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Featured This is Theology

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Tree of Life, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    What is theology?

    My favorite definition is the one supplied by Dr. John Frame. He says that theology is the application of Scripture to every area of life.

    Some Christians say that theology is irrelevant or only causes division and therefore should not be our focus. But that's because they have the wrong idea of what theology is all about. Theology is imminently relevant, practical, and should bring about good unity and good division (separating heresy from orthodoxy and separating light from darkness).

    Who can deny the need to do this kind of theology?
     
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  2. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    What is Orthodoxy? Could you define it for me? Thanks.
     
  3. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    That's just another way of saying "right theology". Orthodoxy (little o) is the God intended application of Scripture to every area of life. The right application of Scripture to every area of life.
     
  4. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks.
     
  5. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    I don't think that's theology at all. But people do like to appropriate words.

    Theology at its simplest - in the dictionary sense - is the study of God. However, people go in all different directions from there. IMO the best way to understand those directions is a consideration of the ministerial vs the magisterial use of knowledge.

    Under a ministerial use of knowledge, we see ourselves as subservient to the knowledge. In other words, we are only studying what God has revealed to us and doing our best not to add to it. Under a magisterial use of knowledge, theology becomes philosophy, and we see ourselves as master of the knowledge - we use it for our own purposes.

    FYI, applying theology would be better called discipleship.
     
  6. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    What Frame rightly wants to avoid is separating theology from application. Or more precisely - separating meaning from application. For Frame, and I agree with him, meaning is application. What a text of Scripture means is how that text should be used and vice versa.

    This takes theology down from the theoretical and ethereal realm and puts it into the context of life - exactly where theology should be.

    You say that theology is the study of God, but we can only know God through his revealed word of Scripture. Therefore theology is the study of Scripture. But it's not simply an academic study that is removed from our lives. Scripture is meant to be obeyed and believed. True theology is therefore the application of Scripture. To what we think, do, and say.
     
  7. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    To reference Evagrius Ponticus, a theologian is one who truly prays.

    So theology is prayer, and prayer is theology. Lex orandi, lex credendi, y'know?
     
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  8. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Theology and prayer are certainly bound closely together, but I don't think it's helpful to entirely identify them.
     
  9. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    This is somewhat true in a simple, tautological sense. But I disagree because it is this attitude that has perverted Christianity into pietism, puritanism, social gospel, etc. IOW, the focus becomes me (what do I do?) rather than God (what is God's will and what has he done for me?)

    It would take a long time to unpack your post, but I will note it is filled with all kinds of assumptions about what is "obviously true" that are not part of Confessional Lutheranism.
     
  10. mark kennedy

    mark kennedy Natura non facit saltum Supporter

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    I always thought theology was a systematic approach to the academic side of working in formal doctrine. It has it's own unique epistemology, metaphysics, like all things philosophical the semantics are painstakingly precise and can be mutually exclusive with other systems that are very close.
     
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  11. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Lutheranism? Is Orthodoxy Lutheranism?
     
  12. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Frame is no pietist. He is a confessional Presbyterian. Part of the problem is that we think that application only has to do with our behavior. But application also has to do with our thinking, believing, speaking, and feeling. So, for Frame, "What should I believe about God?" is thoroughly an application question.

    According to the Westminster Standards, the Scriptures principally teach (1) What we are to believe about God, and (2) What God has required of us. Both of these things are matters of application.
     
  13. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    To me, this makes theology way too boring and academic. Theology is vital, practical, and approachable.
     
  14. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    Yeah. I think dentistry is boring so I've decided we should redefine it to be about chocolate cake.
     
  15. Tree of Life

    Tree of Life Survives on Coffee and Whiskey

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    Dentistry consists in the practice, not in the academic study. A person who only ever reads about teeth and thinks about teeth is not a dentist.
     
  16. dzheremi

    dzheremi Coptic Orthodox non-Egyptian

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    Hmm. Apparently I and the ancient Romans disagree, but okay. It's your thread. :)
     
  17. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    I'm not sure what you're asking. "Orthodox" can refer to a specific denomination of church or it can refer to the traditional/standard practice of any discipline.
     
  18. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    It's always good to obtusely miss the point.
     
  19. Resha Caner

    Resha Caner Expert Fool

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    It always starts somewhere.
     
  20. W2L

    W2L Well-Known Member

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    Whats Lutheranism have to do with this topic?
     
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