Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. (1 Tim. 1:17)

“Why do I have to study theology?” a seminary student complained. “It’s not like I’m going to use it in my ministry.”

He wasn’t kidding. Theology is not very “PC” (pastorally correct) in many churches these days. An increasingly popular opinion seems to be that “worship unites, but theology divides.” For the sake of evangelism, all barriers must come down, we are told, but what if those “barriers” are actually gateways to truth—truth about God and truth about ourselves?

In just the first chapter of his first letter to Timothy, Paul dealt with the sinfulness of humanity, the splendor of God, and the saving power of grace. That’s theology in the service of evangelism and discipleship! The truth about God in our key verse alone (1:17) could fuel an entire sermon series.

When truths that compose the very core of our faith are neglected, the result is far worse than ignorance. It is error. C. S. Lewis said, “If you do not listen to theology, that will not mean that you have no ideas about God. It will mean that you have a lot of wrong ones.”

Paul was determined that Timothy, as a young pastor, would preach the truth (see 2 Tim. 3:10–4:5). Every congregation should expect the same today.

Bob Black is professor emeritus of religion at Southern Wesleyan University, where he served for thirty-two years. Along with Keith Drury, he coauthored the denominational history, The Story of The Wesleyan Church.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.

This article originally appeared on

Get daily devotionals mailed directly to your inbox!

Prefer the print version?
Find it here.