Did you know that you’re a theologian? You are! Everyone has beliefs about God – who he is, what he is like, and how he works in the world. So the question isn’t, am I a theologian? But as Christians, the question is, am I a good one? If I say that what I believe about God is rooted in his Word, have I done the work of ensuring that my view of God is more aligned with Scripture than the world?
What is systematic theology?
This is why theology is so important to me! And one of the best ways to start is to pick up a systematic theology book. “Systematic theology” is just the terms for taking theological concepts and categories and arranging them in a systematized way. Systematic theology doesn’t take Scripture verse by verse, but takes a single topic (like Jesus, the Trinity, baptism, the church, etc.) and considered every passage in Scripture that speaks to that topic. It helps us understand why we believe what we do, and how it is rooted in Scripture.
Theology is for everyone
In seminary, I read many systematic theology books – most of them 700 pages or longer! They take a unique season of life, to say the least. And while these are great books to read, they’re not feasible for the average person to learn from. Enter these accessible options! I hope you find a great book to start with, or one to gift a friend!
The Link Up!
Pilgrim Theology: Core Doctrines for Christian Disciples This is the book Austin and I chose to use when we taught a theology class in our local church! It is written from a covenantal perspective (which means it includes teachings like infant baptism, which is not our personally held belief) and is very accessible and theologically deep.
The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way This is another longer book on this list, but in it, the author goes into detail on how each theological category is related to the others. It’s really phenomenal, though it takes a bit more time to get through.
I am a Theologian Written by Jen Wilkin and JT English, this book is the newest book on the list, but aims at giving a great theological overview for the reader. These. two serve faithfully in the local church and beyond, which really drew me to their work. That’s what theology is for, after all!
What Christians Ought to Believe: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine Through the Apostles’ Creed This book is a systematic theology, but is structured differently than any others on the list! This goes line by line through the Apostles’ Creed, and tackles big theological concepts in each line.
Fix Your Eyes: How Our Study of God Shapes Our Worship of Him This is my book! I wrote this book specifically because I was looking for a systematic theology book that read just like any other book on faith – one that was accessible, simple, and included illustration and examples of each theological concept. It’s called Fix Your Eyes because, in it, I argue that by looking to Jesus we will both grow in knowing God and loving him, too.
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Christian Belief This one is for the more advanced reader, and it is longer than the others on this list. But for someone wanting to understand the nuances of each theological category, this will be a great read.
Every Woman a Theologian I actually endorsed this book! Phylicia is an internet friend turned IRL friend. She is whip sharp and loves the Lord and his Word deeply. She gives a great overview of basic doctrinal positions in this book, and specifically includes a deeper look into church history than most.
Have you read any of these? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
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