Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Midweek Meditation: On Theology (J.I. Packer)

"Theology is first the activity of thinking and speaking about God (theologizing), and second the product of that activity (Luther's theology, or Wesley's, or Finney's, or Wimber's, or Packer's, or whoever's). As an activity, theology is a cat's cradle of interrelated though distinct disciplines: elucidating texts (exegesis), synthesizing what they say on the things they deal with (biblical theology), seeing how the faith was stated in the past (historical theology), formulating it for today (systematic theology), finding its implications for conduct (ethics), commending and defending it as truth and wisdom (apologetics), defining the Christian task in the world (missiology), stockpiling resources for life in Christ (spirituality), and corporate worship (liturgy), and exploring ministry (practical theology)." (James Innell Packer, Concise Theology, Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1993, xi-xii)

"Remembering that the Lord Jesus Christ called those he wanted fed sheep rather than giraffes, I have aimed to keep things as simple as possible. . . As I often tell my students, theology is for doxology and devotion - that is, the praise of God and the practice of godliness. It should therefore be presented in a way that brings awareness of the divine presence. Theology is at its healthiest when it is consciously under the eye of the God of whom it speaks, and when it is singing to his glory." (xii)

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