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Theology Network is changing

UCCF continues to be committed to equipping today's Theology students to live and speak for Jesus in their chosen field of study.
Theology Network is now a part of UCCF's Leadership Network, so you can now find our resources at www.uccfleadershipnetwork.org/theology. As a result, this site will be taken down at the beginning of 2019.

 

 

 Theology Network Groups 

Illogical monkey

 Discussing the Illogical Studies

 Angus Moyes

  • Photo of: Angus Moyes Angus was the Theology Network Staff Worker, responsible for co-ordinating the work of Theology Network across Great Britain. He is a trustee of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society. View all resources by Angus Moyes

This is a great way to start a new term, maybe after Christmas or Easter. Get in contact with everyone involved in your Theology Network group and ask them to read Mike Reeves' article, 'Pursuing the Illogical Studies' before the meeting, and then lead them through the following questions.

Discussion Questions

1. What is theology?  How would you describe it in your own words?

2. "Christian theology is therefore the true ‘re-search’, for it is about searching the whole of reality afresh in the light of what God has revealed."

Is God’s revelation to us in His Word and His Son the basis for studying theology at this university?  Why/why not?  Is it your basis for studying theology?  Why/why not?

3. "So, as Christians we are eager to do evangelism. But what evangel do we tell people? Only theological study, wrestling with the Bible and the great doctrines that Christians have found there, can give us the answer."

What are common ‘evangels’ (gospels/philosophies) among theology students at this university? Where do you think they get their ideas from? What difficulties do you face telling non-Christian theology students the gospel?

4. "As for us, it is theology, good or bad, Christian or pagan, thought through or assumed, that will inform our approach to everything. So, do we believe in a coming judgement? Our answer to that can be seen in the extent to which we warn people of it. Do we believe in a monadic God, or in the God who is the community of Father, Son and Spirit? Our answer to that will determine whether or not we will be genuinely interested in relationships."

How might these unbiblical beliefs affect our actions:

  • 'Jesus was just a man adopted by the Father (God) to be his special ‘Son’'
  • 'The Bible is not the words of God but of men trying to describe their experience of God'
  • 'Human beings are basically good'?

5. "It is often when you are out of the study telling your friends about Jesus that you find you need to get back there to learn how you can answer them better. Good theology of the gospel means a purer presentation of the gospel to a world that so desperately needs precisely that."

How is your course helping you give a clear explanation of the gospel to your friends?  How is it not helping?  In ways can Theology Network help you in this area?

6. "The first thing to realise is that not everything that is alien or uncomfortable is bad. The problem with us evangelicals is that we can be like the fussy child who will not dare to try any new food – simply because he doesn’t know what it tastes like. …The true test of good theology is not our level of comfort with it, but Scripture."

What are the good and bad aspects of being uncomfortable with some of the things we hear in class?

7. Mike says that reading what other theologians say is essential because just as God is community (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), so we are to learn of him together in the church.

How does this affect the way you see your study of theology at uni?

8. "Certainly it must never squeeze out Bible study, which must always remain as the immovable foundation of all our learning."

Is it?! How should we make the Bible the foundation of all we learn in class?

9. "[I]n theology, error and false teaching distort reality itself, and can thus, as Irenaeus put it, be homicidal. …for whatever reason we enrolled on our course, we have now been saddled with a duty that forbids us to be lazy in our studies. For the health of the Church and the world, we must confront error and false teaching with the saving truth of the word of God."

Do you see your study of theology as worship to God?  In what way, or why is it difficult to see it that way? What are the common areas of error that you come across in class or in conversations with other theology students?  How do you think you should respond?

10. "And so, before swallowing any theology, new or old, we must ensure it is edible and nutritious by passing it through the proving fire of Scripture. As Paul puts it so many times: ‘Test everything’ (1 Thess. 5:21); ‘Do not go beyond what is written’ (1 Cor. 4:6); ‘Let God be true, and every man a liar’ (Rom. 3:4). When we do this, actively rejecting what Scripture proves to be false and (full of prayer and praise) embracing what we find to be true, then studying theology will no longer be a time of spiritual stagnation or backsliding, but of wonderful growth."

How do you feel about passing everything you hear in class through ‘the proving fire of Scripture’? How can we make all our study of theology a time of 'wonderful growth'?

11. "A theology that does not involve bodily (real, active) service of Christ will not be a theology of this Word, for if theology remains merely ‘academic’ in the sense of being head in the clouds, then it cannot be a true theology of the Word who became flesh. …do you do theology to know Christ better, or do you use it to hide yourself, like Adam, from him?"

How can you make sure, as you study theology at uni, that your Bible reading and reading of other theologians does not become merely theoretical?  And how can you make sure your studies don’t make you feel superior to other Christians?