Much of my life I have been a student of biblical theology. I was given books to read by my teachers and then I had to write essays, do workbooks, and take exams based on the reading. That covers Bible class for most of my early education grades 1-12.
Then I attended chapels, church services, and spiritual retreats where we studied the Bible and engaged in discussion with other students over the meaning of biblical passages and how they relate to doctrine and lifestyle.
There was much prayer and song during this time, and I learned most of the songs in the hymnal by memory. Needless to say I was immersed in Adventist theories and doctrine from the earliest of ages. I was educated by the best pastors and theologians in the world who taught me how to study the bible and how to pray. I learned the scriptures while sitting at the feet of Jesus Christ who guided my education,
One of the things that I learned over the years is the difference between theoretical doctrines and practical Christianity. We tend to get unbalanced when we focus on one at the expense of the other. We can give a bible study on the Trinity and the nature of Christ which is extremely philosophical in nature, or we can tell people how to schedule their day, how to spend their money, how to dress, how to live a healthful life, and how to live out the Christian life in a practical way.
I believe the most effective ministers of the gospel balance both theological and practical Christianity in a way that is interesting and inspiring to the members of their congregation.
The next time you read a verse of scripture ask yourself how this verse fits into the bigger picture of biblical doctrine and the plan of salvation, but don’t forget to look for the practical spiritual applications that can help you gain spiritual blessing from God as you apply His word to your life.
Stephen Beagles (2020)