Should We Study Theology?

This comment was left on my blog in response to this post (Reformed Theology vs. Seeker Sensitive “Theology).

All of these different ‘theologies’ are simply the works of men departing from the ’simplicity of the gospel’, and wandering off into their ‘deep studies’, which take them off into the vanity of their own minds. The Scripture could not be any clearer. Jesus died and rose again for all people. The ones who believe in Him are saved. The ones who do not are lost. The Bible is absolutely true. Much of this speculation is error. It divides the Body of Christ. It is harmful to the spreading of the unconditional love of Jesus. REFORMED THEOLOGY HAS NO PLACE IN SCRIPTURE. IT IS THE WORK OF MEN NOT LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. Very easy to see, if we are humble and broken before our precious Redeemer.

The commenter seems to be saying that we don’t need to be studying theology because it takes us away from the “simplicity of the Gospel”. I posted a quick reply but the more I thought about it the more felt the topic justified its own post.

There was a time (as recently as two years ago) when I felt the study of theology was boring and unnecessary. I was a baby Christian. I was so spiritually immature that I did not realize that I was immature. Thankfully, by God’s grace I have matured.

It is true that the Gospel is simple enough for anyone to understand. It is sufficient for salvation. But is that the end of the story? No. We are commanded to grow in our knowledge of the Lord. 2 Peter 3:15-18 says “And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, (16) as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. (17) You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. (18) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” How do we do this? We study the Bible and as such are studying theology.

We also must study theology in order to be able to explain our beliefs to those who ask us to. 1 Peter 3:13-16 says “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? (14) But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, (15) 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, (16) having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.” If we don’t know why we believe what we believe then we can be lead astray easily.  We should all be able to articulate why we believe what we believe.  If we can’t then we are simply putting our trust in what someone else has told us and this is no way to be.

So, should we study theology?  The clear answer is yes.  I am sure that there are more very good reasons as to why we should study theology but my purpose is to start the discussion so I have only listed a couple.  Please leave a comment and give your reason, or reasons, as to why we should study theology.  I look forward to reading them.

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