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Everyone is a Theologian. Are You a Good or Bad One?
I'm a theologian?
For many Christians, the idea of theology is that it’s all head knowledge and no heart. They think it’s something that only their pastor or religion professor does. But the truth is that if you believe anything about God then you’re already doing theology. The word “theology” means the study of God. So if you do any type of studying or have any knowledge of God you are a theologian. If you have any beliefs about who God, even if it's that there is no God, you are a theologian. The only question now should be "are you a good theologian or a bad theologian?"
Theology is for everyone. Indeed, everyone needs to be a theologian. In reality, everyone is a theologian – of one sort or another. And therein lies the problem.
There is nothing wrong with being an amateur or professional theologian, but there is everything wrong about being an ignorant or sloppy theologian. Therefore everyone should read theology.
Charles Ryrie in his book Basic Theology
Why study theology?
What you believe about God determines how you act and how you live your life. Having good theology is important because bad theology can be very dangerous as you can see with people killing others in the name of God.
When you study theology you we become more discerning and won't fall for dangerous erroneous doctrines. There are many false teachers out there that are taking advantage of ignorant Christians that think it's the pastors job to interpret scripture. You will protect yourself from false teaching by knowing theology.
Jesus said that if we loved Him we will keep his commands. To keep his commands we have to study the Word so we can know what they are.
I don't believe that every Christian needs to go to seminary. But every Christian needs to learn to rightly handle the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15) You can find many good online resources to study theology online.
Where to Study Online
There are many resources available to study theology online for free. Below are a few good sites to study theology online.
The Theology Program
The Theology Program is a good place to start to learn more about theology. They offer on their website several theology courses with video for free. The courses are Intro to Theology, Bibliology & Hermeneutics, Trinitarianism, Humanity & Sin, Soteriology and Ecclesiology & Eschatology.
The Theology Program also has all of the courses that are available online, with slides and workbooks, in an iPhone and Android app for only $7. With all of these lectures and notes I'd be willing to pay way more than that. It's worth every penny.
Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology Podcast
Wayne Grudem's book called is a valuable resource for the theologian. You can listen to all of his Systematic TheologySystematic Theology lectures for free on with his podcast on iTunes.
Ligonier Connect is not free but is a good resource for learning theology. They have many theology courses available to take online like Principles of Biblical Interpretation, Doctrine of Election and many more. When you enroll in a course you will have access to videos and materials that you can access at any time. You can share notes and join in discussions with others taking the course.
Theology is the beginning not the end
“Theology is like a map. Merely learning and thinking about the Christian doctrines, if you stop there, is less real and less exciting than the sort of thing my friend got in the desert. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God--experiences compared with which many thrills of pious feelings you and I are likely to get on our own are very elementary and very confused. And secondly, if you want to get any further you must use the map.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Learning theology is important but only if it actually has an effect on your life.
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