The study of the nature of God and God’s relation to the world
A command to praise God
“From a biblical standpoint studying and thinking and knowing are never ends in themselves; they always stand in the service of feeling and willing and doing. The mind is the servant of the heart. Knowledge exists for the sake of love. And all theology worth its salt produces doxology.” ~John Piper
I am not a biblical scholar. In fact, I am probably the farthest you can get from that category of persons who deeply study the Scriptures and include in that study an understanding of the original Hebrew and Greek language used in Old and New Testament passages. I can’t give you the definition of commonly used theological terms, nor can I give you a list of positions biblical scholars take on commonly controversial sections of Scripture. I have a hard time just remembering the references for many Bible passages I’ve read many times!
What I am, however, is a believer whose life has been transformed by the power of the Word of God, namely in the person of Jesus Christ. I know what it is like to live in a pit of despair and hopelessness without Him, and what it is to know the incredible joy of His redeeming love and forgiveness. I can’t imagine living without Him. I don’t want to…Ever.
What I have found in the Christian life, even apart from having to be a biblical scholar, is that the more I learn about God, the more enthralled I am with Him. The more I meditate on Christ’s wondrous love for me, pouring out His great mercy on me, the more I am astounded by the depth and height of it. Even in the midst of deep sadness and great hardship (both of which are recurring themes in my life the last several years), I find that the wellspring of God’s kindness and the riches of His grace are sweeter to me than a life of ease and pleasure without them.
When we take the time to drink in all that God has revealed to us about Himself—our active engagement in theology—it leads to a life of informed gratefulness and praise—our active expression of doxology (I think my precise use of the words might be off just slightly here, but I hope you get the idea)!
In a day and age when words seem to have less and less meaning in our society, the “letter” we become to our husband, our children, those around us becomes all the more important. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3, that we “are a letter of Christ…written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” When we let God take what we know about Him and let it sink deep inside and transform our hearts, we become more and more like Christ; we become beautiful, “living letters” to our family.
It is my daily prayer that my children see me studying the greatness of God and responding with whole-hearted abandon and worship…and then want that for themselves. This would be my greatest reward as a homeschooling mom.