Many people in our contemporary Christian circles have a misunderstanding of what “theology” actually is. Theology is often rejected by many because sometimes people talk about theological subjects in ways that are overly intellectual, boring, too complex or far too subjective. And in many cases, people engage in theological debates that become divisive and mean-spirited. It’s no wonder that so many people have negative preconceived notions about what theology and doctrine is.
Theology is simple: it is merely the study of God! If you are studying anything about God or learning about God in anyway at all, then you are already participating in the discipline of theology. Just like biology is getting to know life, theology is getting to know God.
As you study theology, you’ll develop doctrine. Doctrine is the set of beliefs that you stand-by on a particular subject. As you engage in studying theology, you’ll develop a set of beliefs that you have about God, His Divine attributes, and various related subjects.
Systematic Theology is a term often used to describe the development of a framework to help people develop their own doctrine. “Systematic” refers to something being put into a system or a process. Systematic theology, therefore, is the discipline of developing a process by which you study the character of God and the process by which you develop your set of beliefs about God.
In this link, you’ll get a great overall perspective on systematic theology and developing your own set of beliefs.
For an extensive study, see these teachings from theologian and author Wayne Grudem:
– – – –