I have come to a conclusion that there is a disconnect somewhere between those who are trained in Reformed theology and are highly educated and the general run of the mill Christian out here. The disconnect has to do with the knowledge of church history and the study of historical figures such as Martin Luther, Spurgeon, etc. I do not have a grasp on this church history. I do not know TULIP, and need to actually read up on this. I am a Christian who has really relied on sermon and bible study, that’s it. I read my bible and listen in church. I’ve been in bible study groups and been most happy when we actually have studied the bible rather than topics (around here we often say “stupid topics). I have read a few books that have very little to do with church history. I recall reading Josh McDowell’s book More Than a Carpenter, Cumby’s The Dangers of the Rainbow, Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth (yes, this scared me in my youth). I read the Peretti books as well as the Lewis book, Screwtape Letters. Because of interest in popular themes, I read a book about one of the Columbine victims…was the title She Said Yes I also read the book about the McCoy babies and the one by Gracia Burnham about their captivity. Because of my interest in cults, I have read books about witnessing to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons, and Hank’s book Christianity in Crisis. I’ve gone through various bible study books on many New Testament letters. I have also read through books of the bible straight through for personal study. At times I’ve gone through devotionals such as My Utmost for His Highest. Because of my interest in the music of Rich Mullins, I’ve read a book with his articles and after his death, a book about his life. I have a Strong’s concordance, an English Greek interlinear and several bibles around the house I dig into.
I didn’t really have leaders steer me in the direction of any kind of church history, or of studies on theology. It wasn’t even on my radar. Consequently, I am very confused about what would be best to read, best to search out. There was quite a curve on reading up on emergent, Purpose Driven error, and contemplative/missional. I just feel so ignorant, and also wonder if I am going in the right direction.
I am quite concerned for my children, wanting to teach them correctly and help them avoid the pitfalls I have come across. I would like them to have the correct knowledge, not just for knowledge sake but as a tool to help protect them and also help them proceed as Christians confidently knowing the truth.
Sometimes I just think, we should be able to just know what we need to know from the bible? Yes, that would be nice. Scripture is sufficient. However, we do need the body of Christ to meet with so we can serve each other and so we can hold each other accountable. Bereans likely studied scripture and pointed out things to one another. I believe that’s what the theologians have done through out. They study the scriptures and then point things out to the body, always teaching and shepherding. I just want to be sure what I am learning is right, and who to read about first? An unstudied person like me can find myself using a dictionary just to go through some blog posts of those who study these theologians. I am perplexed.