Last week I wrote about how important it is to embrace theology. This week I’d like to introduce you to the author responsible for easing me into the deep end of the pool. Wendy Alsup’s book, Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives is a short read that packs a powerful punch and takes no shortcuts when explaining the importance of understanding God.
Wendy was kind enough to answer a few questions for us today about why theology is such a big deal. I think getting to know her a bit before diving into the book, will help us connect with her as we read. With no further ado, meet Wendy Alsup, author of Practical Theology for Women:
Lindsey: “Hello, Wendy! Would you share a little bit about yourself and how you came to know the Lord?”
Wendy: “I was raised in a Christian home and first professed faith in kindergarten. I always loved God, but I often thought I knew Him and His Word better than I really did. After graduating from college, I started attending a church that opened my eyes to how much I still did not yet understand, and that sent me on a path of study that has opened up the Scriptures to me in the last 10 years in particular. ”
Lindsey: “So what is theology and why should I care about it?”
Wendy: “Theology at its most basic sense is just the study of God. The Bible teaches that knowing God is integral to understanding the rest of life. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Lindsey: “Will understanding theology affect how I feel about God, others, or myself? How?”
Wendy: “Knowing God gives us, first, insight into God. That’s obvious, right? But since we were created in His image, knowing Him then gives us insight into ourselves and His purposes for us. The wisdom, insight, and understanding that comes from understanding Him unlocks so much of the rest of life for us, and that certainly includes relationships with others.”
Lindsey: “Can theology radically change my daily walk with Christ?”
Wendy: “I definitely think so, but I am talking about true theology in the purest sense of the word. When I understand the character of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, my daily walk is most certainly affected.”
Lindsey: “Where do we start? How does a regular, every-day guy or gal learn more about theology without going to seminary? How can we tell the difference between “good theology” and “bad theology”?”
Wendy: “My biggest encouragement is to take it little by little. In my Bible study, I read until I get the first nugget of wisdom–until God says something that stops and makes me think. Then I stop and process, because if I read or study too much at one time, I lose most of what I’m reading. If I stop and let one idea steep in my mind, go back and reread it the next day, and then maybe look up cross references in my Bible, my mind starts making connections that stay with me over time. ”
Lindsey: “Thanks for joining us, Wendy.”
Theology doesn’t have to be a scary concept. It’s the study of God. Let’s move past pretentious sounding words and dig into the meat of what we really believe about who God is.
Grab your copy of Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives (Re: Lit Books)
by Wendy Alsup and join me next Wednesday to discuss chapter one!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (ESV)