I am always interested in what people’s knee jerk reaction to phrases and saying. When I say a phrase, I am interested in the very first thought and feeling that comes up. When I say, “Everyone is a theologian!” what is the first thought that comes to mind? How does it make you feel? The first time I heard that phrase, I felt a little bit of anxiety and thought to myself, “No, I’m not, I don’t know hardly anything about the bible.” I am sure most of us might have the same feelings and thoughts, but we’re wrong!
Everyone is a theologian. Being a theologian is not about how much you know about the Bible, about God, or Christian doctrine. Being a theologian is about whether or not you hold beliefs and opinions about those things, and everyone has an opinion about the Bible, God, and Christian doctrine. When I ask you what you believe about the Bible, chances are you can answer me. If I ask you what you think about God, you’ll probably have an answer. If I ask you what you believe about a particular Christian doctrine, you’ll probably have an opinion. The question is not, “are all people theologians?” The question is, “are all people good theologians?”
Are All People Good Theologians?
The answer is no. The reality is that a vast majority of the people in the world are terrible theologians (an unsaved soul tends to have terrible opinions and beliefs about God). The sad reality is that many people in the Christian church are bad theologians as well. Think back to my example of asking you what you believe about a particular Christian doctrine. Let’s say I invite you to give me a summary and explanation of the doctrine of the trinity; can you do it? The truth is, many of us cannot.
Furthermore, many of us hold an unintentionally heretical view of the trinity. That is bad theology: bad theology is knowing what you believe but not knowing why you believe it. Even worse, bad theology is having wrong ideas about the Bible, God, and Christian doctrine, and not knowing why you believe it.
What Makes a Good Theologian?
A good theologian is one who never stops learning. A good theologian is one continues to reform their beliefs about God and the things He has revealed. A good theologian is one who does not believe something based on tradition but instead looks to the Scriptures to validate or invalidate traditional beliefs.
My encouragement to you, the reader, is to become a better theologian this year. Think long and hard about what you believe about God, the Bible, the Christian life, etc. Examine your beliefs and see if Scripture agrees with them. Examine your traditions and see if Scripture agrees with them. Always be reforming.
One way to begin this journey is by joining me on February 2nd, 2020, at 8:00, am at Hope Church as we start an 8-week course on Basic Theology! Ηead over to this link to keep up with the class.