Why Should We “Do” Theology?

As you are probably aware, Help Me Believe is a blog focused on the subjects of apologetics and theology. In the past I have written to address the question, “What is theology?” but today I want to ask the question, “Why should we do theology?”

From the outside, it might be said that the world of theology is nothing more than bunch of nerds arguing about a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really matter. While some parts of that statement may be partially true, this is not necessarily the case. Does it matter how many angels can sit on the head of a pin? No, it does not. But does it matter that Jesus’s death made a way for sinners like you and I to be saved? Absolutely!

Very briefly, let me highlight three reasons we should do theology, the most important one being the last.

Because it increases our knowledge of the Scriptures

True systematic theology is built on the foundation of verse-by-verse and book-by-book study of the Scripture. You can’t properly jump into theology without first closely examining the text(s) your theology is based on. This means that “doing” theology (i.e., trying to figure out what the Bible teaches us about God, mankind, etc.), will require you to open your Bible and do more than read it. You will have to re-read it and study it and think about it and ask questions of it. And when you do all of these things, your knowledge of the Scriptures will surely increase.

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Because it causes us to think rather than assume

Presuppositions are unavoidable. Everyone has a worldview, a lens through which they perceive everything that happens around them. This worldview also penetrates the way we think about God, ourselves, and the Bible.

In one instance, you might have grown up without attending church or learning about Jesus. This may cause you to be skeptical of the fact that Jesus even exists or that church is something you should be a part of. But when you open God’s Word and study it for yourself, you find theological principles that suggest Jesus is real, that He did die for your sins, and that you should become part of a local church.

In another instance, you might have grown up in a Christian home and were taught the Bible from a young age. But when you truly do theology, it may cause you to call into question some of the things you previously understood. Growing up as a Baptist, I thought for sure that I should believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. But when I began to study the issue for myself, I was not convinced. Rather than just assume what I had heard was true, I studied it for myself, thought about it for myself, and came to a different conclusion.

Because it leads to our worship of God

This is the real reason we should do theology. In fact, if your theology, your understanding of who God is, does not cause you to worship Him constantly, something is wrong! Ultimately, we study His Word and seek answers to difficult questions so that when we arrive at the proper understanding, we praise God for who He is and what He has done, is doing, and is yet to do.

I was recently reminded of this by two different works I have been reading. In Clinton Arnold’s commentary on Ephesians, he notes that the opening verses of the book teach us that “the study of theology should be combined with praise and adoration of our awesome God, who has done so much for us.”[1] Also, in Chad Brand’s introduction to the book Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views (a highly debated theological topic), he writes, “it is my prayer that this exercise will lead you to greater depth of worship and to a more impassioned commitment to proclaim the gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”[2]

More than theology leading to worship, I believe we can even say that the very act of doing theology is itself worship. So, get to theologizing, and get to worshipping!

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[1] Clinton E. Arnold, Ephesians (ZECNT), (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2010), 21.

[2] Chad O. Brand, Perspectives on Israel and the Church: 4 Views, (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing, 2015), 15.

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14 Replies to “Why Should We “Do” Theology?”

  1. On theology leading to worship: This is an often forgotten point. To know who God is better, leads to us knowing Him better. Good post.

  2. Good article. Particularly on the point of knowing God is equivalent to worship. The Great Commandment of course is to love God with All the mind, strength ( body) heart and soul. If we truly love God or worship Him in such a way there would be nothing left of our separate self. We would be One with God as demonstrated in communion. Jesus was the Master Teacher… bringing east and west theology Together. However the theologians Ego gets in the way. I do see hope for the future though.

    Peace and Love

  3. Great read! This reminds me of a quote by R.C. Sproul regarding a christian, paraphrased, “You don’t get to decide if you’re going to be a theologian, you just decide if you’re going to be a good one”

  4. I totally understand what you mean about studying theology helps you hone your own views—especially in regards to the timing of the rapture. That happened to me, too.

  5. Love how you move from study (1st reason), meditation (2nd reason), and commitment/faith (3rd reason). The “do” part of theology goes beyond knowledge to the love of Christ (Ephesians 3:17-19). A life of worship occurs when we receive God’s gifts to us: the doing good and telling of His salvation (Ecclesiastes 3:9-15; Psalm 96). We must not just settle for the ‘desire’ to have knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 3). Theology requires us to choose who we will obey (Romans 6).

  6. AMEN AND AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Would love for you to check out my post “Why You No Like Theology”.

  7. Great points! I think theology should always lead to doxology. We cannot theologize unless we are on our knees because the essence of theology is supernatural.

  8. Very good, my friend. No one can say they love God but don’t care about theology. He was gracious to communicate with us and to leave us a written record of what He spoke. We cannot ignore it. Your last point was great. Theology leads to doxology.

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