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If someone asked you, Why should I study systematic theology? How would you answer?

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Essay - Theology Class

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If someone asked you, Why should I study systematic theology? How would you answer?
As we see in the
I will answer that question based in my view of the importance of Christian Education in the local church.
2 Timothy 3:16 NIV
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
It is becoming more apparent that the people of God do not have a handle on all Scripture, they have a handle in a very little of it.
Why Christian Education is important in a local church, why it should be important to us?
I would argue that the first reason that should be important to us is because of the cultural mandate that was given in the earliest pages of Scriptures when God says to the man and the women they are to rule and subdue, they are to be fruitful and multiply basically what He is doing is handing off the work that we see Him initiating in . What does he do: He brings order out of caos. As an exemple when we are parenting a small child, what are we doing? We are trying to bring order out of caos everyday. That is what the culture mandate is telling us to do it means whatever environment we go into, we as the children of God we are those who are looking to bring order. One of the most key ways that order can be brought out of caos is Education. Educated people are going to be more given to law abiding practices, are going to be more given to also joining and fulfilling the cultural mandate and so for the entire history of the church, Christian Education matter and not just Christian Education but just flat out education.
Wonder why there are so many catholic schools around. Those are the last vestiges that go all the way back when the catholic church was building monasteries and schools all throughout Europe as a means as having communication paths and to elevate a populace that were illiterate to a place that all order could come from caos. Christians have always cared about Education because they see it as a basic human right.
So the cultural mandate I would argue is that all christian should care about education in general but then we have a more particular call that actually eco of the cultural mandate in the new testament that call us to care about christian education in particular and that is the great commission. The great commission is a reinstating of the cultural mandate to be fruitful and multiplying and to fill the world with image barers. We hear that in the language “therefore go into every nation, baptising them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” - making more image bearers - and next Jesus says: “teach them to obey all I have commanded you”. How can we teach them to obey all that He has commanded us if we actually don’t know what it is that He has commanded - the Bible.
Biblical illiteracy is rampant at the church. We have come to a place in the history of the church where we are happy to passively take in what someone says about the Bible rather than take in the Bible itself.
Illiteracy rates and attention spans decline in a general public which is exactly what we are seeing: everybody can ready a 25 seconds article on his phone but they can’t seat down and read a chapter out of the Bible because they are very distracted. So as illiteracy rates and attention spans are shrinking all around us I believe that is more urgent than ever for the church to be the place that is reclaiming its role when it comes to learning. Because when God chose to reviled Himself to His people, He did not do so in a movie, He did not do so in a videoclip 15 seconds long, He did so in 66 books and the people of God must be able to read it and understand this book. So we must contend for Bible illiteracy among the people of God, because the secular humanistic and the false teacher rely on us not having foreseen knowledge of our text. So they can bend it however they want. We must know what we believe and why we believe it grounded in the Word of God so that the church of God continues to march forward.
Does Growth Group replaces Systematic Theology?
A lot of people think that being part of a growth group is a great thing and in fact it is. And I believe we should all be part of it.
One of the benefits of growth group is: community! It is a fantastic place to get together, have a meal, get to know each other. That is a gift for the church. We definitely need those environments.
The problem is when we elevate community in a highest value replacing it from a deep learning of the Scriptures. As an example many people in our church think they don’t need to attend Systematic Theology class because they are part of one growth group. These people will have no places where they will be asked to do the work of mind the Scriptures on their own because in a home group what we normally have is a sort of feelings level application driven discussion around a text, devotional or topical studies but they don’t actually get the passage and do a proper exegesis for a true understanding of the text.
And that is the very reason that we see people who has been going to growth group for decades and they don’t know their bibles any better today as they knew decades ago because topical studies will gather verses from all around the Bible which is not a terrible thing but it relies in a job that someone else did so rather than learn for ourselves we are happy to be passive receivers of that teaching.
