I’ve studied a lot of good theology books in college as part of my Biblical and theological studies. They have always challenged my understanding of who God is, pushed me to grow closer in my relationship with Christ, and encouraged me to share who He is with others.
What are theology books? Theology books are Christian books on the study of God. These books are rich in the knowledge of who God is from the Bible and are written by men and women who know God personally and have a deep relationship with Him. Theology books are also practical in showing you how to live out your understanding of who God is through your relationship with Jesus Christ in relationship to others.
In this blog, we’ll look at the definition of theology, different viewpoints of studying theology, and why theology books matter.
Definition Of Theology
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.A.W. Tozer
The definition of theology is the study of God. The word “Theos” in Greek means “God” and the word “logos” means “the study of”.
People who study God are called theologians. They are people who have spent years studying the scripture, Bible commentaries, and other books seeking to know who God is.
In other words, A.W. Tozer said that theology is what you know about God. What you know about God shapes your beliefs, and what you believe about God is the practical theology that shapes your life, purpose, and how you interact with others.
Studying Biblical theology is important because religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Catholicism, along with many others, have their own theology of who their gods and goddesses are.
Even atheists have their own theology of God even though they say that they do not believe in God.
You also have a theology of who God is. How you’ve been raised, where you’ve lived, and what you have watched and read have all influenced your idea of who God is.
This is why it is important to know what you believe because what you believe will impact your lifestyle, culture, and social relationships with others.
As Christ followers, it is important to have a correct view of Biblical theology so that you can know who God truly is.
By reading your Bible and seeking the Lord in prayer with the desire to know Him, you will grow in your understanding of theology and know how to apply it to your life. This is why theology books can be helpful in your walk with Christ.
What Are Theology Books?
Theology books are studies of who God is and what He has done for you. These books hold foundational truths to the Christian faith and are written by people who firmly believe God’s Word is truth. Many of them are also written in a way that is easy to understand.
Books on Christian theology can be used for a variety of studies and purposes. Theology books can be used for personal study on the nature and character of God.
They are also used for courses in Bible schools, discipleship, mentorship, seminary, pastoral care, and counseling.
Theology books have rich Bible teaching and help you understand who God says He is from His Word.
Knowing who God is will deepen your relationship with Him and help you know how to share Him with others.
The best place to study theology is God’s Word because it is infallible and timeless. Good theology books cross-reference passages in the Bible to the passage, verse, or subject you are studying so that you gain a better understanding of what God wants to teach you.
Every topic that is covered in Biblical theology has already been made known to you by God through the Bible.
Theology books, however, are helpful tools for digging deeper into these areas to help you understand more of what these revealed truths mean in living for Christ.
Finding Biblically-Based Theology Books
It is important to be careful about what theology books you read. As a Christian, you must be aware of what you allow into your mind about who God is.
When picking a theology book to read, do some research about the author or talk to a friend who has read the book before. Find out if the book is scripturally-based and if people found the book helpful in their walk with Christ.
As Christians, we study the God of the Bible. However, in other religions, their books will be talking about their gods or goddesses.
Sometimes other religions may have similarities to Christianity, but it is not the truth. The enemy has twisted the truth and deceived millions of people into walking toward destruction.
It is important to be rooted in the truth of God’s Word so that you can spot these lies easily.
If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.1 Timothy 6:3-4a ESV
What you read and believe shapes and transforms the way you live. Thus, be careful that your beliefs about God are being shaped by the truth from the Bible.
Two Categories of Theology
Christians have two different categories of theology: narrow theology and other theological topics.
Narrow theology focuses primarily on who God is. It explores His existence, His works, and His attributes. Then there are other topics that are related to the theology of who God is which focuses on the study of who we are, our relationship with God, and how He deals with humanity and all other aspects of creation.
This means that there are a lot of theology books out there for you to read.
Narrow theology focuses primarily on who God is—His attributes, nature, characteristics, and works—within the Trinity.
These are the three main areas that concentrate on the study of God.
- Theology Paterology: The study of God the Father
- Christology: The study of the Person and work of Jesus Christ
- Pneumatology: The study of the Holy Spirit and His work
Other Theological Topics
These other theological topics flow out of your understanding of who God is. This is extremely important because how you view God will impact how you see all other areas related to Him.
- Soteriology: The study of salvation through Jesus Christ
- Bibliology: The study of the Bible
- Christian Anthropology: The study of human nature
- Hamartiology: The study of nature and effects of sin
- Angelology: The study of angels
- Christian Demonology: The study of demons
- Theology of Suffering: The study of how God uses suffering for His glory
- Ecclesiology: The study of the nature and mission of the church
- Christian Eschatology: The study of the end times and last days
Viewpoints on Studying Theology
Throughout church history, we have learned that Christians have various viewpoints on reading and studying theology books based upon multiple factors. Here are a few examples.
Christian Theology Distracts
Some views say studying theology will distract you from a personal relationship with Christ.
The concern here is that if you are so focused on theology, you will forget to nurture your relationship with Jesus. Over time, you could end up spending more time getting your theology right rather than spending the necessary time getting to know Him personally.
However, on the other hand, studying Biblical theology can and will benefit any believer in their walk with the Lord. Biblical theology can draw you closer to God because you will know how to relate to Him better.
It is important when studying theology to always prioritize your relationship with God first.
