I need to read theology. I just need to do it, and it is one of those things I’ve never been thrilled about. I need to learn to enjoy it.
Why read theology? The great reason is that if you don’t, you are more likely to lapse into your own emphases. One can see more things reading other things, but systematic theology tends to take you in comprehensive directions. It exists to give the comprehensive view and to put the emphases in order.
Another reason is that you have stuff you mean to investigate and somehow never do. I was made to reflect on my ways when in a bookstore recently: the chap complained that reformed types never seemed to want to talk about eschatology. I need to work that out, and I keep thinking I need to get on that, and I make slight progress here and there with what I study; but if I were to read a systematic theology I’d come up against it quicker, with something reasoned and organized, and make more progress.
You know, I have even thought: if I crash and burn and leave this and for some reason end up back in the academy, I think I would study systematic theology and specialize in hamartiology. Strange, isn’t it? No kidding though, it is growing on me.
So I think I’ll take Strong home and begin to plow my way through in small, steady bits.