"Theology Is Not a Mere Academic Discipline" -A Consideration from the Perspective of Historical Theology-
인문과학 > 종교학
( Won Taek Lim )
Life and Word 2012년, 제6권 67~107페이지(총41페이지)
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    Justifying the use of the term theologia, the Reformed orthodox understood theology to mean both "Word of God" and "word concerning God." Whether theology means God`s word or our word concerning God, we cannot perform the right doing of theology in either meaning without our personal encounter with God. Reformed Life Theology puts special emphasis on the meaning of theology as God`s word. A theologian should have a personal knowledge of God before his or her theology becomes God`s word. Reformed Life Theology emphasizes our personal encounter with God. For our God in the Bible is not an abstract God but God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, thus being a personal God. Theology cannot be a science that makes its object abstract, fixed, and relativized. Therefore, theology is not a mere academic discipline. The English theologians expressed a decided preference for the term "divinity" over the word "theology." In addition, Zwingli, Calvin and Bullinger neither defined nor discussed the term theologia, but the concept of religio was of primary importance to them. They were interested in the very practical teaching that showed the right way of knowing and honoring God. The Reformed orthodox inherited such a practical concern of the Reformers. Thus, with theology, both the Reformers and the Reformed orthodox evidently headed toward the praxis of religion. The statement that "theology is not a mere academic discipline" means that theology is not a mere intellectual knowledge about God but a personal knowledge of God. Then, this statement can be understood as standing in the line of the Reformers and the Reformed orthodox, who paid great emphasis on the praxis of religion. The Reformed theologians pursued the balance of theory and practice. Acknowledging the speculative dimension of theology, however, a large number of Reformed orthodox emphasized its practical dimension. For the goal of true theology is the glorification of God and our salvation. The statement that "theology is not a mere academic discipline" clarifies that theology, which gives life to our soul and our church, thus a true theology, cannot be a mere intellectual knowledge, but should be a gospel containing the life of Jesus Christ. While a theology leading to perdition is a theology that does not have a praxis, a theology giving life is a theology that has a praxis according to the teaching of the Bible. The statement that "theology is not a mere academic discipline," therefore, not only stands in the line of the Reformed tradition, but also clarifies that today`s theology should reflect on itself and play its proper role in reestablishing the present church.
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