We’ve all met (or been) that know-it-all who likes to get into debates about theology for the sake of debating. The know-it-all usually isn’t concerned about helping someone know God better, and his hunger for debate isn’t an act of worship. It’s a boxing match, but with words instead of gloves.
But theology isn’t merely a debate topic. Theology should not only help us understand more about who God is, but also help us answer the question, “How should we live?” It’s ultimately wrapped up in our head, heart, and hands. It’s for all of life.
Theology matters because what we think affects how we love and how we act. Nothing is more important than what we say about God, because what we say shows what we believe, and what we believe changes how we act. This includes everything: thinking, feeling, and doing. Christian theology is to inform our lives because, as we say with the apostle Paul,
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
We are gospel-made people. We are the crucified ones. Theology is anchored in Christ and therefore has the gospel at its heart. In Matthew 22, Jesus was asked, “What is the greatest commandment?” He replied that it’s twofold — love God and love others. This is a theological statement, because Scripture is clear about who God is and how he works through us to redeem others.