For a lot of women, when they hear the word "theology" they assume that it is better left to the men...or to Christian nerds who have nothing better to do than sit around reading thick, boring books filled with long, indecipherable words. The term itself conjures up images of dense, academic language that have little to no connection with practical life. It is instead reserved for professors and philosophers who like to mull over unanswerable questions about the nature of God and the Trinity.
However, theology is something that I consider to be central in my ministry, yet you won't find the above brand of theology very frequently in my writing. Yes, I make occasional references to the Church Fathers and Gnosticism, but for the most part I cover fairly down to earth topics. After all, most of what I write comes out of my own life.
That said, what do I mean by "theology," and why do I think it's such a vital part of the Christian life? Well it begins with the word itself--theology means "the study of God." That said, theology is a proactive endeavor. Studying involves discipline and hard work. We have to invest time and energy and thought. We don't wait for God to come to us--we pursue Him. So in studying God, we actively seek to know Him better, learn about His character, and understand His ways.
This discipline contrasts with the popular way of relating to God. Many Christians sideline God until they need Him. He serves as a kind of life-preserver that they keep on hand until they begin to sink. He is there to serve their purposes, not the other way around.
With that in mind, by encouraging women to think theologically, I am urging them to resist the temptation to marginalize God. We should instead be pursuing God whole-heartedly, seeking Him daily, and striving to conform our lives to His will, no matter the cost.
In so doing, we will stop being women who use their faiths to merely stay afloat. Being a woman of theology means prying your eyes off of yourself, looking to God, and looking to the world that He loves.
In this way, thinking theologically is the first step toward becoming a woman of vision, a woman who dreams God-sized dreams and is not satisfied with the status quo. If we are only looking at ourselves, then we will only live for ourselves. But if we engage God, actively seek to know Him and study His ways, then we will live in such a manner that reflects the divine heart we encounter.
As long as we use God for our own meager goals, then our lives will be defined by mediocrity. I, for one, am not satisfied with that. I want to be a part of a generation of women who think critically, live radically, dream wildly, fight mightily, and preach boldly. I want to see our city, our country, and our world transformed because women stopped using God to merely boost up their self-esteem, and started letting God use them. That is my dream for women's ministry, and it begins with theology. It begins with straining after Him.
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For several years, I went
to a 'biofeedback clinic'
for pain. The therapists
constantly were telling me
to 'focus' on something, so
as to hypnotize myself. Ech!
It didn't WORK! Then, after
my divorce, I went to a
Christian church for a
divorce care group. Little
by little, I began to focus
away from myself....and
toward the only One Who
could heal me: Jesus the