When I say the word “theology” what scary picture rushes into your mind? A thin man with a long white beard, and a monotone voice droning on and on about words you can’t understand? Or a group of people arguing seemingly about nothing but semantics? Or a book that you know you probably should read, but every attempt results in narcolepsy?
Let me paint a different picture for you: A woman sitting at the feet of her Rescuer, discovering the greatest love of her life; His likes and dislikes; pushing herself into who He is, relishing every aspect of His beautiful, amazing character. This, my sisters, is what theology is. Theology contemplates God, discovers the God you have pledged yourself to. As women, we study and want intimate knowledge of those we love, of those we are in relationship with. Why would we shy away from or snub knowing the One that knows us most fully?
Theology isn’t just a scary word. Theology, knowing God, is what will keep you when the trials come. If you have a false idea about God, you won’t be able to understand why He would allow suffering or hurt to come into your life.
If you have a false idea about God, you won’t be able to understand why He would allow suffering or hurt to come into your life.
Here’s an example where I was sustained by the theology I had already learned: When my oldest son was 7, he was admitted into Children’s Hospital for a very high fever and a strange lump on his neck. He looked like he had pushed an orange through his ear and it was lodged inside the side of his throat. We spent days and nights with doctors running tests and trying to figure out what was happening to my sweet baby. The only hope I had during that time of uncertainty, was that I knew my God. I knew He was loving, and powerful, and sovereign. I knew that He wouldn’t allow anything to come into my life unless it was for my family’s good and for His glory. I didn’t know how my circumstances would work out, I didn’t know if my son would be okay, but I was absolutely positive about the character of my God.
Theology isn’t boring or irrelevant. It is full and rich and beautiful. The more you know God and study Him, the deeper your love will grow for Him. The more you know Him, the more you be grateful for what He has done for you. Our immense, all knowing, all seeing God chose to set His love on you. He gave His Son to rescue you. He gives us the Holy Spirit to help us understand Him better.
Theological doctrine will bring richness to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Being sure of what you believe and why you believe it will cultivate affection for your Savior. Praying that you would be able to comprehend the riches of the fullness of His grace will make your Christianity vibrant, unassailable in times of trial.
The truth of the matter is that even if you say theology isn’t important and you don’t want to bother with it, you are a making a statement about God. That statement is this: His character is not worthy of your time and energy.
Sisters, put the milk away, pull out a knife and fork and dive into the meat of our Creator. Don’t be afraid of theology, don’t leave the head work up to the men. Grab ahold of our great God and study Him. Study who He is, what He has revealed about Himself in the Bible. Study what He says about you. Be amazed at the wonder of His great love and see how that knowledge will revolutionize all of life.
Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them (Psalms 111:2).
John Piper shares six observations that clarify how human thinking and divine revealing work together in awakening saving faith.