Monday, January 17, 2011

Practical Theology for Women: Why Should I Care?

Have you ever thought about the nature of God? Have you ever thought about theology? Is it something you are pretty comfortable with, or is it something you think only pastors and seminary students should think about and learn? Until about a year ago, I thought theology was only for "smart people." Sure, I enjoy learning about God and think it's something we as Christians should do often, but theologian was not a word I would use to describe myself.  But the truth is, if we are in Christ, we are theologians! 

And what is theology anyway? Theology is, among other things, the study of the nature of God. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language). A couple reasons some Christians don't consider themselves theologians are that they think they aren't smart enough or that they don't want to put in the effort. However, we are not only able to learn the deep things of God, we are called to do this through our own personal relationship with God through Christ.

In Chapter 1 of her book, Practical Theology for Women, Wendy Horger Alsup shares: "If you know Christ as your Savior, you have the same Holy Spirit residing in your heart, the same Word of God at your fingertips, and the same access to the presence of God as the wisest and most godly spiritual leader you know of today." Our access to God is not through our pastor or a seminary student, it is through Jesus Christ, so to rely on someone else to teach us the deep things of God is a "copout," as Alsup says.

We can't expect to grow in our relationship with Christ unless we know Him. Alsup suggests, "we have no excuse to remain ignorant of His character. Seek God's face. Understand His character. Pursue knowledge of Him, for apart from the 'fear of the Lord' and the 'knowledge of the Holy One' (Proverbs 9:10) we have no hope for being a wise mother, sister, wife, or friend." Or a wise father, brother, or husband.

If you know Christ, you have all you need to learn the deep things of God. And we can't truly live a life that reflects the nature of God unless we study and know the nature of God.

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