When I was a teenager, I feel in love with theology. I had come home from a high school summer camp and was riding a spiritual high. I resolved at that camp that I was going to grow in my knowledge of God’s Word and so determined I would go to the church library after youth group service that following Sunday to pick up some books to read toward that end. I began this journey and came to discover that I truly loved theology. People often asked me during this time (and do today), what kind of theology I like. My consistent answer to that question is, “I love all of it!” I read so much and so often during my high school years that the church librarian began to give me the pick of the books as they were donated by people in the church. She then started giving me books stating, “With the way you read you’re going to seminary.” Here almost twenty years after that event, I am still reading and consuming theology and serving the Lord.
We live in a world where many are greatly confused about what they believe, why it matters and how to live based on those beliefs. In the Boise (Idaho) area, there are Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and many Christians who have replaced their local church with a coffee shop. In ministering to the saints over the years, in a variety of capacities, I have often come to discover that when Christians talk about theology, they are not always as clear as they should be in their understanding of it (or in their communications regarding it). Speaking clearly and in the proper doctrinal and theological categories does not mean you’re a “know-it-all”, it means that you’re seeking to love the Lord with all of your heart, mind, and strength.
The Reformers and Puritans sought to ground God’s people in His Word. They did this because they knew that when God’s people focus on how they feel above what God has declared in His Word, they will be misled by their own feelings instead of Truth. Christians are a people who live not by how they feel, but from the objective standard of God’s Word, which is authoritative for faith and practice.
We live in a day when our greatest need as believers is to ground our lives in the truth of His Word. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our paths that sets us on the pathway of righteousness and life everlasting. As you’ll learn in this first issue of Theology for Life Magazine, to ask and answer the question, “What is theology?” is not just for the ivory towers of academia, but to inform and guide all of our Christian lives. Theology is for all of life because all of our lives are lived before the sovereign gaze of an all-knowing and all-powerful Lord.
As you take up and read this issue it is my prayer that not only would your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word increase, but that your passion to worship and delight in Him would soar as it did with me those two decades ago. Grow deep and wide in the grace of God, and watch as God uses you in amazing ways for His glory. This is my prayer for you as you read this magazine and continue in your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
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