Over the course of the next six weeks, my desktop will be cluttered with an array of systematic theologies. Wayne Grudem, Louis Berkhof, Michael Horton, and Millard Erickson will continually speak in the shadows of Dr. Gregg Allison’s work on the 50 core truths of the Christian faith. As I thumb through the scholarly works of these wise theologians, I am reminded of what brought me to this point. I share with you not only what’s on my desk, but why I teach a theology class in my local church.
As a Biblical Counselor, God has provided me the opportunity to meet women in the midst of adversity, helping them find their answers. By walking alongside others, counseling and mentoring provides foundational tools for coping and growing. Application of solid truth enables Christian women to endure and flourish. But many times, I quickly discover that even women who consider themselves believers do not fully grasp what it is they believe. Nothing can steal your joy as quickly as uncertainty.
During the fall term, we will begin our journey through the Doctrine of Salvation by way of systematic theology. A September 13th Intro Class will be followed by five of the ten subdivisions under this doctrine (to be concluded in the spring). With such complicated lives in our ever-changing world, why do women need to study these ancient truths? Natalie Brand, who lectures and researches at Union Theology put it this way:
Women need theology. We need it more than the clothes on our backs and the food in our fridges. Theology, or doctrine, is raw truth about God…We need to be equipped with healthy biblical God-truth to sustain our marriages, our singleness, our parenthood, our work, and our church life. If we are meaningfully to deter our own doubts, answer the questions of our inquisitive children, or encourage our troubled spouse, then our theology cannot be vague and superficial.
Today’s Christian women cannot survive let alone thrive, unless they seek a solid theological worldview. John Piper writes,
Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 3:15(ESV) – but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
It is my prayer that women would respond to the call of Matt. 22:37 and not be theologically shy. If we love God with our hearts, we must also consider our minds. Good theology reveals to you the greatness and holiness of the God who made you and takes care of you. Furthermore, how can we praise God when we don’t know much about him? How can we sing of his goodness if we don’t know what it is?https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/video/theology-important-cant-jesus-enough/
It is important to note that the outcome of any teaching rests in God alone, that He might receive the glory. Would you pray that God might be honored in my teaching? According to Jonathan Edwards, The great end of God’s works… is indeed but ONE; and this one end is most properly and comprehensively called, THE GLORY OF GOD. Therefore, it is for this reason above all others we study theology.