What Are the Different Types of Theology Topics?

Jan Fletcher

The different types of theology topics are concerned with the nature and directives of God, mankind's relationship with God, and people's ethical and moral decisions and behaviors. One area in theology concerns what future rewards or sanctions may be anticipated for decisions and actions a person makes while alive. Other theology topics may address those beliefs about God within Christendom. There are also theological issues that deal with various interpretations of sacred texts within a particular religious tradition. At times, topics in theological debate may also focus on issues of individual morality.

Calvinism is often at odds with other Christian theologies.
Calvinism is often at odds with other Christian theologies.

One of the most enduring theology topics is the nature of the relationship between God and man. Debates and beliefs within this topic usually deal with beliefs about who or what God might be. The next concern that usually follows is what might be expected on the part of man in the relationship between man and God. Various expectations among adherents may include anticipating divine help through life's difficulties, expecting reward or punishment in the afterlife, or participating in a spiritual act of communion with a divine being.

A topic for theological debate may be the appropriate timing of communion ceremonies.
A topic for theological debate may be the appropriate timing of communion ceremonies.

Theology topics also broach the basis of moral decision-making. This figures prominently as one of the most common theology topics. Deciding what constitutes moral or immoral behavior is a topic of debate among adherents of practically every religious belief system in the world. Theological topics in this area involve discussions of right and wrong, and punishments and rewards that adherents may believe should or will be handed out, either in life, or after death.

Some theological topics are focused on aspects of a particular doctrine, such as that people who are good, as defined by a set of parameters, go to heaven when they die. A discussion of doctrinal issues may broach the finer detailed areas of debate on beliefs, as in how spreading religious beliefs to others should be conducted. These more focused areas of debate may seem insignificant to non-adherents, yet these debates can be vigorous.

An example is the debate between Calvinism and Arminianism. Named after two theologians, John Calvin and Jacob Hermann Arminius, this is among the most enduring of theology topics within Christianity. The crux of the debate centers on whether a person who becomes a Christian can turn away from the faith volitionally, or whether it is impossible for the person to do so, because it was the person's destiny to be a Christian.

Another widespread theology topic concerns the role of morality in society. Many believe that morality is a personal issue to be decided on by an individual. Other people believe that some moral issues must be addressed by governments. An obvious example is theft or murder, which is almost universally considered a criminal act as well as a moral failure. Moral issues involving a person's individual behavior continue to be a common theological topic.

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