The study and reasoned discourse concerning religious belief and God revealed by Him from all sources including both the Bible and the physical world of God. It is the science of the LORD God's essential being and His relationship to the universe according to His Word. It is the practice of delivering ministry of the Word of God to the world. It is the application of Scripture to every area of existence and faith seeking understanding of everyday life.
Folk Theology – Every living being that seeks answers about God or forms an opinion about His things is participating in folk theology. The Internet is crammed full of folk theologists who present their spiritual ideas to the world that stretch from urban myths, angelic encounters, supernatural events, and even a few out-of-body trips stirred by favorite drugs that offer extra insight into the deeper things in life. But, folk theology is not limited to the ethereal thinkers, but is practiced by almost every being on this planet at one time or another as a connection is made to the difference between the body and the soul, and the connection between one’s own actions and God’s movement.
Lay Theology – Initiated by Christians as spiritual maturity drives them to seek deeper answers from the Word of God. Every believer that is growing in the Word of God becomes a Lay Theologist. By the very nature of their spiritual growth, a seeking heart and an inquisitive mind associate theological ideas in life with Scripture in ever-increasing depth and revelation from God. It is the time when new believers began questioning the spiritual things that are expressed in their church and their life and they begin joining concepts of personal belief in a system that helps them understand. No longer satisfied with blind or rote participation in worship tradition, they seek answers with their search for a more intimate knowledge of God.
Ministerial Theology – This type of theology defines a significant effort toward connecting the things God has revealed to mankind to human life and existence. Explanations that are sought for difficult times are carefully answered by Ministerial Theologists who offer comfort and reassurance that God is in control. Ministerial theology is practiced by ministers and pastors, as well as by Christian parents, who participate in life by sharing the things of God with others to uphold, sustain, and encourage growth toward Him as common life and the mundane, as well as life assist with difficulties and support celebrations toward God and His things.
Professional Theology – Hard questions concerning God’s movement and revelation often require systematic ordering with a careful contemplation of His Word. Professional Theologists are the Pastors, Professors, Writers, and Teachers that apply detailed study to the things of God in an effort to fully express His will and ways to others. It is a serious commitment to connect revelations that God has given mankind to lay people in an ordered way that gives them support to live their lives as willed by Him. (Note: Becker Bible Teacher Resources is a Professional Theology website.)
Academic Theology – Frankly speaking, this type of theology is not connected by God’s moving as much as it is connected to man’s efforts to form systematic ideas that reflect their educational efforts that are built upon others. More often than not, Academic Theology is practiced by an elite group of educated thinkers who awe each other with ever-increasing understanding of very specific, limited ideas, usually in a philosophical, rather than a spiritual, sense. Academic Theologists are less concerned about God, but more interested in the discipline and concepts of belief. Discussion and scholarship in Academic Theology does not rely upon Scripture; it favors textbooks, journal articles, and lectures to advance its field.