Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Fiction of Theology

I find theology to be a very interesting topic.  I love looking at and talking about all things religious and spiritual.  I know people who have devoted their entire lives to the subject of God and studying the various interpretations of God which men have come up with.  I have to say though that I find the very word theology to be funny.  Theology simply means the study of God.  The problem for me with the word is how does one actually study God? 

If you are a biologist you study life.  Life is all around us.  It can be seen, felt, tasted, touched.  Biology studies that which can be known.  Astrology studies the cosmos.  The cosmos is a known thing even though it is vast and much of it is not able to be seen with our current technology, but we can look up in the sky every night see the stars and know for sure that there are planets and suns to be explored.  Proctology is the study of...well, maybe we should not go there.  The point is that if you slap the ending "ology" onto a word it means the study of that particular word which you have added "ology" onto.  Thus, as I said earlier Theology is the study of God (derived from the Greek word theos which translates as God).

This is where things get a little bit confusing for me.  How does someone study something which may or may not be there, and cannot even be proven to exist.  Now please don't get really pissed at me here; I am not at all saying there is no God.  What I am saying is that even if there is a God, he/she/it is not present and accounted for.  Where does one go to "study God"?  What tools have been made for exploring God?  How can theories on God be tested?  What evidence will a theologist present to prove his theories upon God to be accurate?  How does one truly study what cannot even be seen?  When was the last time some busted out the old Godoscope and had a look-see?

If one wanted to become a Brentologist at least this would make sense, because I am physically present and can be watched, explored, poked and prodded, and studied.  I would not recommend studying Brent as I am scary and you might not like what you find, but if you really wanted to, you could.  My point is that you cannot really study God, because God (if there is a God) is not corporeal and therefore cannot be studied.  The best anyone can do really is guess.  So, for all the different teachings on God, and all the different books and theories on the subject, none of it is verifiable.  At its very best all theology is fiction.

Wait, before you freak out and try to kill me, understand (again) that I am not saying there is no God.  I am not saying that God is fiction, I am saying that the study of God is fiction.  If someone were to say they were studying God they would not be being entirely truthful, because even they would admit (I hope) that God cannot actually be studied.  Theologians do not study God, they theorize about God.  They should  not call themselves theologists because they do not study God.  Theology is a misnomer. Theologists should call themsleves God theorists.  They think a lot and come up with ideas which sound plausible to them and then they write those ideas down and share them with others.  They literally create works of fiction.  Now, there is nothing wrong with fiction.  Fiction is a wonderful and powerful tool which can motivate and inspire people and change humanity.  Fiction is also often true.  Just because someone comes up with an idea does not mean that the idea is false.  There can be truth in fiction.  But, fiction is not fact.

So, what is my point?  My point is simply this,  fiction is not worth killing over.  Fiction is not worth preventing homosexual people from marrying over.  Fiction is not worth making people feel guilty, worthless, or valueless over.  Fiction is not worth judging other people over and saying my version of fiction is better than your version of fiction.  People fight and bicker over things which cannot even be proven true or not.  Something has really gone wrong with us when our fictional theologies become more important and valuable to us than the tangible people on the planet whom we know are here and real.  Something is really wrong when we will cause real hurt and pain to real people over made up theories about God.  Even if God is real, are man-made theories really worth hurting people over?

If you have found a theory about God which works for you, I am happy for you.  I have no desire to take your theories away from you (unless those theories are causing harm to you or others, because I like people more than theories).  Your theories may carry truth for you which works in your life and I celebrate that fact with you.  But, never forget that while they may be true and valuable for you, they are still just theories.


  1. I want to be a Brentologist

    1. LOL. I guess you could Anonymous, but I wouldn't recommend it. :)