Book Review: Practical Theology for Women

The idea that theology, the study of God, is practical in our everyday lives makes sense. Why wouldn’t it?

To know God, or to know anyone for that matter, is to study Him. But sometimes the word theology is toted as this lofty subject kept for theologians, pastors, and other academicians. It comes off feeling stuffy and impractical for our everyday lives, when in actuality it should be our everyday life.

Practical Theology explores the basics of theology, the study of the nature of God, and how it relates to our lives in practical ways.

The basic premise of Practical Theology for Women is to live your life based on the truth of who God is. It’s simply stated, but so profound.

Who God is and how we respond to life circumstances are in direct correlation with each other.

If we know God to be faithful, then even in the most dire of circumstances we have hope.

If we know God to be just, then we can be assured wrongs will be righted.

If we know God to be loving, then we will have no fear in confessing our sins.

If we know God to be Father, then we can trust his guidance.

The problem, as the author Wendy Alsup puts it, is “some of us don’t know the truth of the character of God” (p.99). We know of God. We know about God. We know stories of God. But, oftentimes, we don’t live as if we truly know God and he is real.

This reminds me of a quote by Dallas Willard, “Namely, we believe something not when we say we or even when we believe we do, but when we act as if we do.”

Wendy continues,

“How often are we devastated, disappointed, or frustrated by problems that cloud our day and hang over our head? It may be as simple as getting a flat tire, more serious like losing a job, or the most serious issue of losing a loved one in death.

What issue has put you in a bad mood? What situation is hanging over your head right now like a thunderous rain cloud? What thought patterns are governing your attitude? And are you going to allow those thought patterns to be your master, or are you going to take those thoughts captive and make them submit to what you know to be true about God? (emphasis mine)

This is why knowing theology–knowing God–is so important. It’s practical.

While it doesn’t dig deep into heavier theological topics and terms, Practical Theology for Women is a good primer as an introduction of why knowing God beyond our emotions and the Sunday School storyboard is essential to fruitful Christian living.

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