Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Theology

I am currently taking a semester of Systematic Theology in seminary. Before I got into school, there were some confusing words that all seemed like they meant the same thing to me. I now know the difference and will explain. "Exegesis" - this is essentially where you are figuring out what was originally said in the Bible, to what original audience, and in what historical/cultural context. "Hermeneutics" - this is taking exegesis (the original message) and applying it to a new audience today. "Systematic theology" - this is sort of combining exegesis, hermeneutics, and philosophy and using it to help people understand who God is and develop a Christian worldview. So, the theology part is the goal of the church leader/teacher - to help people develop right ideas of who God is and what a Christian worldview looks like.

I am reading through "No Perfect People Allowed" by John Burke right now. Yesterday I read two chapters that were far and away the two best pieces of theological writing I have read to date. When more time affords, I will be putting up individual posts on each of those chapters. But suffice it to say, that book is on the top of my "Must Read" list. The best part - I've seen John in person, I've exchanged a couple e-mails with him, and I listen to him preach via iTunes. He's a regular guy, down to earth, funny, etc. But he has a heart for God and a wisdom from God that few possess, and that makes him really worth listening to. He is the lead pastor of Gateway Church in Austin, TX. I mention him a lot because I believe when you find good theology in the world, you should point to it. So that's what I'm doing. There are lots of good writers out there who have written good Christian books, but this is really good theology like I haven't encountered many places. What good theology have you encountered lately that you should share with others? If the answer is none, why not?

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