Is doctrine really that important? Why do we need to study theology? All we need to do in order to be saved, is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for our sins.
This question was posed by the professor on our first day of class last week. His question, which I thought was rather insightful, was, “How much doctrine is implied in that statement?”
- Humanity needs salvation?
- What do we need to be saved from?
- What do we need to be saved to?
- How are we saved?
- What is salvation?
- Do we have to do something for salvation?
- Or is it salvation something we receive?
- Did someone else do it for us?
- Is belief all that is required for salvation?
- How does what we believe impact what we are?
- Is that it? We believe and move on?
- What does it mean “to believe?”
- Did Jesus really exist?
- How do we know that Jesus is the Son of God?
- Is Jesus the only Son of God?
- Is Jesus the only way for salvation?
- Who is God?
- How did we figure out who God is?
- If Jesus is the Son, who is the Father?
- What is He like?
- If there’s a Son, and a Father, who else is God?
- Did Jesus really die on the cross?
- How could someone’s death impact anyone else’s life?
- Why would Jesus die for our sins?
Obviously, this list is far from exhaustive, but the point is that when we make any statement concerning God, the Bible, or salvation, we assume doctrine. We can’t get away from it.
That’s why it’s important for everyone – not just pastors – to study doctrine.
Here are some books that are accessible to any believer to help you study and understand theology.
- Bible Doctrine by Wayne Grudem
- Doctrine by Mark Driscoll
- Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris
- The Christian Faith by Michael Horton
- Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen