Love of theology has been something I’ve taken more seriously over the last 5 years of my life and it’s been a surprising journey. From childhood (without knowledge of the differences of them all) I had been exposed to a mix of denominations such as Church of Christ/Baptist/Presbyterian and by the time I was out of the nest I felt warmly welcomed by new faces within the walls and on the pew of a more charismatic Assemblies of God church. I gained many good friends and they blessed my life all the richer. Now at the conclusion and closing days of my twenties I have slowly upturned the pages of church history and it’s astonishing what is there to discover and the influence it has had on my convictions.
Talk about rabbit holes.
My podcast feed is full of theology nerds from predominantly reformed people and it feels refreshing to hear the plain gospel message again and again with emphasis on resting on the finished work of Christ and not my good works (Thank you Theocast featured below). Trying to better understand just who God is and seeing his redemptive plan in action to this current day is reassuring. Luther and his crazy haircut certainly would not of known the ripple effect that nailing his 95 thesis to the wall of the roman catholic church would cause some 502 years later.
“Everything we learn—economics, philosophy, biology, mathematics—has to be understood in light of the overarching reality of the character of God”
The way I have learned about these topics has in general been a pretty scatter-fire approach which is indicative of the branch swinging you get from the vast internet. Not always a good thing but you get a good taster for whatever your needs are. I would not get bogged down about making it a stringent reading or listening list but take yourself where your interests fly towards each time. Take breaks along the way and enjoy what comes up.
Here we go…
“The quest for knowledge is the essence of science. The science of biology is a quest to gain a knowledge of living things, the science of physics is an attempt to gain knowledge about physical things, and the science of theology is an attempt to gain a coherent, consistent knowledge of God.”
“Written to “aid those who desire to be instructed in the doctrine of salvation,” the Institutes, which follows the ordering of the Apostle’s Creed, has four parts. The first part examines God the Father; the second part, the Son; the third part, the Holy Spirit; and the fourth part, the Church. Through these four parts, it explores both “knowledge of God” and “knowledge of ourselves” with profound theological insight, challenging and informing all the while.“
Whether aware of it or not we are all the day long acting as theologians in our day to day lives. We are performing tasks and doing stuff throughout our busy schedules in an endless fashion which require a “why”. Most the time we don’t stop to think about the why there seems no time for that. Hidden in your heart are the motives to which you perform your list of decisions and God knows them all. You need a basis outside of yourself to discover your ‘why’ for anything.
We everyday theologians are also assuming the laws of things we have no control over and at the same time we expect them to work everytime without fail. Take gravity for an easy example. There is firstly knowing gravity exists, accepting its reality and secondly there is knowing gravity exists and denying its reality. The former makes you operate under a wise line of thought about what must come down after it goes up and the latter is the denial of bone crushing consequences despite your friends telling you not to perform that party stunt.
Likewise the person who understands the basics of money handling should know that spending more than earned leads to debt, the denier in the other vein will have to block out reality with self formed truth that everything is OK to live in the moment.
It is my hope you enjoy a skulk around some of my most frequently used resources and get back to me if you have found this useful.