We’re half way through January now and you’ve likely started a plan to read through the Bible in a year. This is an annual resolution for many believers and I use audio Bibles and a devotional routine to keep me on pace. In addition to daily Bible reading, I want to recommend another New Year’s resolution that will help you mature in the faith: Pick a theological topic that you don’t know much about and study it for the whole year.
Remember, the Bible and theology go hand in hand. All Christians are theologians, so we might as well be good ones! So, sit down and make a list of a few doctrines or areas of theology that you don’t understand very well and get to work.
Examples of Theological Resolutions
Maybe you grew up hearing that only believers should be baptized by immersion, but a Presbyterian sister has invited you to her baby’s baptism. You disagree but can’t explain your doubts from the Bible. Baptism is a deep topic (pun intended) and there are solid believers on both sides of the debate. Take the year to dive in to baptism (last one, I promise). Study the Bible and read books from people on all sides of the debate to figure out the who, how, and when of baptism.
Maybe you don’t understand the Calvinism/Arminian debate. Read arguments from both and judge them against the Scripture. For example, there are 2 books called Why I am not a Calvinist and Why I am not an Arminian. This topic is one of the more controversial areas of theology, and it’s a shame. Again, there are solid believers on both sides and we should be gracious with our brothers and sisters who disagree with us on secondary issues. This topic is worthy of intensive study.
My Theological Resolution
My personal theological resolution for this year is to learn more about the charismatic spiritual gifts. I come from a Calvinistic Baptist background that believes that the gifts of tongues, prophecy, and healing are still around, though I’ve never seen them in action. This is perhaps my weakest area of theology. So, I wan’t to learn and mature in my knowledge and experience of the spiritual gifts. I’m starting out with a book by Sam Storms called Practicing the Power. Sam is a conservative Bible teacher and self-proclaimed “reformed charismatic”.
Ready to Pick Yours?
Can you see the benefit of having a theological resolution for the year? Prayerfully make your list of things you want to learn. Gather your resources, such as books, blogs, other believers, and your pastor. With the exception of the essentials of the gospel, be willing to change your mind if this deep study leads you to different conclusions about current beliefs. Let me know your topics in the comments and I can try to recommend some good resources. Also let me know if you have any that can help me!