Studying theology can be rather daunting given the depth and complexity of topics, the wealth of literature, and the many disparate opinions. Where do you start?
In this short video clip, Fred Sanders offers two pieces of great advice to his theology students. But it’s advice that I think would benefit anyone wanting to study theology more effectively.
- Pick a major doctrine to focus on.
- Master a classic text.
As he says, the “major doctrines of perennial importance” are daunting in their significance and the wealth of material devoted to them, but they’ll certainly stretch and challenge you. And every major doctrine connects in important ways with all the other ones as well. So having a specific doctrinal locus provides a nice focus for your studies while also giving an entry point into systematic theology as a whole. I stumbled onto theological anthropology early in my studies and have concentrated on that ever since. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time, but having that focus has been amazingly helpful for me. (FYI – Eventually you will want to branch out form that primary focus, but you don’t need to worry about that at the beginning.)