I play guitar and I enjoy it, a lot. In fact, based on what I’ve accomplished I think it’d be fair to say I’m quite good at it. But this doesn’t mean my skills came easy. To get to where I am has required countless hours of dedicated and disciplined practice. It’s the same with my Bible studies. It’s something I enjoy a lot, yet it still requires discipline and conscious dedication.
I say this to dispel a myth that unfortunately creates two categories of Christians. That is one of normal, run of the mill, average Christians. Then there are those who are theologians. It hasn’t been uncommon for me to be talking with a fellow believer about the things of God when they interject with the remark “Oh, but you’re a theologian”. The confusion here is one Christian is essentially telling another Christian: “Oh, but you study all that Christian stuff about God”. By thinking they’re acknowledging something unique, they’re in fact revealing a failure on their part. And this is my point: Christians, by definition, are theologians.
In his book The Forgotten Trinity, James White states: “If you are a Christian, you are a theologian. You have no choice. Theology is simply knowing about God. In fact, since Christians are called to grow in their knowledge of God, part of the very goal of the Christian life is theology. Theology is a normal part of the Christian life—a part that gives rise to everything else.” Studying theology is pivotal to being a Christian as it is the study of God. A Christian loves God and longs to know more about Him and therefore studies Him making the title ‘Christian’ unavoidably synonymous with ‘Theologian’.
In an attempt to present the heart of the Christian faith the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian church saying, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul was laying out a foundational theological conviction that exclaims a desire of pursuit, understanding and a clinging to. This is the practise of theology. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how inscrutable his ways! (Romans 11:33).
We live in a time where the mysteries of God’s will have been revealed to us, His saints (Ephesians 1:9; Colossians 1:26). We can study the depths of the good news – God’s completed work – which the prophets eagerly searched out (1 Peter 1:10) and longed to see (Matthew 13:17). Even the Angels were kept from knowing this good news that has now been revealed to us (1 Peter 1:12). We not only have the overwhelming blessing of the indwelling Holy Spirit guiding us through His all sufficient word. But, we have the works of 2000 years worth of Spirit filled theologians and preachers at our fingertips. The Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the very Savour of our souls who took our punishment while we were still sinners has flung wide the doors calling us to learn more about Him. The invite could not be more appealing.
God Bless you and may you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen. (1 Peter 3:18)