And even when we have leaders who understand the importance of a deep study of the Scriptures and they try to bring a suitable material for that it gets hard as the vast majority of the resources available in the book stores will tell us to sit down and talk about what that text means to us before we spend any time talking about what the text actually says and what the text mean. All texts in the Bible has a meaning, and our job is not to assign a meaning to the text it is to uncover the meaning that was placed there by the original author.
are superficial and teaches around “your view” of the scriptures, “what do you think” about this verse, “apply this verse” into your life kind of thing rather what this text means? Who it was written for? What was the context of it? and etc that would enable us to have a deep and right understanding of what we are studying. All texts in the Bible has a meaning, and our job is not to assign a meaning to the text it is to uncover the meaning
We are dealing with a generation of Christians who have no sense of that whatsoever and they have been even rewarded for having these endless conversation about what this verse means to me. And thats “me” problem that has been setting us because it will be hard press to find many resource that have been created with a teocentered eye that first ask us what the text says is what is true about God and then to see ourselves in relation to that.
We have to switch our focus from having a feeling level discussion to have a though level discussion.
We have to understand that while growth group is a good and necessary thing in our church, it wont take us to a deep level of understanding of Scripture.
We have to understand that while growth group is a good and necessary thing in our church, it wont take us to a deep level of understanding of Scripture.
Passive x Active Learning
Most of the people in our church are content to come and seat and hear the teaching over a passage that they have spend zero time in it before they hear the message.
The matter of Priority
In our church we have lots of engineers and nurses (Nothing personal here, as I have an engineer and an about to become a nurse at home). I would ask them for example if the way we study the word of God (how often, how deep, how serious) was the same way they studied to get their degrees if that would make them a reliable professional? If the priority and commitment we give to the study of the Scriptures were the same we give to our secular jobs/degrees we most definitely would not be good professionals. We would have illiterate nurses who could even kill patients for lack of knowledge and also illiterated engineers who would build buildings with unreliable fundations.
Some questions to reflect on:
Parents:
Why we try our hard to make our kids to study hard to became this or that and we don’t do the same when it comes with the study of the Scriptures?
Why when we are having behaviour problems with our kids and we know, theses days we have a diagnose for everything, we are quick to send them to a paediatrician to get a diagnose and medication rather than treat their heart with the Word of God first?
Why we are so passive when we allow our teens to decide if they want to go to church, or to bible study, or to theology class and then, when they start showing that they don’t go to those places consistently because they love the world we panic and try everything in our power to convince them of the dangers of living in the world but we never did everything in our power to make them love and live what the Scriptures says by helping them and walking with them through a path of a systematic teaching of the Bible
Why when our teens are getting rebellious for loving the world so much and everything that there are in it, we are quick to send them to psychologists, councelours, we ask friends, pastors and etc to talk to them before walking them through deeply in the Word of God???
Why when we are suffering anxiety we are quick to find ways to mask it with mediations, exercices and other strategies rather than starting with repentance of lack in trust in God and get deep into the Scriptures?
Why we are so quick to justify with the word “busy” when it comes to serve others or serve the church with our gifts that God originally gave us to glorify Him?
Why contentment for most of us is a savings account full of money or bills paid or a good health and a happy family life rather than a genuine life with God?
Why it is ok for most of us to miss church because we are tired because we had a big night last night, or our kids have a game, or we have guests, or we were invited for something… name it...
Why many of us go to a job during the week and bring the full force of our intellect to do what we are doing. Many of us are using all of our mental ability to raise children or to perform a particular aspect of our ministry but when it comes to actually engaging with the Scriptures, when it comes to actually waking to the door of our church we turn that off, we think that doesn’t belong here.?
Many of us go to a job during the week and bring the full force of our intellect to do what we are doing. Many of us are using all of our mental ability to raise children or to perform a particular aspect of our ministry but when it comes to actually engaging with the Scriptures, when it comes to actually waking to the door of our church we turn that off, we think that doesn’t belong here.
And the questions goes on and on...
(Before moving on here I’d like to clarify that many of those things I mentioned above are not bad things in themselves. My point is we use those things before God)
The answers for the questions above are the same:
Even thou as good Christians we profess we are, and we are quick to say how God is important, and He should be the number 1 priority in our lives, our actions says the opposite. In reality, normally we use scripture as our last resource because we are ignorants of the power of it. In fact we are ignorants for not knowing all the circurstances I listed above and the strategies we take, we are just going to be able to deal with the symptoms of them. To get to the root of them, it is ONLY possible with a deep level of understanding of the Scriptures.
What we believe is not based in what we say we believe but rather it is shown in our actions.
