Theology 1 Session 2: Defining Theology

by Administrator 28. January 2017 10:06
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength  ~Mark 12:30

Writing about Session: 2 Defining Theology, Amanda Sparks shares her thoughts on one of the discussion questions.

Discussion question #7: How are the issues like getting sick, choosing schooling for our children, voting, or getting married influenced by our theology?

In our notes, there are examples of areas of our lives that are affected by our theology. These areas can include times when we are sick, voting, getting married, schooling for our children, sharing the gospel, or how we interpret the Bible. Discussion question seven asks us: how are these areas influenced by our theology? I’d like to give my answer to that question in this blog post.

Each person’s theology is their personal study of God; from that study a person will form their personal beliefs about God. Those beliefs influence and help determine how a person makes small and large decisions. Those beliefs will also determine a person’s point of view on the world, situations, and experiences. It also helps determine how a person will react when God puts them through a trial.

First I’ve chosen to look at getting married. When making the decision to marry someone, theology plays a big role. Some people would believe that its choice, fate, or chance to find the right person. Others believe that God has a plan for their life and that includes who they will marry. The process of finding the right person is affected by our theology.

When dating we compare our beliefs that have been based off our theology to help us determine if the person is the right one. Do they believe there is a God, do they believe God is good, do they believe that Christ is the Savior and that He did die on the cross? This list of questions could go on and on.

Once someone knows another’s beliefs they have to then look at do our beliefs align and if they don’t align then a person has to determine how important is my belief and can I live with their beliefs? Once married the beliefs of the individuals will become the beliefs of the family and determine the children’s theology.

Lastly, I want to share how my theology affected an experience in my life. This August will be 10 years since our son was born, lived for 60 hours, and died. I knew at 20 weeks of pregnancy that Noah would die after he was born and my beliefs guided so many decisions along the way and my perspective.

My theology led me to believe in God’s purpose for each life, even one that would be so short. From my theology I was able to believe in God’s ability to take care of me and that determined I would carry Noah until God said it was time for him to be born.

The study of God’s Word gave me strength and the promises in His Word helped me to find joy in what we had instead of jealousy or anger in what we didn’t or wouldn’t have.

Had I not had God’s Word, the promises in them, and had I not studied them for myself, my life and Noah’s would have been different. I didn’t know it then but my theology played a very large role in how those nine months were lived and loved.

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Theology

Comments (4) -

Adam McClain
Adam McClain
1/28/2017 9:53:49 PM #

Amanda, thank you for sharing how your theology helped you get through a difficult life experience.  

Who we are as people is a combination of our beliefs and experiences, and in today's society it seems that far too often a difficult experience creates a negative filter through which we view the world.  That negativity can keep us from appreciating all of the truly wonderful things God has done in our lives.  

It is inspiring and uplifting to know that God's Word gave you strength and helped you find the joy in what you had, where it would have been so easy to focus instead on what you did not have.  Thank you again for sharing.

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Heather McClain
Heather McClain
1/28/2017 10:20:31 PM #

Thank you for sharing, Amanda. Your blog was very insightful.
First, I'll comment on your comment about each person's theology is their personal study of God.

As I mentioned the first day of class, I'm a recent born again Christian. I grew up in the Methodist church and always believed in God but I hadn't been saved and I lacked a personal relationship with God.  Rarely,  did I ever read the gospel and I learned very little at church. I believe this has definitely influenced many small and large decisions in my life. Every time something bad happened, I either turned my back on God or I was angry. Had I had a strong faith, I know I would have looked at so many things in my life differently.

I am so sorry for your loss. I am glad you had God in your life during such a happy but tragic time in your life. Clearly, your theology played a huge role in Noah's life. Had you not had the foundation and personal relationship with God, it's likely the outcome would have been very different.  

In looking at the world today and watching all the arguments over women's rights, it's seems obvious that there are so many different kinds of theologians in our nation and so many people lacking Christ in their life. Loss is such a hard thing to understand. A strong believer will embrace God's word and his promises, have faith in his plan and live for Jesus. Others, with no foundation, seem to just wing it, which rarely works and it offers no comfort during hard times.

As for marriage and our beliefs, I couldn't agree more. Adam and I grew up in the Methodist church. We probably had the same knowledge (very little). Our parents were Methodist....all is good, right? We both believe in God but neither one of us had the personal relationship with God. Neither one of us ever challenged each other on our knowledge of the gospel. Therefore, we never grew in the gospel, nor did our children. We seemed to agree on everything and I'm sure we believed it was fate that brought us together.

I am so grateful we have been saved and we are growing together. I do believe, even though we didn't have a strong faith, the faith we shared has helped us through all the good times and the bad. I am so grateful for the guidance we are receiving and our new church family. I love the fact that I am growing as a theologian.


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Ryan Renfro
Ryan Renfro
2/3/2017 7:29:03 PM #

Amanda, thank you for sharing your views as well as your tragic experience. Also thank you for being so open and living a true testimony on becoming more dependent on God. It's hard for some people to understand why God allows bad things to happen to good people, but it's through those tough times that we grow and learn to be more dependent on Him. If everything was easy in life and there was no suffering we would never need God and learn to rely on Him.

As an unmarried Christian it's very tough to be my age and out in the dating scene in today's society. Understanding the other person's theology and ensuring that they line up with mine is not easy; however, with the correct biblical counsel and opinions that I rely on has made it easier. Today's Christians are living with grace in their lives without truth. Ensuring the proper theology or at least ability/desire to live according to the ultimate authority has made me very selective, but trusting that's it's not on my time. This was a great topic, thanks again for sharing!

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Abigail Kyle
Abigail Kyle
2/4/2017 10:33:35 PM #

Great post Amanda! And I completely agree with you, it is amazing to see how and where God works in a person's life!

Even as Christians it is hard to focus and trust in God during hard times such as it was with Noah but as you said because of your theology you took the time to look in God's Word and found the strength you needed, not many people do that.

It has been a true blessing to read about your thoughts and experiences concerning this topic thank you.

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