Date of Award
Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS)
"Theology" is one of those words generally neglected by the Christian layman. Theology seems a distant and nebulous discipline which is restricted solely to the somber halls of the seminary. Even the definition of Theology is somewhat misleading, meaning in a restricted sense "a study of God". In practice, though, theology really means "the study of how God relates to his Creation." Any attempt to study God falls very short of completion. After all, the subject, God himself, is not available for direct examination. Within Christian theology the only concrete evidence available with which to work with is the Holy scriptures, and it is the evidence of how God has dealt and will deal with his creation. The person of God as revealed in Jesus Christ and recorded in scripture is also only evidence of how God deals with his creation. Though Jesus Christ is God incarnate, his physical presence on the earth was created as a response to the need of mankind. So even Jesus Christ, referred to by the Swedish theologian Soren Kierkegaard ai ''God Incognitd', does not reveal the ultimate reality of God. This ultimate reality would be as hard for man to comprehend as are infinity and eternity.
In the same sense as theology, the various ·subdivisions within theology, and their associated terminology, are equally unknown or misunderstood. Hopefully, the language of theology will not be so cumbersome in this study as to dissuade the reader from going any further. When language is a problem definitions or explanations will be offered to aid the reader.
Zinn, James William, "Wesleyan Primer: A Layman's Guide to Wesleyan Theology" (1980). Western Evangelical Seminary Theses. 310.