Introduction

This section contains 'helps' and some resources to help young Christians get to grips with their faith. It is so important that a young Christian learns that their faith must have a solid foundation of learning and understanding with a sound and sensible mind.

Remember that Christ's disciples were young men (and women) who were full of energy and willing to learn. They eagerly followed and listened to Jesus and then recorded what He said painstakingly writing it down for us.

Sadly today Christianity is seen as an 'old persons' thing - the New Testament dismisses this. Yes there were 'older people' but the early followers were also younger people, like young John Mark.

 

THEOLOGY - Why study it?

The word 'theology' comes from a combination of Greek words, theos, which means “God”, and logos, which has to do with “reason”, “discourse”, or “speaking about something”. Theology is the study of who God is and what God is like and what He has done and is doing in the world.  In short Theology is the study of God, His creation, and His work in creation. 

THEOLOGY or the study of GOD covers the following

  1. God – The study of His existence, who He is, and what He is like. The Trinity.
  2. Christ – The study of the person, life, work, and ministry of Jesus Christ the Son of God
  3. Holy Spirit –The study of the person & work of the Holy Spirit. Third Person of the Trinity 
  4. Scripture – The study of God’s revelation to us through the Bible (special revelation) and the world (general revelation). The importance of the book as the revelation of God.
  5. Sin – The study of the nature of sin and its effects on people and the world/creation. It's spread and it's control and the death it causes.
  6. Salvation – The study of what God is and has been doing throughout the history of the world in order to redeem His people and creation. The order of salvation, election, effectual calling, atonement, the blood, sacrifices etc..
  7.  Ecclesiology  – The study of the formation, structure, leadership, and nature of the called out and assembled Christian. Commonly known as the church.
  8. Angels –  The study of angels and demons 
  9. Last Things – The study of prophecy, heaven, hell, and judgment.   . 

 

Now that we know what theology is, let’s look at the reasons why Christians should study theology. 

 

Reason 1: Everything is theological

All the 'big' questions of life can be answered by a theological understanding.

  • Does God exist?
  • If God exists, who is He and what’s He like? What does He want from us?
  • How are we humans to respond to Him?

All these questions have a theological answer.

Reason 2: To know what you believe and why you believe it

Sadly, many Christians have never taken the time to think through what they believe, which can be dangerous.  Just because I believe something doesn’t necessarily make it the case. Christians are called to study so they can "correctly handle the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). Moreover, studying what we believe, and why we believe it, helps us recognize how Christianity is different from other worldviews and religions in the world. 

Reason 3: To defend the faith and guard against false teaching

Not only should Christians know what it is that they believe and why they believe it, it’s also important for Christians to know these things in order to defend Christian truth claims (apologetics). Jesus’ disciple, Peter, tells believers that they are to “be prepared” and “make a defence” for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15). Jude, Jesus half-brother, calls on Christians to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3). Jesus warns believers to watch out for false teachers. Sometimes they may look like sheep, but often they’re wolves in disguise (Matt 7:15). Paul, too, tells believers to watch out for “vain” philosophies that are grounded in “human tradition” and not Christ (Colossians 2:1-4, 8).  So theology helps us to be wise to error.

Reason 4: Our beliefs shape our actions

 In the book of Romans (Romans 12:1-2), Paul urges Christians not to “conform” to how the world works and thinks. But how are Christians to do this? By renewing their minds! Renewing our minds transforms us. Prayer, study, worship, and reflection are all ways in which we renew our minds. When we engage in theology, we are participating in renewing our minds by studying and thinking hard about God, his world, and God’s work in the world. We are in fact worshipping God with our minds.

Reason 5: Theology keeps us right when interpreting texts

This is so important. When we have an understanding of the overall picture then when we come to an individual text or to understand a prophecy or texts that are difficult to understand then when we apply our theological overview and understand the big picture then things become clearer.

REASON 6: As a means to help worship

Theology is ultimately about worship. When asked by a teacher of the Jewish law about which of the commandments was the greatest, Jesus responded by saying that we are to love God with every ounce of our being—including our minds (Mark 12:28-30). Everything that we do should be done in order to know God and to glorify Him through our lives.  Also we are commanded in worship to love the Lord our God will all our MIND, heart and strength. Theology has to do with the mind and helps us worship God in our minds