What I am learning is the different views of theology. And depended upon who you are study you will have your view of theology. Generally you tell a student of theology who you are reading and they will tell you the kind of theology you are learning.
I read that there is no privileged definition of the word"theology" The word theology is not a Biblical term, that word does not appear in the Scripture. Generally you see the word used
in terms of how the word is used.
In the early centuries of the church, theology was used as wisdom, the art or science of knowing God. What was emphasis was not the intellectual knowledge but personal knowledge or relational knowledge. Today the term might be called "spirituality" theology. Augustine had this idea of theology
THE GREEK FROM OF THEOLOGY: THEO LOGOS:
- While the term itself in the Greek is used: a combination of two words: theos / logos: Logos: ‘the study of’ or ‘a word about.’ Theos: ‘god’ ‘a word about god.’ The Greek word was used as a cognitive, abstract, factual knowledge.
AN ORGANIZED COGNITIVE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE
- After Augustine the common thinking of theology was not in terms of knowing God, but in terms of an organized cognitive body of knowledge. Theology became things to know. Now theology was a term to understand as a science. What is the realm of theology? It is Christian doctrine, those things pertaining to God, and man, sin, and redemption, etc, i.e. those things which are mediated to us by revelation. The goal of theology was to know the facts, the truth about God and about His ways.
THE 1700TH CENTURY: THE ENLIGHTENMENT PERIOD
- Here this group of theologians chose the opposite of what medieval scholasticism had been choosing. Which made a distinction between theology as "things to know’ on the one said and ethics as ‘things we do’ on the other.
REVIEW: THREE OPTIONS:
- Theology as spirituality (knowing who)
- Theology as thinking right about doctrine (knowing what or knowing that)
- Theology as a ethics (Christian action, knowing how.)
A REVIEW OF SOME THEOLOGIANS DEFINTION OF THEOLOGY
The etymology of Theology is knowledge concerning God.
THEOLOGY AS A SCIENCE
Science in the broadest sense refers to any system of objective knowledge. In a more restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research.
It is similar to other sciences in that it is a careful, systematic study of an area of knowledge. That is ‘what is known’ related to truth, wisdom, and belief.
- Sciences generally as relating to "whole bodies of knowledge."
- Science is a useful tool. . . it is a growing body of understanding that allows us to contend more effectively with our surroundings and to better adapt and evolve as a social whole as well as independently.
1. Science: in general: knowledge, learning ‘to know’
- The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.
- Such activities restricted to a class of natural phenomena.
- Such activities applied to an object of inquiry or study.
2. Methodological activity, discipline, or study: I've got packing a suitcase down to a science.
3. An activity that appears to require study and method: the science of purchasing.
4. Knowledge, especially that gained through experience.
Branch of knowledge: a branch of knowledge; "in what discipline is his doctorate?"; "teachers should be well trained in their subject" Field of study. Discipline
Only when making Theology knowledge concerning God do we the right to call it a separate science. Sciences are not formed at haphazard, but according to an objective principle of division. As in general science is bound by its object and must let itself be shaped by reality. Thus in this field of Biblical theology we need to follow the great lines by which God has mapped out the immense field of the universe.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 03 03 07 Check Charity Whisnant