At school I’ll be taking my Theology Oral Exam on December 1st at 9:45 AM. Pray for me! Since I’m working hard on memorizing and making sure I’m set for the exam, I’d like to start on Thursdays looking at various aspects of Theology. It’ll give me a chance to output some of the things I’m memorizing while also holding me accountable to study! With that, today we’ll look at Theology Proper and a little overview of what Theology actually is.

Theology, when most people talk about it, is a system of understanding the world and our place in it. It is akin to a world view, which is “a set of presuppositions or assumptions which we hold consciously and subconsciously about the basic makeup of our world.” Wow that sounds fancy! All a world view is is how we understand how the world works. There are of course lots of different world views out there, of which Christian Monotheism is a one. Did I mention there are going to be some big words in this article?

As Christians when we think about the world we start by thinking about the God who created the world. We know from Genesis 1:1 that it was God who created all that we know in the world. The rocks, water, plants and animals are all the product of God who created them. That does not mean that the creation is the same thing as God, but rather we were created by God and are independent from him.

We look to the Bible as our source of knowledge and information about this God who created the world; the Bible is our primary means of knowing about God and the source from which we will draw our understanding. We call the Bible “special revelation” because in the Bible we have the very words of God. This is different from natural revelation which is composed of the world around us. But we are moving into other disciplines of Theology of which revelation is but a part.

Theology is a system that Christians use to understand the world.

Theology Proper is the study of God. So how is Theology Proper different from just Theology? In Theology Proper we are concerned with who God is; we want to know about his attributes and what makes him who he is. In the broad term Theology we are concerned with more than just the person of God.

So what do we know about God? Who is he? First let’s start by saying that God exists. There are those who do not believe that there is a God, but Christians believe that God exists. In fact there is an inner sense that we all have that there is a God; we may deny and repress that inner sense, but it is there (Rom1:19-25).  Genesis 1:1 again comes to mind and tells us that before anything was created, there was God. In fact creation is another evidence for the existence of God (Ps 19:1-2).

What is God like? This is a question about his attributes, or his character qualities. We usually divide these qualities into two groups; the first group are the “communicable” attributes, which simply means those that belong to both God and man. The second group are the “incommunicable” which are those that belong to God alone.

Some of the communicable attributes include: mercy, love, wrath, order, spirit, omniscience (we have some knowledge while God has complete knowledge), and there are several others. Some of the incommunicable are: unchangeableness, eternal, omnipresence, etc.

So there is a brief overview of Theology Proper – hopefully you can see how large a God we have! Take some time and think about our God and see what other attributes you can come up with that I didn’t mention. He’s an infinite God after all!