Why Study Theology
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
In theology we talk about God as being transcendent. By transcendence, we mean that God is far above our understanding. It is not that there is nothing we can know or understand about God, but that the knowledge of God is so vast and rich and deep that there is only so much we can understand and comprehend. I believe for this reason many Christians resist the idea of studying “theology” or “doctrine”. As if these two disciplines should be left for the seminary professors or professional theologians or as if doctrine and theology are of little use or value for the Christian life. Recently I have been reading through Reformed Systematic Theology (Vol. 1) by Joel R. Beeke and he makes this statement that I think is worth repeating:
“Doing theology is an exercise in coming to know how little we know and becoming humbler in the process. The more our increasing theological knowledge is sanctified by the Spirit, the more our estimation of our wisdom should decrease. Knowing the smallness of our knowledge should discourage any attempt to impress people with how much we understand.”
In the end, the more we study the deep truths of God the more we realize how little we know about God and, thus, the humbler we become. And humility is what it means to be Christ-like.
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