I like the significance Nouwen finds in the fact that “theologia” was first used in reference to prayer. I was first struck by the personal and practical power of theology when reading The Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer. As he explored attribute after attribute of the Divine Nature, I sensed the Presence of God all around me. I couldn’t get through a chapter with out weeping.
Theology for me has become synonymous with worship. I have little patience for any study of theology that doesn’t lead me to awe, worship and prayer. This means that my reading of theology must be Lectio Divina, spiritual reading into the reality of God. Often lately I have explored how the mystical encounters I have inform my theology. Nouwen encourages me to once again study theology with an eye to the reality of Christ.
The first time I read the Knowledge of the Holy, I thought, “How sad, with all the books out there that call to be read, I may never be able to return to this gem.” I have gone back to read it again, my ancient paperback falling apart. I think maybe this summer I’ll have to find another copy!