WHAT IS THEOLOGY?
A deist believes in a creator who set the universe in motion and walked away. His laws are immutable and he does not respond to supplication. There would be no purpose to studying such a deity, as nothing could come of it.
A theist, however, believes in a creator who set the universe in motion and stuck around to tweak mistakes (the flood, etc.) and respond to supplications (daily bread, etc).
Theology is the study of the latter god, not the former.
The historical purpose of theology is to discover and refine certain rituals that will avert earthquakes, disease, famine, war, personal misery, etc, and/or grant an afterlife to the theologian, by pleasing this deity.
Such rituals are prescribed by some theologians five times a day, and by others, once a week. They both have the same success rate.
Theology is similar to the study of a broken clock, and declaring it to be correct twice each day, because certain rituals were performed in advance to make it happen. Except in the case of averting earthquakes, disease, famine, war, personal misery, etc., the results are not as predictable as a broken clock’s. Ergo, God works in mysterious ways.
Psychologists studying chicken behavior taught chickens to peck a button for a food pellet reward. Then they taught a second group of chickens to peck a button for a reward that only arrived once every third peck. And finally, they taught a third group of chickens to peck a button for a reward that only arrived randomly.
Then they stopped delivering the rewards.
The chickens who were used to receiving a reward for every peck gave up first. The chickens who received a reward every third peck gave up next. The ones who received rewards at random kept pecking, and pecking, and pecking….
God works in mysterious ways….
It always amazes me how people with life threatening illnesses can go through MRIs, CAT scans, radiation, complex surgical procedures, and IV drips of scientifically designed drugs, and then say Jesus cured them.
Where was Jesus when their grandparents were sick?
(It is also interesting to note that a deity which does not respond to supplication also does not ask for money. Apparently that deity is financially stable.)