Theology 1.0

Mike Focht 3/22/2024

Theology is the study of God and the things of God. On some level, we are all theologians, though not everyone is called or equipped by God to be an “academic” theologian. Jesus commands us to love God with all our minds—the mind that God Himself has given us—and each has a different intellectual capacity to love God. So, whatever God has given us, let’s use it all for Him. 

   That said, the first thing that anyone doing any theological study needs to understand is that there is a world of difference between divine revelation and our current theological systems. Divine revelation is inspired by the Holy Spirit, is God-breathed, and is infallible whether we understand it or not. God has revealed certain truths to us; if they are revealed from God, they are perfectly without error. 

   Theology mainly draws inferences from the divine revelation we have in the Bible. Theology is the attempt of the human mind to work out the divine science behind the divine facts that we find in the pages of Scripture. That being so, theology can be faulty because human minds are fallible and not infallible. Our fallibility needs to be understood because, all too often, men and women believe that their particular theological system is divine revelation. Losing this distinction is the loss of light and humility. The mind of man is not the mind of God. 

   All theology was first embodied before ever being systematized. To say that Jesus was born of the Holy Spirit was life to Mary and Joseph and angels and shepherds before ever being theologically defended in Christian history as the virgin birth. The incarnation was an embodied reality that slowly dawned on the disciples before Athanasius stood against the world to defend it. Paul declared the supernatural reality of Christ in us before men ever began writing extensive dissertations on what that means. Everything God has revealed in the Word as truth is already systematized because it is in the Bible. 

   How I reconcile the divine truth that God is sovereign and man is responsible is important. I am not against theology. Studying God’s Word with my mind is part of how we are called to love Him, and would-to-God we give ourselves more fully to that type of worship. We need more healthy biblical theology and not less. I will later write about what good theology should entail. My point for an aspiring theologian of any level is this: We need to keep very clear that there is an infinite distance between divine revelation from God and the theological deductions of men. 

   When the apostles wrote, inspired by the Holy Spirit, their theology was declaration and not explanation or our modern types of systemization. They declared things they had first seen and known and learned of God before ever trying to explain them. For example, Paul knew the reality of Christ in us was true whether he felt he could explain it fully or not. It is the same with the virgin birth, incarnation, regeneration, resurrection, the Trinity, etc. 

   Ultimately, God can be known by divine revelation, but Human minds will never systematize Him. We have divine revelation in the Word of God. We should have good biblical theology from the Word of God. We should also understand that the two are not the same and never will be this side of eternity.