This class has challenged me (in such a good way) and I wanted her to experience that same joy. I wanted her to sign up for the next theology studies class
(Editor’s note: Faith Baptist Church and the author of this article is complementarian and believes that 1 Corinthians commands women not to preach or lead men in the church. This article is meant to encourage ladies and laymen to pursue theology studies as a tool to strengthen their faith even though there is no call to full-time ministry)
Recently a friend of mine was telling me how intimidating her husband’s hermeneutics classes were. I am taking that same class and was quick to agree that it does seem intimidating. However, this class has challenged me (in such a good way) and I wanted her to experience that same joy. I wanted her to sign up for the next theology studies class.
Don’t let definitions intimidate you
Allow me to define ‘theology studies’. Looking for a definition online is discouraging because they are littered with jargon (Jargon: special words or expressions that are used by a particular group that is difficult for others to understand – the irony isn’t lost on me). What I mean by theology studies is any subject that can in some way help you better understand your Bible. The Bible is how God tells us everything we ought to know, about everything we ought to know.
Don’t let excuses stop you
I never wondered before why I was the only “Eve” in the class, and now this friend of mine was disregarded any future notion of joining such a class. I believe Abigail Adams summarized it aptly “Well, knowledge is a fine thing, and mother Eve thought so; but she smarted so severely for hers, that most of her daughters have been afraid of it since.” Maybe it is because the word ‘studies’ gives some heart palpitations.
Maybe it is the fact that most theology students are men is the deterrent. Most likely you are just too busy to consider adding another something to your life. But these reasons and excuses keep us from a very enriching, spiritual experience – indeed a necessary one!
If the numerous passages that implore us to study Scripture (1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 2:2-3) isn’t a strong enough pesticide, then 2 Timothy 1:7 & 2:15 effectively uproots any specific weeds that prevent us to grow. In these Timothy passages, we are encouraged to move past our humility and accept our “power…and self-discipline” spirit-filled selves. To become someone that “study…to show yourself to God approved… rightly dividing (or handling) the Word of Truth”.
Don’t let your gender deter you
I want to also address the issue of the male saturated theology ‘classroom’. God has given us the right to be there (Galatians 3:28) and paid a great price for us too! Now we need to take responsibility and be there! For there to be more ladies in the classroom, we need to be in the classroom (Philippians 3:17). Will it be difficult and uncomfortable? Will it take up valuable time? Yes! Growth is never comfortable, easy, or without cost, but it is essential for life…and that in abundance (John 10:10).
Some subjects will be more difficult than others. Some will be more fun than others. I concede that there are different seasons in life (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Stagnation and compromise will rob you of priceless opportunities to grow. The “Helper, the Holy Spirit…will teach you all things” (John 14:26) and He wants to.
Don’t wait even if you start small
So start looking at where you can join a class. Start with your local body and talk to your pastor. Maybe he, or a trusted brother, is already presenting a group or a class you can join. If not, he can always help you be discerning about the myriad online resources available. I have done some heavier ( Biblical Leadership Institute) and some lighter (Sermon Series) “classes” and can recommend both of these.
I pray with Paul “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power” (Ephesians 1:17-19)