Are you confident in the fundamentals of your faith? Maybe the better question is, do you believe what you believe? As a follower of Jesus, you have a set of doctrinal beliefs that come along with the territory. Biblical Christianity is blatant on topics in which the culture will struggle to accept. In Session 4 of Distinctive Discipleship, we are going to hone in on 1-2 doctrinal concepts that you need to study next.
Wayne Grudem is a Christian professor and author. Many seminary professors utilize his Systematic Theology textbook in many settings. At 1291 pages, it is a comprehensive volume. Due to its size, he also summarized the content into a 528-page book entitled Bible Doctrine. If that content is still too inaccessible, he developed a 159-page condensed form in a book called Christian Beliefs. While all three books cover the main topics, they vary in the degree of the specific content.
- If you had to choose one of those textbooks to describe your current understanding of biblical doctrine, which one would you use to describe yourself?
- What are the positive reasons for why you are where you are?
- Why would you say that you aren’t further along by this point in your life?
- 2 Timothy 2:14-19
- What does it mean to be approved by God when it comes to handling Scripture (2 Tim. 2:15)?
What type of understanding do you think would please God? Regardless of what size theology textbook’s information is in your head, you have some level of biblical knowledge. Paul instructed Timothy to do his best so that he would not be ashamed. Regarding doctrine, where are you confident, and where would you be embarrassed?
Let’s do a simple biblical diagnostic test.
- Go to your Bible’s table of contents. With which Old Testament book are you the most familiar?
- Which Old Testament book have you had the least exposure?
- What is your most read New Testament book?
- Which New Testament book have you forgotten or ignored?
- Is there a type of doctrinal debate that you seek to avoid because of controversy or confusion?
In Col. 1:28, Paul said that we need to teach everyone with all wisdom. So what part of God’s wisdom do you need to commit to studying next? It might be a book of the Bible, or it could be that doctrinal stance of which you are unsure. While we all have numerous issues on which we could improve, now is the time to select 1-2 doctrinal weaknesses that you plan to strengthen.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.