Religions usually have a "theology" and if you want to understand a religion, you would want to understand its theology.
So, first, what is a theology, and what is the purpose of a theology?
For our church's religion, our theology is our shared answers to such questions as:
- What is Ultimate?
- What is worthy of worship?
- What do we regard as sacred and divine?
- Why is the Ultimate important to us?
- How shall we express our worship of our Sacred/Divine/Ultimate?
- How does our shared understanding of the Ultimate, its importance to us, and how we choose to express our worship, naturally express itself in the structure and processes of our church and in what we offer to the world (our ministries)?
For us, there is a second layer of understanding. Our religion's theology's purpose is to not only provide us with answers to those questions, it is also to provide answers to these questions for each of us individually:
Given what we as a church worship as Ultimate,
- what does that imply about who I am, ultimately, about what my true nature is?
- And in turn, what does that imply about how I live my own life:
- what I do,
- what I value,
- how I relate to others,
- what I regard as real, and
- what I regard as important?
Wikipedia's description of a theology indicates that it studies "the divine," deities and scriptures, and revelations by deities, to help us live in greater understanding of basic concepts about life, and to help us live in obedience to the deities we follow or worship.
All of those elements can be found in our theology as described in our church brochure.
A religious "theology" is for us different from a "philosophy of life" because a philosophy is "secular." It asks about what is important and even ultimate, and how to best live life. However, there is no reference to sacred, divine, deities, worship, religion, or ministries. let alone referring to a church formed to express shared understandings and to worship together.
Questions and comments welcome below!