The question of “Head Knowledge”
I will give a few seconds of my time to talk about this weak argument but believe it or not, a lot of people say it.
Many people say to me: “Be careful with head knowledge only!” For that my answer is: If I am regenerated, If I am choosen by God, growing in knowledge will lead me to worship Him more and better, to love him more and better.
So, be worry about head knowledge if you are NOT a true christian.
Conclusion: OUR HEART CAN ONLY LOVE WHAT OUR MINDS KNOW.
When I met James 10 years ago I was in love. He was sooo handsome, so gentleman such a prince. He treated me with so much caring and love .... ohh I was in love, I was seriously in love...
Ok, lets analise that feeling I had for James back then.
What my love was based in? What was the foundation of my love for him???
I loved what I thought he was
I loved the idea I had of who he was
I loved the expectation I had about how he was going to be in our life together
10 years late, nowadays I can assure you that my love for him is SOLID because I got to know him. I know his good and bad qualities, I know everything about him and that is the foundation of my solid love.
I can only truly love something I know!!!
OUR HEARTS CAN ONLY LOVE WHAT OUR MIND KNOW!!!
And it is the same with our relationship with God.
We say we love Him. But, do we know who He is?
Scriptures commands us to love God with heart, soul, MINDS and strength.
Here is the thing : OUR HEARTS CAN ONLY LOVE WHAT OUR MINDS KNOW.
So, when I say that I love God but I make no effort to know who He is in the Scripture I am worshiping an unknown god. We’ve got to be rooted in sound thinking about who God is and be impacted by the knowledge of who he is to see ourselves of who we truly are and then to be changed.
The path of transformation is from your mind to your heart
Romans 8:12 NIV
12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it.
Romans 12:2 NIV
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
We are NOT going to be standing before God to give an account of how we loved Him with Campbell’s mind, or Sprouls’ mind or any of your favorite Bible teacher’s mind but rather we are going to be accountable on how we loved Him with our minds.
Disciples are called to be disciplined and we learn by doing. We have to be active learners. Most of us like to be spoon fed but we have to change that mentality and take the ownership of our spiritual growth.
To love God well, we must know Him well.
I will finish with some frases and verses that are very applicable for the subject in discussion:
"If you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure — then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God!" "The Bible is no lazy man's book! Much of its treasure, like the valuable minerals stored in the bowels of the earth, only yield up themselves to the diligent seeker." (Arthur Pink) "Do not be satisfied with a superficial survey of Scripture, as many Christians are. These are not the days of contemplation as the old Puritan times were, we are too apt to be superficial; but do remember that while there are nuggets of gold upon the very surface of Scripture, yet the most valuable mines of gold are far down!" (Charles Spurgeon) "Truth lies deep, and must be dug for." (William Gurnall) "Strive to penetrate to the bottom of Divine truths, and never be content with a superficial knowledge." (David Brainerd) "Dig for the truth like a man digging for Australian gold!" (J.C. Ryle)
Ok, lets analise that feeling I had for James back then.
What my love was based in? What was the foundation of my love for him???
I loved what I thought he was
I loved the idea I had of who he was
I loved the expectation I had about how he was going to be in our life together
The Bible is no lazy man's book! "If you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure — then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God!" "The Bible is no lazy man's book! Much of its treasure, like the valuable minerals stored in the bowels of the earth, only yield up themselves to the diligent seeker." (Arthur Pink) "Do not be satisfied with a superficial survey of Scripture, as many Christians are. These are not the days of contemplation as the old Puritan times were, we are too apt to be superficial; but do remember that while there are nuggets of gold upon the very surface of Scripture, yet the most valuable mines of gold are far down!" (Charles Spurgeon) "Truth lies deep, and must be dug for." (William Gurnall) "Strive to penetrate to the bottom of Divine truths, and never be content with a superficial knowledge." (David Brainerd) "Dig for the truth like a man digging for Australian gold!" (J.C. Ryle)
OUR HEARTS CAN ONLY LOVE WHAT OUR MINDS KNOW
10 years late, nowadays I can assure you that my love for him is SOLID because I got to know him. I know his good and bad qualities, I know everything about him and that is the foundation of my solid love.
"Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding!"
I can only truly love something I know!!!
We say we love Him. But, do we know who He is?
Your view of God informs absolutely everything in your life!
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