Whatever picture you have of what a theologian looks like, get rid of it. Instead, look in the mirror. Look at the faces of those attending your Bible study group or a Wednesday evening church service. See the woman who always brings her Bible to church, opens it, and takes notes? These are all faces of theologians, and they are just as much ones as those who attend seminary to become pastors.
Theology is simply the systematic study of the nature of God and religious belief. So, if you regularly study God’s word, you are a theologian.
Career choice doesn’t determine if you are one. Neither does depth of Bible knowledge or history, though these are continually growing in the life of a theologian.
If you’re digging into God’s word to discover what he’s revealed about himself, you’re a theologian. If you’re getting to know God in order to glorify him through love and obedience, you’re a theologian. If you’re doing intense, personal study of God through his word and letting him give you a sense of direction, you’re a theologian.
Theologians purpose to know God progressively more, to grow in their love for him, and to desire to obey him. They find comfort and hope in him, which directs the purpose of their lives.
Yes, this pursuit is challenging. And, yes, God’s word can be a struggle to understand.
Just because the study of God entails wresting with and reconciling complex ideas doesn’t mean the average believer should avoid a conscious and consistent pursuit of deepening their theological understanding. (Everyday Theology for the Everyday Christian)
God’s word exists for everyone. It guides every seeker toward him, shaping doctrine – belief systems – which then directs daily living.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
So, my fellow theologians, dive into those difficult passages of Scripture. Study themes in scripture with a community of believers. Read commentaries and Bible history. Let the Bible – all of it – be your final source, shaping your beliefs. Dig in and grow!
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3)