Why study theology?

22nd October, 2012 - Posted by Claire Larsen - No Comments

Does the idea of studying theology sound boring? What comes to your mind when you hear the word “theology?” Personally, I love theology. I love reading theology books, thinking about theology, and teaching theology to others. In fact, at the end of a long Saturday doing laundry, mopping floors, and cleaning clutter, my feet are tired, my body aches, and my mind is saying, “How soon can I relax on my comfy sofa and delve into my systematic theology book?”

Why do I get so excited about theology? The word theology means “the study of God,” and what could be more exciting than learning more about the God who loves me so much? When you love someone (and that someone loves you in return), don’t you want to know as much about him as you can?  When my husband an I were dating, we spent hours just talking and getting to know each other. I was interested in everything about him. The Lord Jesus loves me with a love so strong that He gave His life for me. In the Scripture, He has written not only about His great love, but about all His other attributes.

Theologians put the attributes of God into two categories. The incommunicable attributes are those that God alone posseses. Only God is totally independent and self-sufficient, eternal (never having a beginning), omnipresent (being everywhere at every time), and immutable (unchanging).  Digging deep into these attributes can boggle the mind because of their immensity. Is is really possible to understand a Being who was never created or who never changes even the slightest bit in any way?  Learning about these attributes causes me to stand in awe of our Almighty God.

The communicable attributes are those traits which God possesses perfectly and which we His children can reflect in our lives as God gives us grace. These attributes include love, mercy, wisdom, righteous,patience, and justice to name a few. Understanding how I as a finite, sinful creature can reflect God in these ways is amazing in its own way.

In the past couple months I have been teaching a theology class called “The Answer is … KNOW!” to the women of my church. For me teaching this class has been an adventure in KNOWING the LORD better. I hope and pray that the women in the class has gained as much as I have.

Two books that have helped me in my study have been Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice and Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem. Though a person might be intimated by the size of the books (Grudem’s book is 1200 pages), both these books are an easy read and are easy to understand.

I challenge you to make studying theology a part of your personal Bible study.  The Lord will become more real to you, and you will be surprised how practical theology is to your daily life. But, that’s a subject for another GGC blog entry.

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