Ever since the 1970s the theologies of distinctive groups of Christians have aroused much interest around the globe. Although such groups have long played vital roles in churches, it was once supposed that they had no theology. Theology, it was supposed, had to be explicit—the kind of formal, scholarly exposition developed in dominant Christian traditions.
These distinctive groups claimed, however, that they were guided by implicit theologies—by deep, if unarticulated, convictions about God, human nature and other crucial subjects. However, they continued, a lack of educational and other opportunities, and sometimes opposition from church leaders, had prevented their convictions from taking explicit form. Nevertheless, these groups insisted, their implicit theologies could contribute greatly to the wider church.