One of the things my ministry (Cerebral Faith) aims to do is to get Christians and non-Christians alike to “use the brains that God gave them” to cultivate an intellectually satisfying Christian worldivew. So many Christians are unable to give a defense for the reason for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15) and only a relative few are able to articulate even one good argument for the existence of God. Worse yet, many Christians have a poor grasp of theology and biblical doctrine. They are not being adequately fed from their pulpits nor are they taught how to properly mine the word of God for the knowledge and wisdom they need to have a reasonable, biblically grounded, logically coherent Christian worldview.
But one of the things that I sometimes worry about is stressing the use of the intellect so much that people who follow mine and other apologetic ministries could lapse into a cold passionless faith. It’s a tendency I myself also need to guard against.
Amy Gannet’s book “Fix Your Eyes: How Our Study Of God Shapes Our Worship Of Him” stresses the need to avoid the two extremes; an emotionally charge air headed Christian faith on the one hand and a cold rational “Spock-like” Christianity on the other. We need to use the hearts God gave us as well as the brains, and, moreover, our intellect and emotions should go hand in hand. A nice unified whole.
Amy’s goal here is to reach people who fall into the errors on both ends of the spectrum. The “theologically minded” people like me, and the “worship oriented” people like….well….a lot of Christians.
I loved how she opened the book with a statement that immediately brought R.C Sproul to mind. She recalled the words of her seminary professor who said “You are a theologian”. He actually repeated it 3 times with an emphasis on the third. “YOU are a theologian”. What does Amy and her professor mean? We all have ideas about God. Even if you’re an atheist, you have ideas or beliefs about God (in this case, that He doesn’t exist and is made up). Even a-theology is theology. You have beliefs, thoughts, and opinions about God. Now, here’s the question, Amy’s professor asks, are you a good one? We study theology (biblical, systematic, and natural) to become good ones. And why does it matter that we are good ones? Because what we believe about God affects how we see him and how we live our lives?
Amy Gannett writes, “The whole of the Christian life is worship of God. To be a Christian is to put a stake in the ground in terms of our highest affections, letting the God of the Bible lay claim on our hearts and lives in such a way that everything we are and everything we do wraps around our worship of him. Worship is what happens when what we love shapes us—when we submit our character, choices, wills, and ways to God out of love and reverence for him. Worship is love for God that seeks to obey, honor, praise, and adore him; it is setting the eyes of our hearts on him in love and responsively lifting our faces toward him in awe and affection.”
The book is an overview of the basics, a brief overview of theology as a whole.
Introduction: The Necessary Marriage of Theology and Worship
Chapter 1: Theology Proper: Worshiping the God Who Is
Chapter 2: The Trinity: Worshiping God Triune
Chapter 3: Christology: Worshiping God Incarnate
Chapter 4: Pneumatalogy: Worshiping God the Spirit
Chapter 5: Soteriology: Worshiping the God Who Saves
Chapter 6: Bibliology: Worshiping the God of the Word
Chapter 7: Ecclesiology: Worshiping the God of His Body
Chapter 8: Eschatology: Worshiping the Coming King
This book gives a nice overview of the basics of Christian theology in addition to telling you how it should shape your worship of God and adoration of him and how you should apply it. For this reason, I would recommend the book to the new believer as well as to the unbeliever. It’s a nice get-your-feet-wet kind of book to the various different areas of Christian theology.
Disclaimer: B&H sent me a physical copy of this in advanced and I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.