Narrowing Down a List of Doctrines to Study

How well do you know your Bible? I imagine you know it better than you think you do, but you probably also should know it better than you currently do. If you make the church a priority, study the Bible on your own, or engage with Christian resources, you probably know a considerable amount.

Do you know what you should know about the Bible by this point in your life?

If your answer is negative, don’t let guilt lead you to immobility. Even if you should be further along than you are right now, don’t let that stop you from studying something.

While the word “doctrine” is often used in the seminary, many Christians are unsure what it exactly means. Doctrinal beliefs are not some type of lofty concepts reserved for the intellectual elite. A doctrine is simply a belief. Whether you know it or not, you have an entire doctrinal conviction even if you have never acknowledged it as a doctrinal confession.

I recommend that every Christian should have some type of doctrine they are attempting to strengthen. Instead of trying to become a biblical scholar overnight, what is one area that you could strengthen and need to strengthen?

Your plan might focus on a beginner concept that many might know or an advanced topic that many might avoid.

Many people wonder how many doctrines are out there in the first place. That is a number difficult to ascertain. How many beliefs are there in the Christian faith? There are a considerable amount. While it would be difficult to provide a thorough list of beliefs, I can provide some categories to think through.

If you are unsure where to begin, read over these 10 categories that theologians often use to organize doctrinal beliefs. Major themes of theology include:

  1. Bibliology (the study of the Bible)
  2. Theology (the study of God)
  3. Angelology (the study of spiritual beings)
  4. Anthropology (the study of man)
  5. Hamartiology (the study of sin)
  6. Soteriology (the study of salvation)
  7. Christology (the study of Christ)
  8. Pneumatology (the study of the Holy Spirit)
  9. Ecclesiology (the study of the Church)
  10. Eschatology (the study of the end times)

Within each of those categories, you could study numerous subtopics. Sovereignty and election are included in the study of salvation. Marriage and sexuality are connected to the study of Mankind.

Which doctrine is most critical for you to study right now? Here’s how you could get started:

  • Select it
  • Study what the Bible says about it
  • Ask a mentor to talk about it
  • Share with a partner what you are learning about it
  • Get some good resources on it
  • Own it until you could teach it

Which doctrine will you study next?