Gospel.
https://cumslideworkre.tk To preach the Gospel is simply to present the basic truths about Jesus Christ. Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism are Two Kinds of Orthodoxy.