Theology - the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth.
or the threechordwonder version:
Theology - Stuff I know about God.
A certain type of person has exclusivised 'Theology', to suggest that you have no theology until you have studied it thoroughly or completed a masters or similar. This is nonsense.
This type of theology often includes or is integrated with philosophy, but this seems to me to distract from God more often than it enhances our understanding, and can become another weapon in the Arsenal of Intellectualism (please appreciate the irony of that statement.)
That is not to say that these things are wrong, oh no, but its all to easy to make knowledge of theology a goal, whereas we need to make, and keep, knowledge of God as our goal.
There are many places that we can find more 'stuff' about God to add to our list of 'stuff we know about God', or theology. Depending on how we add to our list, we can end up with some very interesting questions and problems to solve.
Some of these places are obvious, some are not. Some are healthy and some are not. Hopefully, and prayerfully, we will see the difference and build a strong, coherent, God led theology.
Interesting, Graham Kendrick recently said that he believes that most people get their theology from songs. Whoa. If that's true, and in an environment where we see so much 'life application' teaching I would tend to agree, that puts a large weight of responsibility firmly on the shoulders of those who write/chose the songs we sing in Church (and maybe those who program TV radio etc etc.)
Which reminds me of a rule which I try to stick to when leading..always sing about the cross! I wish I knew where I learned that from...
Theology is not meant to be complicated. Or simple. It is a relationship with Creator God; who we will never, on this earth, be able to understand or know everything about.
Usually I'd finish on a song, but given what I've said above, I'll finish on a quote from the bible: