Who Needs Theology?

Who Needs Theology?

Why understanding the doctrines of faith is important
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A recent nationwide study done by Barna found 49 percent of self-identified Christians believe the Holy Spirit to be a symbol of God’s power, rather than a living entity of the triune God-head.

Another 20 percent mistakenly believe that Jesus Christ sinned during his earthly ministry (“Most Christians Put Christianity on the Shelf”).

Rudimentary doctrines are misunderstood, leaving the Christian in an ignorant position. However, we are not alone.

During the beginning of the Christian church, many struggled with understanding the importance of theology as well. Hebrews 5:11-12 states, “About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing, for though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food." Hebrews explains the people have become passive in learning more advanced principles of the Christian faith and have remained stagnant. As a result, they must return to their elementary doctrines.

We see this same shortcoming from Hebrews in today’s Christian culture: a growing misconception that milk (basic doctrines) is the only substance a Christian needs, and even fundamental doctrines are misunderstood.

This is a result of the Christian remaining passive in their pursuit of knowing God and seeking His face because they fail to understand the significance of it. In my experience, Christians often avoid difficult theological question, saying that we as Christians are not supposed to have disagreements or that these discussions are pointless because they already love Jesus.

While loving Christ is of the utmost importance, it should not result in deterring the study and understanding of God. After all, should not the love of Christ inspire the Christian to learn what the Scriptures teach (doctrine) about His person and work?

The pursuit of understanding God is theology, hence, it is far from pointless. Christians should have a great yearning to know their Lord through reading the Bible and the comprehension of theological doctrines. In J.I. Packer’s book, Knowing God, he explains the importance of a theological doctrine:

“When you stand on top of Mt. Snowdon in Wales, you see the whole of Snowdonia spread out around you, and you have a wider view. Similarly, when you are on top of the truth of propitiation, you can see the entire Bible in perspective, and you are in a position to take the measure of vital matters which cannot be grasped in any other terms” (191).

While Packer is speaking of a specific theological doctrine, this analogy can be applied to the concept of learning theology. Packer explains that a higher understanding of doctrine allows for the Christian to have a greater perspective, which allows for spiritual growth, as well as greater love for Christ.

Theological doctrines are an indispensable aspect of the Christian faith and every Christian should actively pursue the understanding of theology with the proper motivations, in order that, it can be applied to their spiritual growth.

Christians have a commission to move past the justifying truth of the cross and move towards the sanctifying truths of the knowledge of God, through consideration and application of theology that overwhelms the finite with the infinite.

Cover Image Credit: Red Shoes Funny Shirt

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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10 Ways To Make Your Ramadan Productive

Fasting shouldn't affect your productivity as much as you think.
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Ramadan is upon us, once again. No matter how much time has passed since the first day, it's never too late to try and make the best of this month. Here are some ways to help you with your attempts.

1. Set goals for yourself

Take the time to evaluate what you want to accomplish this Ramadan. Aim to make this Ramadan an improvement of the on the one last year. Your goals may just end up making lasting changes to your entire year. It’s important to remember, however, not to set goals that are too daunting or too grand. It’s very likely that big goals will discourage you. Set yourself smaller, achievable tasks, or divide one difficult task into several parts.

2. Set a schedule depending on what time you work best

Chances are, you’re either a morning person or night person. Decide what time you work best, and take advantage of it. Plan your sleep schedule accordingly.

3. Don’t overeat

As tempting as it is, especially in the first few days, trying to refrain from eating anything more than you would normally eat. Eventually, your body will get used to the change and your appetite will get smaller.

4. Take naps

Naps are your best friend. They will energize you enough to get you through the rest of your day. Sleep is just as important as food or water.

5. Don’t work yourself too hard

Fasting does require a reassessment of your daily routine. It takes a toll on your body, so make sure you consider that when planning out your day.

6. Eat a proper suhoor

It’s hard to wake up at the crack of dawn. It’s even harder to eat right when you wake up. Just remember: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, whether it be at 9 am or before sunrise. It’s what will sustain you in all your daily endeavors, so eat a good meal, not just a week old granola bar you found in the pantry.

7. Don’t compare yourself to others

Just because Adam is working two jobs, taking summer classes, and praying all twenty rakats of taraweeh, it doesn’t mean that he’s any better than you. Everyone accomplishes things at their own pace and it is important that you are proud of yourself for your achievements, no matter what the people around you are doing.

8. Volunteer

Ramadan is one of the best times of the year to volunteer. There are so many opportunities to better yourself in this month, whether it be through simple iftars at your local mosque or large events to aid the refugees. Make the best use of your time this Ramadan by helping as many people as you can.

9. Don’t count your calories

On the flip side of overeating, counting your calories isn't the best idea. If you want to stay healthy or lose weight, opt for exercise. You need as much nourishment as you can get, so depriving your body of the food it needs is actually detrimental in the long run.

10. Stay hydrated

Drink as much water as you can, wherever you can. Just because you can’t drink it during the day, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink it at all.

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