The purpose of studying theology is to get to know God better. Thus, it is not wrong to study theology, just remember to spend time with the Lord while doing it.
Christian Theology Divides
Other views say Christian theology divides people, churches, and communities. Because there has been too much division, it is better to avoid theology so people don’t get hurt.
The concern from this viewpoint is that having a specific view on theology will only cause more disagreements, arguments, and people leaving the church.
If you as a Christian truly want to show the love of Christ, then you will not fight over theological issues but rather have open conversations and friendly debates.
However, Biblical theology based upon God’s Word should be the foundation for relationships within the church and biblical communities.
Theology should not divide Christians but rather unite people together as they discover truths about who God is and how we should care for one another.
It is important that you do not avoid the topic of theology because theology shapes your thoughts about God and influences your actions. There are core fundamental truths that remain the same all of the time and it is important that you do not tolerate anything that is outside of the truth from God’s Word.
Christian Theology is Only for Pastors
Another view is that Biblical theology is only for pastors, seminary students, or Bible schools.
The truth is that pastors, seminary students, and students in Bible school need to learn and teach Biblical theology. It lays a critical foundation for understanding who God is, what Jesus did on the cross, and why Christians are called to live for Him.
However, they are not the only people who need Biblical theology. It’s for you too.
Studying theology helps you better understand God, yourself, and your purpose. It also helps you define what you believe in and why you believe it.
Knowing God also increases your love for Him. This is why reading God’s Word and studying it daily is so important.
Why Theology Books Matter
Without the proper understanding of God, it is hard to relate to Him and grasp His unconditional love and grace.
As a Christian who wants to be strong in your faith, it is important to read theology books to know who God is so that you can share Him with others.
Living in a world that is extremely syncretistic and blinded from the truth, it is especially important to be studying who God is from the Bible so that your eyes are constantly aware of the truth.
You should rejoice that God has opened your eyes to the truth. The more you study Him, the more your heart will be longing to know Him personally and intimately.
It is important to read good theology books because they help you grasp God’s truth. They also teach you about who Jesus is, who the Holy Spirit is, about God’s nature and character, and how to walk in the light of God’s truths.
When you know who God is, you will gain a deeper love and understanding for Him in your life which will lead you to share Him with the people around you.
Here are some examples about you could learn while doing studies about God. This is why reading Bible-based theology books matters.
God Is The Creator
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1 ESV
God created everything except for sin and darkness. Everything that you can see, touch, hear, taste, and smell, He created. He created you. He also created the things that we cannot see. This is Biblical theology.
Knowing that the living God is your Creator helps you understand that you are wonderfully designed and created with a purpose.
You are also made in the image of God, which means that your ability to design and create reflects His image.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.Genesis 1:26-27 ESV
God Is Love
Another example is understanding who God is knowing that God is Love.
If you can understand how deep God’s love is for you that He sent His one and only Son to die for you so that you can know His love forever, then you can understand how to love others.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent His only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.John 4:8-11 ESV
God Is Self-Existent
Another example of God’s nature is that God sustains all things in Himself. He depends on no one and endures forever and ever.
This means that you are powerless on your own. You need God to live and thrive. Understanding that God is self-sustaining brings a greater understanding of your great dependency on Him for life and everything.
For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself.John 5:26 NKJV
God Is Omnipotent
God is immanent and omnipotent, meaning that He is everywhere and always near so that He can be known by you.
He is not some faraway deity that distances Himself from you while ruling over the universe, but He is close to you, dwelling in your heart and involved in every detail of your life. This means that He cares for you and is interested in what is going on in your life.
For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?Deuteronomy 4:7 ESV
If you truly believe this, then you can turn to God at any point in your day and life and acknowledge His presence, and thank Him for caring about the little details of your life.
God Is With You Always
My personal favorite attribute of God is that He is always with us. He is Immanuel. This means that no matter where you are or what you do, God is always beside you. He has promised to never leave or forsake you.
If you truly believe God is with you always, then when you are walking through stress, hardships, or family and financial troubles, you can strengthen yourself in the Lord by remembering that He right there with you in the midst of it.
It may not always feel like He is there, but He always keeps His promises and He will never let you down.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:20 ESV
Examples of Theology Books
God can be endlessly studied for all of eternity. Here are a few of the many examples of great Bible-based theology books written by Christian authors.
We’ve created this helpful video if you’re looking for recommendations for theology books.
There are a few listed below as well.
One of the top best-selling Christian theology books of all time is Mere Christianity by C.S Lewis. This book is not just on the study of who God is but on how a Christian should live with the knowledge they have of God. God has used this book to lead many people to Himself and putting their faith in Jesus Christ.
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem is another great book that teaches theology simply in terms even new believers can understand. It is not intended for a straight-through read, but can greatly benefit studies on God, His character, and living out your faith in Christ.
Knowing God by J. I. Packer
Knowing God by J. I. Packer is full of rich truth about who God is. This book has helped many Christians discover and experience the joy of knowing about God through study and knowing Him through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. This book is thoughtfully and carefully written and has impacted many people’s lives all over the world.
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers wisdom on how knowing God affects our relationships with others. In this book, the author writes of practical ways to live out your theology in the way of discipleship. This book has shaped and transformed many people’s lives in ministry, business, and pastoral work.
I hope you find these theology books and many others helpful in your study of who God is. Happy reading!