I got a call the other day from a college student who asked me “how would you define theology?”

I said that it can be thought of as Four things:

  • God Talk: the most basic thing it to look at the etymology (theo- logy).
  • Faith Seeking Understanding: Anselm’s famous dictum is still many’s favorite.
  • 2nd order activity carried out by disciples within hermeneutical communities. The primary activity is the faith lived out in particular locations and within cultural contexts – theology is the secondary discipline reflecting upon the primary expression.

Now within theology it is important to acknowledge that there are distinct schools of Systematic, Historical, Philosophical and Biblical – these are recognized as the “Big 4” – and there is also my discipline of Practical Theology.

I am big fan of Grenz and Olson’s book Who Needs Theology? and the way that they conceptualize it.

I feel good about my 4 fold answer, but I thought it would be fun to throw it to the deacons and see it what you thought.
I also created a poll to see what was the common consensus would be.    [poll id=”5″]