My name is _________________, and I am a theologian.
The introduction to “You Are A Theologian” by Jen Wilkin and J.T. English asks readers to write their name in the blank and then recite the sentence out loud.
My small group is kicking off this semester by reading that book. Our hope is that it will equip us well before we dive into our normal studies walking through books of the Bible. And I couldn’t be more excited!
For much of my life, I thought there was only so much I could learn and understand about God.
‘Words about God’
Now it is true that there’s only so much our limited, human minds can comprehend about God because He is limitless, eternal and incomprehensible. But I thought because I didn’t have theological education or ministry training, there were some things just out of my reach. But that’s not true.
All Christians have the responsibility and opportunity to think deeply about God. When we know Him better, we can love Him better.
No one is too young, too inexperienced or too uneducated to do theology. “Theology” might sound like a scary, fancy word, but as Jen and J.T. point out in their book, theology just means “words about God.”
I have words about God. You have words about God. Let’s make sure our words are true and highly exalting of the God Who crafted the universe, sent a Savior to redeem us and Who will one day bring full restoration.
Where do I start?
Study the Bible well. Read the Bible, not to learn more about what you should do or what God can do for you, but to learn more about who God is. The Bible is God revealed to us. Learn about His character, His actions, His promises. Theology isn’t separate from or in addition to the Bible. The Bible is theology. (“Words about God,” remember.)
Learn from other believers. People have been doing theology since the beginning of time. Take time to discover what Christians in the historic Church believed. Learn also from the modern scholars and Bible teachers of our generation. Have deep conversations with your friends, family and church members. But always be wise and discerning.
Seek God. This is the part I find most sobering. Our desire for knowledge and understanding about God should be fueled by our desire to know and love Him more. If you find yourself studying for the sake of gaining information or increasing your smarts, you are missing the mark. We don’t study theology to be smarter than the person next to us — we study theology to deepen our love of God.