What is Practical Theology?

I am not a scholar, nor am i a pastor. I don’t have a PhD nor do i have experience as a teacher.  I don’t know the “theological big word” definitions of hermeneutics, homiletics, or exegesis. I couldn’t even tell you if i just spelled them right. I am the normal, every day joe schmoe when it comes to theology. Most would put me in the category of laymen. I don’t think my opinion matters more than a man who has a PhD and has 30 years experience as a senior pastor, but i don’t think that my opinion matters less either. At this point i don’t know why i’m sharing my thoughts here about this, but it’s just something that came to my mind, so here we go.

I don’t know how many others out there feel left out when the Christian conversations start progressing towards the “theological big words”. I don’t think i get in many conversations with those words as much as i read these big words from the pages of scholars who write them. I’m not saying that there is no relevancy to understanding these definitions, but i think i appreciate the more practical communication. i like parables. i like applications. Its very simple, and very practical.

I couldn’t tell you that Jesus sat down with his pupils during a course study and spoke a lesson to his disciples about homiletics (is that even a word?).  There were no university’s offering a masters of divinity. There was no doctorate of theology. You were either a disciple or follower of Jesus, or you were not.

Right now, many random thoughts are just coming to my mind. Like why spend 10 years in college? Why spend many thousands of dollars on these degrees? How is all this practical? How does all this help? Well, if life is just a vapor, what’s your opinion? I realize that these questions have very legitimate answers, and i don’t want to belittle any of the causes here. I don’t know, maybe i’m just trying to comfort some self doubt in my mind right now, because i am just the average joe schmoe. My vast use of vocabulary comes from just a small little town in eastern Pennsylvania. It doesn’t come from any dictionary’s or theology courses.  I did graduate with a bachelor’s degree, and i consider myself more fortunate than most.

I didn’t feel like writing about finances, stewardship, or tithing in this post. I just wanted to share some of my personal thoughts that have been running through my mind recently.

How practical do you think theology is these days? i’m not necessarily talking about what your pastor thinks of practical theology, but i’m asking you about your personal life. What is your own definition of practical theology in perspective of your own experience and own knowledge? Do you think the majority of theology out there today is practical?

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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