A lot of Christians today shun the idea of studying theology. Some of the reasons they often cite are:
• "I've already got so much to study in my field";
• "I don't have time for that"; and
• "You just have to believe."
Whatever reason people may conjure to escape the need for understanding deeper theology, the importance of it still remains. Growing more in understanding and knowledge of God and His ways is a failsafe way to strengthen our faith and foundations. While there is no way to truly know God fully, we can do our very best to get as close as we possibly can.
Matthew 7:24 tells us, "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock."
While there is importance to doing things, we also need to hear and know God to know His commands. This assures us that we become men and women who will stand the test when storms come.
Here are five of my top personal picks for books (aside from the Bible itself) that will help you grow in your understanding of theology.
1. 'Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine' by Wayne Grudem
Grudem's "Systematic Theology" has got to be one of today's staples when it comes to improving our theological base. Studying theology around a systematic categorisation of topics has long been a Christian tradition. Grudem's approach gives strong scriptural basis as well as well-arranged writing.
2. 'None Like Him: 10 Ways God Is Different from Us (and Why That's a Good Thing)' by Jen Wilkin
Sometimes our understanding of God can be limited by our understanding of ourselves, but God is not like us. That's what Jen Wilkin lines up for us in her book "None Like Him" where she clearly explains our differences with God and how those differences affect us.
3. 'Knowing God' by J.I. Packer
Packer's "Knowing God" gives us a compelling reason to know God and grow in our relationship more and more as the book gives us a glimpse into God's strongest attributes and how we can relate to them.
4. 'Now, That's a Good Question!' by R.C. Sproul
In this book, Sproul answers more than 300 tough questions on faith, life, God's characteristics and other spiritual and even political topics such as abortion, euthanasia, evolution and God's take on them.
5. 'Historical Theology' by William Cunningham
Since theology has been around for a very long time, it's important to look into its history and how it has been shaped by various views that have sharpened our understanding of God through the years.