Once a month, you’re going to hear from our authors, from our team, or from a guest on how we study the Bible, what resources we use, and what questions we ask.
We can all agree that a belief in gravity is vital when staring over the side of a cliff with no rail and that a belief in the effectiveness of our car’s brakes makes a big difference when we are barrelling down the interstate trying to get to an early meeting on time.
We make decisions constantly out of the overflow of what we deeply believe, and no belief is as foundational to the shaping of our lives as our theology, or what we believe about God. For Christians, our theology isn’t just some contrived idea of who God might be, but it is found in the God of the Bible, who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. To know our God and worship Him rightly, we need to study Him, or develop our theology, so that we know what is true according to His Word. Now, theology is not for the purpose of building up our egos or simply knowing a lot of facts about God, but for truly knowing Him and rightly worshiping Him and ordering our lives to honor Him.
When we aren’t following God’s Word, which is living and active and “breathed out by God” (2 Tim. 3:16, ESV), we may be easily persuaded by what sounds good but is a little off center from the truth. There’s a sort of masquerade that happens, and Satan slips in unannounced, proclaiming a gospel that centers on finding truth deeply within ourselves, relying on our ability to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps, or telling us we’d never be valuable enough for God to care for us. All of these are lies, meant to steal, kill, and deceive, and yet, we can falter and make decisions as if we believe these are true if we are not deeply rooted in Scripture. Right theology equips us to discern, defend, and proclaim Truth.
When we consider theology, many scholars categorize Christian beliefs into truths about God (Father, Son, and Spirit), His Word, Humanity, Redemption, Church, and End Times. Some beliefs, like the truth that Jesus died for our sin and was resurrected three days later, are absolutely essential to our faith. Without this truth, there is no salvation and there is no Christianity. There are also truths that are secondary or tertiary issues where scholars disagree and different beliefs may be held while still being considered orthodox, or holding to the essential and historical truths of Christianity. It’s not that secondary or tertiary truths don’t matter, but that we can all be unified under the gospel—Christ and Him crucified, resurrected, and ascended (1 Cor. 2:2)—and lovingly disagree on other issues.
Ultimately, developing your theology should not lead you to confusion or conflict, but should stir your affections for God. There’s so much to be said on these truths and much joy to be gleaned from discovering that God is better than you can imagine, kinder than you could be to yourself, and powerful over all things, holding them in His hand. These truths don’t cultivate disagreements but lead us to die to ourselves every day, surrendering to the One who has given us His Word so that we would rightly know Him and rightly worship Him. He has revealed Himself to us! What a loving God!
While serving in my local church, I found that many of those I studied alongside knew the stories of Scripture but didn’t necessarily understand the overarching truths God reveals in His Word. They loved Him and had walked with Him faithfully for decades but had a lot of questions about the Trinity or how Jesus could be one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man or why God established the church for His people. They struggled at times to connect the truths of Scripture with what was happening in their actual lives.
Now, I don’t claim to have all the answers or to understand all the gray areas, but as we began to unpack the truths of Scripture, I saw a new hunger and passion to know His Word. I saw my own affections stirred for Him, as well as those of others, and I’m so thankful God has allowed me to share that project with you. I pray that God will use Everyday Theology to move women to love and worship God fully, surrendering to Him, and allowing His truth to be the driver of every decision, large and small in their lives.
Mary Wiley lives with her husband John and their two preschoolers, and they attend and serve at Fairview Church in Lebanon, TN. She works as the women’s book marketing strategist for B&H Publishing Group and loves all the stereotypical publishing things: words, books, paper, and coffee. She hosts the Questions Kids Ask podcast, helping parents understand how to answer their kids’ tough theological questions. She recently released a resource centered on understanding the essential truths of our faith and how they apply to our everyday lives. You can order her book, Everyday Theology, here. Connect with Mary at www.marycwiley.com or @marycwiley on social media.