It all started while talking with group of theological-minded friends. The discussion had been about fantastically deep an varied spiritual subjects. We had talked about the questions: “What brings salvation?” “Does Hell exist?” And a ton of others.
Then a theologian’s life came up. (I can’t remember which one.) My contribution, while I like to think meaningful, did not come from the same training as the others. I was the only one who had never been to seminary, never wanted to go to seminary, and dreaded the thought of spending time with seminarians. (Though I will vouch for these guys through and through.)
The sole contribution to this line of dialogue I could add is that my favorite theologian was C.S. Lewis.
It was kind of an earth-shattering moment for me. C.S. Lewis, a man whose works I devour, whose thoughts satisfy my intellectual mind, wasn’t looked at as a theologian– even though he wrote theology, apologetics, and some of the best Christian fiction we have to date. So good, it deserves to be in the real fiction section, and not the Christian fiction section. That good.
“He wouldn’t even want to be called a theologian.”
Another shock. I had, in my early twenties candor, forced one of my theological forebears into a box he didn’t want to be in. I had disappointed Papa Lewis.
The definition of “theologian” (according to Dictionary.com) is “A person who engages in theology.” I know you can’t tell, but I hit that last period VERY hard.
Theology is simply defined (by the Oxford Dictionaries) as the study of the nature of God or religious belief.
Being a theologian isn’t something you need a masters of divinity for. Whenever you sit and think about the meaning of Life, when you sit and think about the bigger picture, you are thinking in terms of theology in a very basic way. If you begin to read books, which in turn shape how you think, and then you think about those thoughts, you are studying theology. You are, at a very basic level, a theologian. Perhaps not a world-class theologian– but, maybe, you like to put your two-cents in. Perhaps you, like me, are a penny theologian.
While theology could be the study of any religious belief, this is where I am putting my (and perhaps others’) two-cents in on Christian theology. I still have never been to seminary and have no intention to. I firmly believe that Christians are empowered by the Holy Spirit to share their beliefs, including me. In every decision, we act out our theology. This is me acting mine out, sharing my faith, wrestling with my own beliefs. In real time.
I also firmly believe that Christians, as well as me, are fallible and imperfect. However, I’ll do my best to avoid overt heresy. (That was a joke.) (That I would spout overt heresy, not that I will do my best to avoid it.)
Also, sorry to Clive Lewis, but he is a theologian. And he’s my favorite.
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