Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Theology, the body of doctrine which treats of the natnre of God and the relation between God and man. The term came into use in the Christian Church in connection with the doctrine of the Logos, and was applied especially to St. John. It afterwards acquired a weder signification. Theology is distinguished as either (1) Natural, or (2) Supernatural or Positive. The former is given by the light of nature; the latter comes through a special revelation, at once confirming the truths accessible to the unaided reason, and imparting others which would not otherwise have been known. Apart from this general division, theology comprises various branches, such as (1) Apologetical Theology, which is concerned with the evidences of religion and the authenticity of the Scriptures; (2) Exegetical Theology or Hermeneutics, which aims at interpreting and explaining the Bible; (3) Dogmatic Theology, which gives a systematic exposition of the dogmas on which the faith of the Church is bullt up; and (4) Polemic Theology, which defends the doctrines thus established, and refutes heretical views. Practical Theology embraces not only Christian ethics, but Pastoral theology (which treats of the intercourse of the pastor with his flock), and questions concerning Church government and ecclesiastical discipline.