Why theology?

Our theology discussion group met on Thursday. We've been reading Karen Armstrong's A History of God, and our assignment this time was chapter 6, "The God of the Philosophers."

Structurally the chapter is reminiscent of a fugue, in the sense that Armstrong brings forth example after example of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian thinkers, each of whom offers a perspective on God and the possibility of talking about God involving some blend of rationality, revelation, and mystical experience. In reflecting on Armstrong's sometimes bewildering précis of what must be nearly two dozen different eleventh- and twelfth-century thinkers, I found myself asking, Why do these questions keep coming up? Why have so many people worked so hard to complete a task that is, on the face of it, impossible?

Today, in reading the April 2006 edition of Spirituality and Health (thanks, Jane!), I came across this from Sam Keen in "Sam Keen's Ludicrous God Talk" (pp. 54 ff.):

But why not merely chuck the whole impossible project of speaking about the unspeakable? Because I cannot refrain from asking impossible questions! …We push against the unknowable mystery because it keeps us alive to the ultimate questions that persist, even for logical positivists and militant atheists. Why is there something rather than nothing? Where did the world come from? Why is there a heartwarming amount of beauty, goodness, and order and a heartbreaking amount of ugliness, evil, and disorder?