Task and Sources of Christian Theology

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The task of Christian theology is to describe the contents (what we believe) and all implications (how we should live) of the Christian faith for the Christian Church. As Plantinga stated, “The story begins with the creation of the world, relates humanity’s fall away from God into sin, and climaxes with the salvific life and death of Jesus Christ, while anticipating the fulfillment of human history and the renewal of creation.”

  Christian theology works from three main sources:

The primary source of theology is Scripture because it relates to the triune God, creation, and their relation. It all starts with the creation of everything, how humanity fell into sin, which separated us from God, salvation through the life and death of Jesus while waiting on the renewal of creation. 

The second source of theology is Christian tradition through a way of worship, spirituality, biblical interpretation, and theological reflection. Earlier in church, it was a real need to clarify the Christian beliefs, and this led to the development of the “Creeds.” Protestantism considers these sources to be secondary in terms of normative value, and subordinate to Scripture, but Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy treat them as co-equal in authority with Scripture. 

The third source would be Philosophy (“love of wisdom”) which are the truths taken from human inquiry. When we think of truth, it does not always come from scripture or the church. We gain further knowledge by thinking and experimenting, with the world around us. It was stated that, “If theology is to make contact with the real world, we must constantly ask whether our conclusions on the basis of scripture and tradition make good sense, whether they cohere with the world of our experience.

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