I would like to coin the phrase alimentary theology, a theology that is more attentive to and welcoming of the multiple layers contained and implied in the making of theology. This is a theology that not only pays closer attention to matters related to food and nourishment, and the many ways they can relate, inspire, and inform theological reflection. Most importantly, it is an envisioning of theology as nourishment: food as theology and theology as food. Alimentary theology is envisioned as food for thought; it addresses some of the spiritual and physical hungers of the world, and seeks ways of bringing about nourishment.
Angel F. Mendez Montoya
The ultimate goal of theology isn't knowledge, but worship. If our learning and knowledge of God do not lead to the joyful praise of God, we have failed. We learn only that we might laud, which is to say that theology without doxology is idolatry. The only theology worth studying is a theology that can be sung!
In every system of theology, therefore, there is a chapter De libero arbitrio. This is a question which every theologian finds in his path, and which he must dispose of; and on the manner in which it is determined depends his theology, and of course his religion, so far as his theology is to him a truth and reality
Theology is not a private subject for theologians only. Nor is it a private subject for professors. Fortunately, there have always been pastors who have understood more about theology than most professors. Nor is theology a private subject of study for pastors. Fortunately, there have repeatedly been congregation members, and often whole congregations, who have pursued theology energetically while their pastors were theological infants or barbarians. Theology is a matter for the Church.
Note, though, something else of great significance about the whole Christian theology of resurrection, ascension, second coming, and hope. This theology was born out of confrontation with the political authorities, out of the conviction that Jesus was already the true Lord of the world who would one day be manifested as such. The rapture theology avoids this confrontation because it suggests that Christians will miraculously be removed from this wicked world. Perhaps that is why such theology is often Gnostic in its tendency towards a private dualistic spirituality and towards a political laissez-faire quietism. And perhaps that is partly why such theology with its dreams of Armageddon, has quietly supported the political status quo in a way that Paul would never have done.
Theology is a non-subject. I'm not saying that professors of theology are non-professors. They do interesting things, like study biblical history, biblical literature. But theology, the study of gods, the study of what gods do, presupposes that gods exist. The only kind of theology that I take account of are those theological arguments that actually argue for the existence of God.
Whether you realize it or not, you are a theologian. You come to a book like this with a working theology, an existing understanding of God. Whether you are an agnostic or a fundamentalist - or something in between - you have a working theology that shapes and informs the way you think and live. However, I suspect that you are reading this book because you're interested in examining your theology more closely. You are open to having it challenged and strengthened. You know that theology - the study of God - is more than an intellectual hobby. It's a matter of life and death, something that affects the way you think, the decisions you make each day, the way you relate to God and other people, and the way you see yourself and the world around you.
Michael S. Horton
I do not believe that God intended the study of theology to be dry and boring. Theology is the study of God and all his works! Theology is meant to be LIVED and PRAYED and SUNG! All of the great doctrinal writings of the Bible (such as Paul's epistle to the Romans) are full of praise to God and personal application to life.
There is however difference between the theology of liberation and traditional theology, the latter being based primarily On the Word of God made incarnate in the Holy Scripture Liberation theology is of course also inspired by the Word, but its representatives are convinced that God also speaks to us in everyday events and that, for example, information obtained through the mass media can be a special way in which God speaks to us.
Who should listen to discussions of theology? Those for whom it is a serious undertaking, not just another subject like any other for entertaining small-talk, after the races, the theater, songs, food, and sex: for there are people who count chatter on theology and clever deployment of arguments as one of their amusements.
Gregory of Nazianzus
I hope and believe my co-religionists understand and admit that I disclaim their theology in toto, and that by no twisting of language or darkening of its meanings can I be made to have any thing whatever in common with them about religious matters... they must take my word for it that there is nothing in common between their theology and my philosophy.
The theology of the cross is not a cerebral thing; it profoundly affects our Christian experience and existence, making demands upon our whole lives and turning theology into something which controls not just our thoughts, but the very way in which we experience the world around and taste the blessing and fellowship of God himself. pp.48-49
Carl R. Trueman
We see in the 20th Century an unfortunate trench warfare, in which psychoanalysis, in a struggle against the internalized compulsion and superstition of a particular doctrine, has expressed itself atheistically. By contrast, theology is not merely under suspicion of talking soullessly about God. Both theology and psychology, in striving for human health, need one another like the right and the left hand.
Theology recognizes the contingency of human existence only to derive it from a necessary being, that is, to remove it. Theology makes use of philosophical wonder only for the purpose of motivating an affirmation which ends it. Philosophy, on the other hand, arouses us to what is problematic in our own existence and in that of the world, to such a point that we shall never be cured of searching for a solution.
the seeker who embraces positive theology finds ... that you can have all that stuff in the mall, as well as the beautiful house and car, if only you believe that you can. But ... if you don't have all that you want, if you feel sick, discouraged, or defeated, you have only yourself to blame. Positive theology ratifies and completes a world without beauty, transcendence, or mercy.
So Marxism, Freudianism: any one of these things I think is an irrational cult. They're theology, so they're whatever you think of theology; I don't think much of it. In fact, in my view that's exactly the right analogy: notions like Marxism and Freudianism belong to the history of organized religion.
Theology differs from science in many respects, because of its different subject matter, a personal God who cannot be put to the test in the way that the impersonal physical world can be subjected to experimental enquiry. Yet science and theology have this in common, that each can be, and should be defended as being investigations of what is, the search for increasing verisimilitude in our understanding of reality.