“In the beginning God…” Genesis 1:1
Theology, rightly understood, is learning about God, it is not creating or defining God. When we look at Scripture, the first thing we are told is, “In the beginning, God.” This is where all understanding, knowledge, wisdom, experience and existence has its genesis. God is the source, the author, the creator of all. Nothing pre-exists Him. He is the irreducible source of all things.
One often hears talk about, “this or that kind of god,” or, “A god that would do or allow such and such.” In reality, such talk is ludicrous and nonsensical. If God is god, then there is only one God and what we think of Him is of no consequence to his identity and being whatsoever. We can either seek to believe and know the truth, or we can choose to believe fantasies of our own making.
You may believe me to be the Easter Bunny. Your mistaken belief does nothing to change my identity. It will impact the way you relate to me. Ultimately, such a mistaken belief will cause you to relate to me in ways that are inappropriate and lead to disappointment and misunderstanding.
We only have 2 choices in relating to God, to accept him or to reject him. To obey or disobey, to believe or disbelieve. We do not have the option to change him.
When we discuss a “type” of God, what we generally mean is the interpretation or understanding that a particular person or group has of God. Phrases such as, “The God of the Catholics,” or “The Muslim God” would be more accurately rendered as, “the Catholic conception of God,” or, “The Muslim understanding of God.” These may be studied, and analyzed, but they are of little value if they are not the truth. It is akin to someone who studies the “Star Wars universe.” They may have much knowledge of Ewoks and Jawas and the Empire. Ultimately, however, it is of little value because it has nothing to do with reality.
One must take into account deception from the supernatural. Satan desires to lead us astray, and if he can do that through giving us a false god to worship, he is perfectly content to do so. It is important to acknowledge that this is not just a passive pursuit, but a battle that is being waged all around us for our souls through the revealing and distorting of truth.
Our goal, as Christians, is to understand God as he really is. This is important, because it is the God who really is who we will have to answer to. It is the God who really is who holds our destiny and existence in his power. Understanding the “God who is” is of prime importance for all knowledge and survival.
Theology is not just a discipline, it is the primary and foundational science for humanity. To leave theology entirely to ivory tower academics is not only lazy, it is irresponsible. Assuming that God interacts with and has concern for individuals, then we, as individuals, should reciprocate the same interest toward God. Since understanding God is foundational to all knowledge, whatever our vocation or interest, understanding God is a prerequisite to right understanding and living.
We must understand God if we are to understand anything in our world or in our lives as it truly is.We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is not a democracy. We serve a king, we need to understand his will, his desires and hisrules. We are created in his image, he does not need us to return the favor and try to create him in our image. To do so is idolatry.