Thomas Oden on the Joy of Studying Theology

People don’t always understand why I geek out over theology. They don’t get how I can spend hours and hours reading it, sifting, thinking, talking to friends, stroking my luxuriant beard in deep thought, and reading more about what I just read about. Thomas Oden quickly cuts to the chase in his systematic theology Classic Christianity (as of 12/12/2012 on Kindle for the stupid price $3.79):

You are invited to the quiet joy of the study of God—God’s being, God’s power, God’s insurmountable goodness, and God’s unfailing care of creation. Over centuries this subject has been the source of contemplative happiness, intellectual fascination, and moral guidance…The most intriguing questions of the introductory study of God can be stated in plain, uncomplicated words:

classic 2Is God uncreated?

Is God free?

Is God personal?

Is God compassionate?

Does God exist?

Does Jesus reveal God?

Does God care about us?

Why are we born?

Why do we die?

How do we draw closer to God?

How may we participate in God’s life?

Does scripture reveal God?

Does the reception of revelation call for reasoning?

Oden, Thomas C. (2009-07-23). Classic Christianity (pp. 15-16). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Theology is fascinating because at the end of the day, theology is about God, the source of all joy. If none of these questions even mildly interest you, if you never engage with them, if you never are drawn to think or meditate on their truth, you will miss out on joy. It’s that simple. I love theology because it leads to joy.