An Appreciation for Doctrine
I think I always knew that doctrine was important because my dad was a pastor and I grew up listening to him preach and he was always preaching doctrine. He was always preaching truths. He wasn’t a sentimental preacher, he wasn’t an emotional preacher—in fact, his favorite thing to preach was apologetics. He was always defending Scripture and defending the doctrines of Scripture. I grew up with an appreciation that the Bible contained truth, that that truth was propositional truth, and that what the Bible yielded was truth that was completely consistent and coherent because it was single-authored and God the Holy Spirit was behind all of it. So I grew up understanding the importance of doctrine, at least to some degree.
But it was when I went to seminary and began to pour myself into nothing but the study of the Word of God that doctrine took on a completely new significance to me. It primarily began when I started reading historical theologies. I started reading all the way from Thomas Watson’s body of divinity through to Hodge, and I began to take doctrine much more seriously. I saw the systematic character and history of it. So my passion for doctrine really blossomed during my seminary days.
How can one know which concepts about Satan and demons are biblically accurate and which are not?
If you talk about a doctrine that needs to be recovered, you have to start with the doctrine of Scripture.
If you're going to enter the ministry, whether as a missionary or a pastor, you will spend the rest of your life (if you're faithful) teaching sound doctrine.