Theology

April 19, 2019

“The vast majority of Christians through the ages probably knew less “theology” than today’s catechumenal converts. The Church has not thrived or survived through its mastery of such things. It is, instead, the character of Christ, acquired through the sacraments and the patient keeping of the Commandments that has preserved the faith. Such a foundation can fathom mysteries. Only the character of Christ can understand the mysteries of the faith. The words of books, often the works of saints, will not yield themselves to a heart that has alienated itself from love.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

"The prevailing attitude is becoming one of treating education as something which is purchased like any other goods. Education is something one possesses, a graduation certificate or letters after our name become the sign that we are the true owners of the appropriate qualification. This is not, never was nor ever can be the way theology is to be viewed. Here I am not talking about certain courses bearing the title Theology, but in its original sense as the knowledge of God. To treat knowledge of God in this way is to attempt to objectify God, or turn Him into a subject of enquiry, a thing to be studied." (Father Spyridon Baily)

 

“You can read about Him in the creeds and in books of theology, or you can get to know God by becoming involved with Him...You can learn about God with your mind or through your experience. God prefers the latter. He wants us to know Him experientially, to engage him with our whole lives." (John Timmer)

 

“In theology we use our reasoning brain, because that is a gift from God. But always we recognize that in theology we are working on something that lies beyond our reasoning brain, because it is mystery." (Metropolitan Kallistos Ware)

 

“Theology is ultimately a way of life. The theologian is not the one who reads and studies; the theologian is the one who prays.” (Nathan A. Jacobs)

 

“True theology is as much a matter of how we know as it is what we know.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

 

“...theology has always claimed that human beings are basically good. Though we have been damaged, basically we are good.” (Anthony De Mello)

 

“Acquiring purity must be our first step toward knowing God…Purity is the foundation of theology and a true relationship with God.” (Dynamis 7/6/2015)

 

“The most important question we will ever answer is what we believe about Christ. Other theological questions are irrelevant until we believe that Jesus is who He said He is.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 22:41-45)

 

“To be disrespectful of tradition and of historical theology is to be disrespectful of the Holy Spirit who has been actively enlightening the church in every century.” (John Stott) 

 

“There is a minefield many do not notice, one that masquerades as the spiritual life. Academic theology, although it can be used in service to the Church, has been the spiritual destruction of many. True theology comes from the mastery of prayer and is not associated with academic pursuits. When theology becomes our philosophy, we are no different from the pagans.” (Abbot Tryphon)

 

“The theologian is the one who prays, and if you pray in truth, you are a theologian…The true theologian is one who, through the mastery of prayer and the cultivation of humility, finds God noetically—that is, in the heart.”  (Evagrius of Pontus, Abbot Tryphon)

 

“Everything Christ did and taught has eternity in view. Most of us give a nod of our theology to heaven and then live as though this world is all we have.” (Joseph Stowell)

 

“You can know the Bible inside and out, go to every Church service, fast, pray, and get degrees in Theology, give money and time and everything else that in the eyes of many would make you the model Christian, but if you don’t do it as a natural response to a loving relationship with Him that manifests itself in loving others, then it really means nothing in terms of the state of your heart.” (Sacramental Living)

 

“Theological knowledge [knowledge of God] is first personal and experiential, and then thought out and verbalized. A theologian witnesses to what he/she knows through experience…Mysticism without theological truth is subjective and delusional, and theology without mysticism is nothing but an academic hobby.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Ephesians 3:18-19, Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)