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Unformatted text preview: The Definition of Theology Introduction
What is Theology? The term "theology" is comprised of two Greek root words: Theos divine beings in general, or the one true God in particular Logos a very important biblical word, rich in nuances and associations, including: "Word," something that is spoken "Discourse," study, questioning and discussion "Reason," the rational principle of the universe "Revelation," a word of divine disclosure to man The Definition of Theology The Definition of Theology
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' ' > % ' % ' ' ' ' ' & ' * The Method of Theology Faith Seeking Understanding "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7 "And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." I Jn 5:20 "I do not try, O Lord, to plumb your depths; for that my understanding fails. Yet I long to understand somewhat your truth, the truth my heart believes and loves. I do not seek to understand and so believe, but rather believe and so understand." Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) "Faith seeking understanding." What is Faith? The Location of Theological Reflection Where does theology belong? NO Not a CountryWestern superstar NO Not a blind leap YES The prerequisite for receiving understanding Folk Theology Lay Theology Pastoral Theology Professional Theology Academic Theology 2 How have the three main branches of the Church done theology? Eastern Orthodoxy: Theology in the context of ancient teaching and worship Roman Catholicism: Theology in the context of apostolic authority and ecclesiastical hierarchy Protestantism: Theology in the context of individualism, activism, and biblicism The Historical Perspective Eastern Orthodoxy: The "Original" Church Eastern Orthodox Distinctives Culturally Distinct The Orthodox Church is a collection of distinct national churches from the eastern Mediterranean, eastern Europe, and Russia. Roman Catholicism: The "Authoritative" Church Historically Conservative The Orthodox Church wants to preserve the theology of the ancient church, particularly from the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Experientially Oriented (Mysticism) Beautiful liturgy, architecture, and icons seek to lift the believer to God. Hierarchical Structure Roman Catholic Distinctives Protestantism: The "Biblical" Church The Roman Catholic Church is united under a single head, the Pope (bishop of Rome). Universal Claims of Authority The word "catholic" means universal or worldwide. Catholicism claims to be the true Church of the world. Ongoing Apostolic Ministry The authority of the apostles is contained not only in Scripture, but also in the ongoing teaching of bishops. In practice, Catholicism centers around 7 sacraments believed to convey grace. 3 Protestant Developments The Protestant movement can be traced to the sixteenth-century reformers. Protestants uphold the "solas" Sola fide: by faith alone Sola gratia: by grace alone Sola scriptura: by Scripture alone Protestant Evangelical Distinctives Individualism Everyone is able to establish a personal, direct relationship with God through faith alone. Activism All believers should evangelize, engage in church ministry, and seek personal holiness. Under the influence of the Enlightenment, part of this tradition became Liberal Protestantism. Biblicism Scripture alone serves as the authoritative source for doctrine and life. All believers should study and be taught the Word. 4 ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/19/2008 for the course TH 1110 taught by Professor Barbieri during the Fall '07 term at Moody Bible Institute.
- Fall '07