The Church needs theology. It is her conscience. Without vibrant and meaningful theological work, the Church is neither worthy nor capable of fulfilling her saving mission to the world. Sound theological reflection helps the Church renew her life, thought, worship, and practice; and helps her affirm her prophetic role in the world that she is called to evangelize and serve.
Every Orthodox Christian, inasmuch as he/she shares in the life of the Church, is vested with the responsibility to "contend earnestly for the faith, which was once for all delivered to the saints." For this reason, clergy and laity alike must struggle to grow in genuine piety and strive to achieve a level of theological literacy, in order to discern more clearly the workings of the Holy Spirit, who abides in the Church and guides her into all the truth. In the broadest sense, then, theology must be pursued and practiced by the whole body of the Church in its life and struggles.
The short essays in this volume are intended to help the reader explore the multifaceted dimensions of theological work; appreciate the richness of the Orthodox theological tradition; and understand the relationship of theology to the concerns of ordinary people, who are burdened with the cares and the challenges of contemporary life.