For my own personal growth in the word, and to fend off the clever and self-important messengers of historic and contemporary christian theology, I need to once in a while remember certain important things.
You have those who say that to study scripture and even merely read the bible is to engage in theology. Theology is an inescapable part of looking to and understanding God's word.
The truth be reconciled that, yes, theology is a study of things religious. Is there any disagreement with that definition? We have Christian theologians, Hindu theologians, Islamic theologians and even Greek Mythologogical theologians. This man-made science of theology has to be applied with the uttmost care when using it to clarify the words of God's revealed self, Jesus, in Christianity, for Jesus said already that His words are Truth which came from the Father. We have to recieve them that way, all of them, together, purely and plainly.
Yes, and then you have spiritually guided Christian theology, in which you have wild disagreement and spiritual disharmony that is in reckless opposition to the clear scriptural counsel to agree and be of the same mind in scripture. When the theological tools are applied to God's word discretely and with measured restraint it can lead to reinforcement and support for Christ's own words. When it's used selfishly or superficially it can leave brethren splintered and scattered and left apart from each other in slightly different gospels.
The world of Christian theology, has long ago taken on a life of it's own, apart from sound workmanship in and under Christ's counsel. It's become virtually a man-made science trying to prove those things which God ordained for us only to know in part for now.
This makes it clear to me that Christian theology is not always our friend and cannot be said to be a part and parcel of studying God's word.
I need protection from the fleshly biting and devouring forces thriving within the Body of Christ in the form of self-proclaimed christian theology. And that very reassuredly comes in the form of a good literal rendering of scripture in the NASV bible, a Greek/English NASV interlinear bible in Greek and English, a good scriptural dictionary, a concordance to bolster the memory, along with the promised indwelling Spiritual help that Christ came through with for us. A good teacher is invaluable as well. One that's always learning. One that you can be sure you have when he uses the entire bible to teach itself, so to speak. And it's a big book and is very helpful to have someone around with a love and a respect for it that's been through it a few more times than I have.
Very few people share my fascination and admiration for christian theological thinking from just after Christ and until now. In my own mind, that may be why I can see it, not only for what it is, but more importantly, for what it is not. And then get back to studying the pure milk of the word right from the book. As it was intended. Oooo...can I say that? As it was intended? Yes, most definately.
It was a more comforting day when I came to that realization. Hope it works for a few others as well.
Comfort and joy, spiritually, from Him to us, as promised. Together in Christ(ripped asunder in theology, ohhpppssttt...sorry). And it is well with our soul.