It’s a theological statement to say, “I love my wife,” but it is equally a theological statement to say, “I love God” because such statements arise from Scripture itself (Matthew 22:37-40; Ephesians 5). Sometimes we may not always see the direct connections between specific conviction statements (the procession of the Spirit) or specific practices (feeding hungry people). Nevetheless, theology is eminently practical because it is grounded in and shaped by the Word of God to affect our practice.
Now that we’ve answered the questions, “What is theology?” and “How do I engage in theology?” we turn to the question, “Why is theology for all of life?” It’s a question of equal importance, but not less than the other questions. Theology is not only intellectual at its best; it is rigorous in its precision and articulation of biblical truth. Even so, theology is eminently practical, and at the same time, theological. Practical does not diminish the reality of theology, but fuels and empowers the practice of theology.
Theology is for the Worship of God
The very act of worshipping the Lord is theological. Jesus states in John 4:24 that the kind of worship that He finds acceptable is worship that is in spirit and truth. Whatever takes supreme priority in our lives reveals our theology. For example, if we esteem sports over the regular gathering of the people of God on Sunday, then that reveals something of our theology of worship. If we fail to love our spouse intentionally and faithfully, that reveals something of what we think about the Bible’s teaching on marriage. What our worship reveals ultimately about us is how we view the revealed character of God in the Word of God. When God’s people gather to worship together, they are doing the very thing they are created to do, which is to worship Him. Theology deepens worship, which is why worship is practical, and relevant to all of life as we live is Coram Deo.
Theology is for Service
Theology is for loving God and others, and serving them with the love of God. Local churches are to be careful what they teach from the Word of God because what we believe and how it relates to the people of God is critical. Theology is for the church, and that means to remain faithful to the Word. We must not only have the right theology from the Word but implement right practices from the Word. Theology is a servant to be used as a vehicle that carries people from one place to the next to grow in grace. Theology, in this way, is a vehicle that enables pastors and ministry leaders to and equip and serve the people of God.
We use theology to encourage one another. Encouragement itself is theological, as is all communication. When we encourage someone, we are noticing the Lord’s work in that person and specifically drawing attention to it. In this way, encouragement is theological but also practical. The theology drives the encouragement, not encouragement driving theology. Theology is fueled by the right convictions from the Word, which enables the right practice of encouraging one another.