There are many Christians who tend to believe that theology isn’t that important because, they will say, application and right living is all that really matters. But is this really the case? Is theology unimportant? Should theology take a back seat to application or is theology application’s back seat driver? Is right living and application the only thing that really matters?
When speaking about application, the question always remains, what is being applied? The application of what? Of course the answer, although many may not realize it, is theology. This is why when individuals make statements such as, “Oh, theology’s not that important. It’s the application that really matters. You’ve just got to live right,” they are revealing their ignorance and intellectual and logical short sightedness. Of course I agree that application is important, and therefore, I will not call for anyone to diminish their love for application and their high promotion of it. However, it must be recognized that application only exists because of what it applies, and that is theology. Without theology, there is nothing to apply.
One must first recognize the importance of understanding something (theology) before one seeks to try and live it out (application).
Without emphasizing the need for the proper interpretation of scripture, any interpretation is valid and all interpretations are equal. Unfortunately, some see this as no problem at all because they believe application is all that is necessary. Yet, this is incredibly foolish, for when any interpretation is valid and equal than all applications are also valid and equal, for one can interpret anyway he wants to arrive at any application he so chooses. This is a dangerous pathway.
When theology doesn’t matter than neither does its application. And that’s one of the most significant reasons why theology is so important–because the application of theology is so important. But besides that, theology is God’s truth and we ought to love it for being just that.
Everyone is a theologian.
Everything is theological.
And all theology is practical.
* Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.