Earlier, I posted in my July Goals one objective to write out a few particular doctrinal summaries.
Though this particular objective was an assignment for a class, it is very important to know what we believe on specific areas of theology. How do you respond to religious questions- is it with your opinion?
Our doctrine should primary be informed by Scripture- as such I have taken measures to put specific scripture passages in parathesis for further review. Here it is- my doctrine of why I think theology matters for ministry….
Theology matters for ministry in a variety of ways. First, faith is a way of life. There is not a time in life (ministry included) where Christ should not be Lord. Theology and doctrine are central to one’s virtue as it is not disconnected from one’s intellect (1 Tim 4:6, 2 Peter 1:3). God created the world through speech and is best able to explain His world to us through His word (Jn 1:1). Biblical theology helps to answer important life questions (i.e. reality, death, beauty, epistemology, the divine) raised within ministry. Theology is being formed in the lives of those with whom we will minister (usually by the culture); it is vital that it comes from a biblical source. One must purpose in ministry to learn theology in order to know God and live for God. There is an ecclesial necessity to studying theology and doctrine as this is the only way to follow that which God has instituted for the church.
Second, we are called to bear the image of God in the world (Gen 1-3). One must avoid empty and vain philosophy and instead pursue lasting theology that bears an effective epistemology (Col. 2:6-10). The height of a sole theologian’s problem is himself as it may lead him to arrogant, self-centered and unbiblical conclusions. Theology matters and is necessary for ministry as it keeps the theologian from this struggle through accountability within one’s church and ministry.
Third, Doctrine and life are connected and must not be separated (1 Tim 6:3, Titus 2:7). Scripture is sufficient for discipleship and daily living within the church. Paul clarifies that all the believer needs in order to live as the people of God and in a way of faithfulness is given in the Scriptures (2 Tim 3:14-17). Scripture is sufficient for faith and practice in the church (Deut. 29:29, Ps 19, Ps 119). The church does not need to add to the Scriptures (Prov. 30:5-6). The scriptures are sufficient and have a Lordship over other ideas for preaching, discipleship, counseling, and for all of life. The church must discipline lofty ideas and opinions raised against the knowledge of God and consult the Spirit of God to correctlyf understand the Scriptures (Prov. 22:12, Ps. 19, Ps. 119, 1 Cor 1-2, 2 Cor 10:4-5). I believe theological illumination is helpful in ministry as we are called to teach others that which has been revealed to us through the spirit of God (1 Cor. 13:12, John 15:26, John 16:13, 1 Cor. 2:13). Though the church is impacted by rationalism, experience, culture, ecclesiasticism, tradition, and special revelation, I affirm that Scripture is the authoritative and primary source of one’s theology.
What is your doctrinal summary on this topic?
Thanks for reading!