Why Bother With Theology?

My friend Jason Clark, a brilliant pastor theologian in the UK, was recently asked by the UK Vineyard AVC to help teach folks how to integrate theology into their lives and churches. The result of this is an amazing video of Jason sharing his life with a class and address why we, as Jesus followers, should bother with theology.

As part of this discussion, Jason mentions ten thoughts on why we should care about theology. Below are the ten as I heard them…granted, there were times when Jason didn’t quite state the reason as a number, so I might have missed one or two while breaking up one thought into two or more pieces…

Either way, the below unedited scribbles will give you an idea about what Jason talks about in the video.

Ten Thoughts On Why We Should Bother With Theology

  1. Theology raises our experiences with Jesus
    1. All too often we separate the doers and the thinkers instead of keeping them together
    2. A dialogue between your/mine lived life of faith and other Christians who have gone before us in history
    3. How can I reflect on my lived experience of faith and how can I bring that into conversation with a whole bunch of people how have gone before me or are currently living with me
    4. Vineyard – born out of a thinking and experiencing move of God
  2. The different bits of theology are just different conversations about God
    1. Many different ways of talking with each other and learning about our Lord
      1. Biblical studies
      2. Systematic theology
      3. Ethical theology
      4. philosophical theology
      5. etc
    2. Don’t be put off by all the different conversations
    3. “One of the biggest challenges of theology is navigating through and learning…challenge you on two things, do the bits you enjoy and the other one is to do all the stuff you don’t. They go together.”
    4. You have to listen to each of the conversation as they all work together
    5. Example: one’s understand of how a Bible book was written (i.e. biblical studies) must effect your ethics and how you live.
  3. Theology is learning and not education
    1. Education is chasing a degree
    2. Theology is a lifelong learning
  4. Theology requires reading and writing
  5. Theology helps us process life when crap happens
    1. Is your understanding of Jesus big enough to handle the dark parts of life?
  6. Theology helps us understand what is happening around us in our culture
    1. How do we share Jesus with others?
    2. For example, if we only have one view of the atonement, what do we do when folks reject it? Do we dismiss them or do we share with them the other biblical views that may connect better with them?
  7. Discernment – knowing how to ask the ‘why’ questions instead of simply, ‘does it work?’
    1. Something ‘work’ in the short term, but in the long term actually take people away from Jesus
  8. Leadership – learning from history or from the Bible
    1. Most leadership books assume a certain view of humanity that says that we can control our own path, be who we want to be, etc
    2. As Christians, we want leadership that gives up our rights to be who we want to be in order to let God work through us
  9. Pick something you enjoy while at the same keeping an eye on the other discipline
    1. Have fun with it
  10. Theology is vital in our practices
    1. Helps us to know why we do what we do
    2. Theology lets us know where we, the Vineyard, fit into the other all Body of Christ and why we do or don’t do certain things

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