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Jen Wilkin & J.T. English: Everyone Is a Theologian. But Are You a Good One?

Jen Wilkin
Image courtesy of Jen Wilkin and Dr. J.T. English

Jen Wilkin is a Bible teacher from Dallas, Texas, a co-host of the “Knowing Faith” podcast, and the author of multiple Bible studies and books, including, “Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands” and “Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.” 

Dr. J.T. English is a professor and the lead pastor of Storyline Fellowship Church in Arvada, Colorado, as well as a co-founder of Training the Church and a co-host of the “Knowing Faith” podcast. He is the author of “Deep Discipleship: How the Church Can Make Whole Disciples of Jesus.”

Jen and J.T.’s new book is “You Are a Theologian: An Invitation to Know and Love God Well.”

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Key Questions for Jen Wilkin & J.T. English

-How do church leaders make the case to regular people that everyone is a theologian? 

-You are both in ministry. How are you seeing a lack of discipleship in local churches?

-What goes badly when we don’t see ourselves as theologians and how does this perception impact our lives?

-What have you seen in women’s ministry spaces regarding whether women are expected to be theologians? 

Key Quotes From Jen Wilkin

“When you think about the Great Commission, it says, ‘Go and make disciples’—we all know that part—and teaching them to observe all that he has commanded. And I think that’s the part that gets lost, is that teaching others to observe everything that Jesus commanded.”

“When you think about the statistics that we’re seeing that are coming out around the theological understanding of the average evangelical, it would seem that we have actually not taught others to observe all that Jesus commanded.”

“What J.T. and I have both seen in the churches that we serve in and beyond is that when people are introduced to these theological categories, they come alive. It’s almost like watering a plant that was waiting to be watered.”

“People are hungry to have a thoughtful approach to their faith. They are hungry for faith to be more than a feeling.”

“What has developed over the last 30 or 40 years has been what we would call the expert/amateur divide. The expert stands on the platform and delivers expert content to the amateur who sits in the pews. And what we’re very committed to is restoring to the life of the church what we call active, dedicated learning environments.”

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“​​What we get from the study of theology is good categories for reading the Bible. We can’t assume that just because we’re willing to sit down and read it, we are in a space to understand it the way that we should.”

“Women have gathered for the last 30 or 40 years and been resourced almost entirely at the feelings level. They have been told that the way that they are spiritually formed is through devotional reading of the Scriptures.”

“Much of what I have tried to do and others have tried to do is to remind women that the call to love God with their minds is every bit as incumbent on them as it is for men.”

“I would say that women’s spaces have been bereft of theology, and some of that is because of the mechanics of the local church. The ‘pink ghetto’ often operates under a benign neglect where the pastor who is overseeing it is not really sure what should happen in there.”