By faith the person…not only hears about God but enters into a personal relationship of obedient love with God his Father.

Theology in the true sense starts not merely with certain formal authoritative propositions about God but from this personal relationship.1

The concept of “personal relationship” is therefore playing a crucial role in grounding the very definition of theology, yet I suspect that it does not receive any more precise specification that it does here. That’s my project.


  1. Thomas Merton, Loving and Living, ed. Naomi Burton Stone and Patrick Hart (Bantam Books, 1980), 92.