Reclaiming the Science of Theology

Why is it that when you say to someone that you are studying theology they instantly want to tell you what they think on all sorts of theological topics? If I were to say I was studying nuclear physics, would I still have to endure the phrase, Well, the way I see it … or What I think is … ? What makes people think they are on the same level with a theologian (a person whose vocation is theology) but not with a nuclear physicist (a person whose vocation is science)?

The only answer I can conjure is that people are culturally conditioned to see theology to be about belief while science is about knowledge. In short, we need to reclaim theology as a science in the strict sense of the word. That does not mean theology needs to adopt the scientific method. But theology needs to be aware that it is about knowledge flowing from the object of theology, God himself. Theology is not about drafting dogmatic statements derived from the Biblical text but rather it is an entering into the ecclesial experience of the Word of God, Jesus Christ. Theology is more than the common salvific end but about God himself right here and now.

Here is a quote by E. Mascall which says it much better than I can:

… a recovery among Anglicans [and all others as well!] of Christian theology in the strict and classical sense of ‘the Science of God’, as a living and growing intellectual activity organically rooted in the Christian tradition and consciously operating within the worshipping and redemptive community which is the Body of Christ.

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