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Theology for Dummies

Have you ever read any of the “For Dummies” books? You know which ones I mean?

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They are pretty iconic. I mean, most people would recognize them simply by the cover, even if you’ve never read one of the books. They have somewhere around 2,500 titles and over 2 million books in print. Crazy, right? The appeal is that they are easy to read for the average person and present the information in a design where the important stuff is made known so that you can recognize and remember it. I think I read one in high school but I don’t remember what it was.

But to be honest, I kind of stayed away from them because I didn’t like reading stuff written for “Dummies!” (Yeah, pride. I know.) I considered myself a pretty well-read person, for which you can thank my parents. My Dad used to read to us all the time as little kids and he can still recite the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” from memory. In fact, if I were to go home and my Dad was read a book to my younger siblings, I would be in the front row.

When we got older, my Mom read us books like King Arthur, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Canterbury Tales. We read a lot. I love books and reading. I used to get in trouble for reading too much (actually, I used to get in trouble for getting upset when people interrupted my reading…) Old English? No problem. Beowulf? Bring it on. Deep theology? My favorite.

But things are different now. My brain capacity and concentration capacity are different. And although the desire to read deep things is very real, I find myself wishing someone would write a “Theology for Dummies” book. Which sounds like a contradiction, I know. But I simply can’t comprehend the books I used to be able to read- which is SO frustrating! For instance, I’ve had Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship” sitting on my shelf for about a year now. I’ve probably started it 4-5 times and never been able to get past the first chapter because I don’t understand what I’m reading. No matter how many times I read the same sentence, I don’t get it. (Is there a kid’s version of this book??)

I used to be able to read several books at the same time and keep up with all the themes. Don’t believe me? Look what popped up on my Timehop today:

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This was what I was reading four years ago. I liked reading more than one book at a time so that if I didn’t feel like reading one book, I had another to turn to.

But not now. It’s been frustrating but also very humbling for me. The person who used to pride herself in reading the great books of the world has been brought down to the level of a child and is thankful that she can read at all! That person who used to have 6 books by her bed that she was reading all at once is now thankful to be able to open her Bible and comprehend one single verse in it. Thankful to find those authors that do write simply. Ultimately thankful that salvation isn’t for the wise or all-knowing people but that you just have to have faith like a child. That it’s simple. Just thankful.

 

But…if you happen to find a “Theology for Dummies”, let me know. ūüėČ

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2018 in books, epilepsy

 

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A Passion for Theology

Today I was able to enjoy the teaching of several godly men as they expounded the Scriptures. My church had a Bible Conference with D.A. Carson as the key-note speaker. It was wonderful to learn from him and it reminded me of a statement that someone uttered to me this summer.

“Kimmy, you should be a pastor.”

This statement was a result of me sharing some books/commentaries I had read and what I had learned from them. At the time I just laughed, because we both knew that she and I have very different views on women pastors.

As I thought about it today though, I began to wonder why she said that. Isn’t it possible for girls to have a love of theology without any ambitions to become pastors? Isn’t it right for girls to want to be well-versed in the Word of God and have an interest in Hebrew and Greek roots without wanting to be a church leader? ¬†Can’t I be excited to go to a Bible conference and sit under the teaching of learned men or listen to sermons in my FREE time? (Oh, the horror) As I thought about it, I realized I don’t know many (in fact, I’m not sure I know any!) girls my age who love to read books on theology at all. Why is that?

In the first chapter of (you’ll never guess what) When Sinners Say I do (oh, you guessed it? Drat), it talks about how everyone is a theologian. You can either be a good one or a bad one but like it or not, you do have theology. I think it’s important to study the Word and listen to those who preach sound doctrines in order for good theology to take root. If all you ever do is listen to the Christian radio announcers and you take your theology from them, you are going to be in trouble (not to mention overly bubbly).

But, as the book says a little farther on, good theology isn’t dark and mysterious, it is practical. We are “street theologians” as the author puts it. Theology needs to impact our thoughts and actions, our motives and emotions. What we think about God should influence and will influence every part of our lives.

I would encourage more young men and women to do more studying. Search the Bible deeper than what you learned in the Primer Sunday School class. There is always more to learn from the Word of God but we need to get off the milk and get to the meat of it.

 

“11¬†About this we have much to say, and it is¬†hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.¬†12¬†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,¬†13¬†for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is¬†a child.¬†14¬†But solid food is for¬†the mature, for those who have their powers¬†of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” ¬†Hebrews 5:11-14

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2014 in Bible

 

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