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God, Man, Sin and Salvation
God, Man, Sin and Salvation

Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

by Rev. Geoffrey Bingham

Publisher: NCPI

Subject: salvation, theology

Book Code: 290

Pages: 130 pp

Pub. Date: 1993

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INTRODUCTION TO THEOLOGY

What is Theology?

Many shy away from the word theology. Others who understand its meaning disdain it. They feel theology is the intellectualisation of the Biblical truth. Others are so sold on theology as a discipline that they are in danger of missing its lived-out actualities. Whatever the view, we must come to terms with theology. Theology is man's reflections upon what he knows, or thinks he knows, of God. Theology then is related to all religions, and for any given person, be he Christian, Moslem, Hindu or Buddhist, to the religion he knows.

Our study will seek to understand Biblical theology, that is the conclusions one comes to as' a result of reflecting on what the Bible tells us of God. The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines theology as 'The study or science which treats of God, His nature and attributes, and His relations with man and the universe; "the science of things divine" (Hooker); divinity.' The word theology derives from the Greek theos (God) and logos (word). Theology is the word (study, theory, principle) concerning God. It is words about God. It is natural that we will have many kinds of theology, even in Christian theology, since people reflect in different ways. Words also have varying values for different persons, so that we speak about the problem of semantics. With this is the subjective problem every human being has when approaching God, especially where we are hostile to Him, or angry with Him. It is obvious that all theology is not going to be seen in exactly the same way by various persons.

How We Come to Theology

In any subject we come to the sources of our theme. We explore them. We come to certain deductions or conclusions. The rightness or wrongness of them will depend upon two things, (a) The authority or truth of our sources, and (b) The ability and attitude to reason these through to an honest conclusion. Because man is involved emotionally in the subject, this often proves most difficult. What then are our Christian sources or resources? We can state them quite simply, and will do so, but first we must ask whether man is in that frame of mind which will permit true and objective study. We ask, 'Can a man know God, and if he can, then by what method?' Others may assume God is there for the knowing. All sorts of problems arise. The main question is, 'Does a man really want to know God?' The Biblical answer is that he doesn't, but we must examine that. God Reveals Himself

In any theology the enquirer starts off with the assumption that he can come to know something of his subject, God. Has he a right to assume that? He believes he has. So he uses the sources. Some persons do not find the Bible a basic source or consider it reliable. They do not believe it was given by God to be a revelation of Himself. At the same time they look upon the Scriptures as a valuable resource material because it portrays Jewish thought and, later, Christian thought. It is axiomatic in Christian theology that God reveals Himself. When we ask how or why He does this we are told that God desires us to know Him, and for us to have fellowship with Him. It is interesting that, host of our assumptions on theological principles come from the Scriptures. Many enquirers or scholars do not believe in the Scriptures as being the Word of God, or His revelation of Himself.