CHAPTER I – PROLEGOMENA TO THEOLOGY
To some people,
is a queen that reigns over the sciences.
To some people
theology is the “words of God,” or at least they respect it as man’s thoughts about God.
Other people reject the word
because it means dead orthodoxy, and in some
churches, theology has taken the place of Christ and the Bible.
To others, theology is
equated with liberalism.
Still there are some who attack theology because they feel it will
stifle their soul-winning zeal.
The great evangelist Dwight L. Moody often accused theology of being the sterile
wrapper of Christianity.
He once said, “Feeding on doctrine is like trying to live on dry
husks.” Then he went on to add, “I pity a person who has to be fed religion with a
“I don’t like your
theology!” a woman once said to Dwight L. Moody.
“Theology!” he said to the lady, “I didn’t know that I had any theology.”
Moody was reacting to dead theology, he had a living theology of his own.
someone takes several Scripture verses and synthesizes them into one sermon or Sunday
school lesson, he is constructing a theology.
Therefore, when Moody took several
references to Jesus Christ in Scriptures and gave his listeners a broad picture of the Son
of God, he was theologizing.
Moody understood the cohesive glue that held theology
together, and he emphasized the ultimate aim of theology.
He said, “A creed is a road or
It is very good as far as it goes, but
if it doesn’t take us
to Christ, it is worthless.”
This volume is an attempt to present in a systematic, comprehensive and complete
form the doctrines of God and His works.
But the aim is to go beyond a theological
statement of belief. It is an attempt to give theology a heart, which is the Lord Jesus
Christianity begins with the statement, “In the beginning God . . . . ”
finite thing has to begin somewhere, an excellent place to begin one’s study is with God.
But what about the preparations we must make before we get started?
Just as there are
many things to prepare before the driver starts his car on a race day, so there are attitudes,
tools and assumptions that go before the study of theology.
This preparation is called
, which means “things that are said before.”
Therefore, prolegomena is the
introduction to the study of theology because it comes first and gives direction to the
formation of one’s belief.
Prolegomena comes from the Greek word
o “before” and
Just as the blueprints will determine the shape of the building to be
constructed, so your attitude and principles of studying theology will
Even the words and definitions you use to answer the question “What
is theology?” will determine the way you express your faith and its content.