Why bother with theology?

I’m currently reading Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris. The book talks a lot about three words that make most people squirm (myself included): theology, orthodoxy, and doctrine. I don’t often read books like this one, but I pushed myself to give it a try. In the first chapter, Harris already gave me a good reason to read further. I want to share with you what stood out for me, because I think he wrote it beautifully:

“I’ve come to learn that theology matters. And it matters not because we want a good grade on a test but because what we know about God shapes the way we think and live. What you believe about God’s nature–what he is like, what he wants from you, and whether or not you will answer to him–affects every part of your life.”

He goes on to write:

“I know the idea of ‘studying’ God often rubs people the wrong way. It sounds cold and theoretical, as if God were a frog carcass to dissect in a lab or a set of ideas that we memorize like math proofs.

But studying God doesn’t have to be like that. You can study him the way you study a sunset that leaves you speechless. You can study him the way a man studies the wife he passionately loves. Does anyone fault him for noting her every like and dislike? Is it clinical for him to desire to know the thoughts and longings of her heart? Or to want to hear her speak?

Knowledge doesn’t have to be dry and lifeless. And when you think about it, exactly what is our alternative? Ignorance? Falsehood?

We are either building our lives on the reality of what God is truly like and what he’s about, or we’re basing our lives on our own imagination and misconceptions.

We’re all theologians. The question is whether what we know about God is true.”

Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep

I like how he said that studying God can be like studying a sunset. Just last night, I saw the star-filled sky and it took my breath away. I could’ve easily missed it if I didn’t stop and look up.

For me, getting to know God is sort of like that. Whenever I manage to take the time to stop and really offer up and open up my senses to Him, He always takes my breath away.

What do we know about God? How does that affect the way that we live?

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3 responses to “Why bother with theology?

  1. Cool Liz! I’m reading the book too and I totally agree =)…

  2. reading the same book! it’s challenging me to get even more serious in theology. :)

  3. I therefore conclude that we should have a book club. Haha!

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