My biggest hope with the teaching of systematic theology is that it will give people a truly Christian worldview and then inspire and motivate them to read books that further develop and cultivate that biblical worldview. If people in our churches gave up 10 hours of television, talk radio, sports radio, political programming or shopping or you-name-it per week and spent those 10 extra hours reading or listening to audio of God’s Word and great Christ-exalting books and videos, it would make a phenomenal difference.
If our young people were taught systematic theology (age-appropriate of course, which can be done from childhood), which is the same as a Christian worldview, before going off to college, they would be equipped to answer the questions and challenges to their faith they’ll see and hear every day. They would at least have a chance. The way it is now they go off to college with little more than a few isolated stories they heard in Sunday school and youth group and in their home. And this meager knowledge can’t begin to stand up against the onslaught of anti-God, anti-Bible and anti-church doctrine that will overwhelm them (sometimes, tragically, even at so-called Christian colleges).
When someone asked me in an email, “What’s the value of systematic theology?” here was my answer.
Pastor Kevin DeYoung recently wrote a wonderful answer to the question “Why should we study systematic theology?” I would encourage every Christ-follower to read this, and to take to heart the vital points Kevin makes.