Why is theological education important for all Christians?

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NICHOLS: Theology is for everyone, which is something R.C. Sproul used to say. In fact, he wrote a book called Everyone’s a Theologian. It comes back to what theology is. Some academic theologians have made theology a purely academic thing because they use language that scares people off and is meant only for themselves. That was never the intent of theology.

Looking at the Reformers, while they certainly were capable academics, they were populists—they took the message to the people. They wrote heavy-duty, theologically robust catechisms for children. Luther taught children every day in his home. The Reformers wanted to teach the church about theology because, ultimately, theology belongs to the church.

We need to reorient ourselves to the value of theology and understand it. Then, we will see that this is a moot question. Everyone who loves God loves theology since it is about knowing who God is.

BINGHAM: That’s why I love the tagline of Reformation Bible College: “Theology for life.”

NICHOLS: Absolutely, and that is intentional. It means that this school isn’t just for someone stepping into the pulpit. Certainly, someone stepping into the pulpit has to be a specialist in the Bible and theology. However, it is incumbent on all of us, whether we are in the pulpit or the pew, that we know theology because it is our calling.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Stephen Nichols and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.