Blogging Through Biblical DoctrineHave you wanted to read a theology book, but haven’t known where to begin? In this series, Jess is blogging through John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue’s book, Biblical Doctrine. Print the study guides at the bottom of each post (or on the Resources page) and follow along! Also, be sure to join the associated women’s Facebook page to discuss the study with other Christian women. Finally, if you want to go back and start at the beginning you may find the Introduction article here.
Congratulations! If you are reading this, it means that you are about to finish the Prolegomena- the introduction to our systematic theology book. Way to go!
Prepare Your Heart and Mind
I have to tell you, as excited as I am to wrap up this introductory section and jump right into doctrine, I always love how our pastoral teachers use the prolegomena to help us prepare our minds and hearts for the consumption of systematic theology. In this section of your reading you will see how MacArthur and Mayhue encourage you, the Christian disciple, to really prepare your mind for this study, and to consider what is expected of you. By providing seven characteristics of the mind that are necessary for the study of systematic theology, MacArthur and Mayhue exhort you, the reader, unto godly motives and understanding before you even begin to study. This a weighty task- one that must be approached with contrition and reverence.
This is an important section of the book in which I encourage you to really slow down in order to truly grasp these characteristics of the mind. You see, in our own expectations of instant gratification, our self-gratifying sin-filled hearts, and our entitled culture, we tend to look at everything as consumers, always asking, “What is this gonna’ do for me?” When it comes to the study of theology, is this the question you’ve been asking? I pray it is not.
Ask Yourself These Questions
MacArthur and Mayhue entreat you to ask a different question. In fact, don’t ask the questions of the study- ask these questions of yourself: “Am I ready for this? How do I get ready for this? Am I prepared to bring my very best as I approach this holy study of God, in order to glorify Him?”
I don’t have any enrichment resources for you in this post as this section is more meditation and application than it is didactic teaching. Take this extra time to pray and ponder this week. Prepare your mind and heart because next week we dive into doctrine!
One last thing. We are only in week three and look how much the study of theology has moved us to meditate on the Word of God, to repent over the state of our own wretched hearts, to pray, to glorify God, to sing praises, to ponder and reflect. Some would argue that theology is just a bunch of unnecessary “head knowledge” devoid of the “heart stuff” that is important to us women. We haven’t even dug into the doctrine yet, and our study is already proving the fallacy of these claims.
Praise God for Our Shepherds and Teachers
With that, I’m praising God for how he uses men (namely MacAurther and Mayhue, along with the editors who worked tirelessly on this text), who have contended for the faith in order to teach us, plainly, these great and lofty things!
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:11-14).
Here is your study guide for this week: Prolegomena 3. Meditate on it. Pray over it. Reflect upon it.
I’ll see you next week as we dive into the Doctrine of the Word of God.
For your convenience, you may download this or previous study guides from the Beautiful Thing Resources page at any time.