The Great Commission and Theology

Karl Barth once said that “In the Church of Jesus Christ there can and should be no non-theologians.” There should not be and there actually are not any “non-theologians.” Everyone is a theologian in some sense; we all have beliefs and ideas about the nature and existence of God. That is the essence of theology- the study of the person of God. Some are just better theologians than others. Way better. This endeavor and pursuit is not trivial but of tantamount importance. Because of this, theology is not mainly for the ivory tower, but for everyday life. Theology should be the pursuit of all who claim to love him. You cannot love what you don’t know. Even more, we are commanded to study theology because we are commanded to go. We have a great commission to fulfill and theology is a part of that commission.

Dr. Robert L. Reymond, in his A New Systematic of the Christian Faith said:

After determining for his church the pattern and end of all theology, the glorified Christ commissioned his church to disciple the nations, baptizing and teaching his followers to obey everything that he had commanded them (Matt. 28:18–20). The Great Commission then places upon the church specific intellectual demands. There is the evangelistic demand to contextualize without compromise the gospel proclamation in order to meet the needs of every generation and culture. There is the didactic demand to correlate the manifold data of Scripture in our minds and to apply this knowledge to all phases of our thinking and conduct. And there is the apologetic demand to justify the existence of Christianity as the revealed religion of God and to protect its message from adulteration and distortion (see Tit. 1:9). Theology has risen in the life of the church in response to these concrete demands of the Great Commission. The theological enterprise serves then the Great Commission as it seeks to explicate in a logical and coherent manner for men everywhere the truth God has revealed in Holy Scripture about himself and the world he has created.

Now, I agree with John Calvin when he said “Almost all men are infected with the disease of desiring to obtain useless knowledge.” But, theology is not useless knowledge (Some theologies are…but not all or most.). In fact, it is very important. What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us because what we think eventually determines what we believe and what we believe eventually determines what we do. Our feet are connected to our hearts and our heads and how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news! Get busy studying, reading and intellectually adoring so you have reason, very good reason, to get going with the Gospel to the nations.

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One response to “The Great Commission and Theology

  1. Pingback: Romans 15, Paul’s Ministry and My Ministry « Austin's Blog·

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