Should Young People Study Theology?

Posted On October 20, 2022

Written by Dr. Stephen Nichols, president and professor of apologetics

I was a teenager in the 1980s, the era of the cassette tape and the boom box. Yes, I had a few of the latter and cases full of the former. And what goes better with music than a car ride in a cool car? My first car was a massive Oldsmobile, with an even more massive engine. Next came a Pontiac Grand Am Roadster, metallic black, racing pinstripes, and a simulated gray convertible roof. Both cars had great tape decks and speakers.

At any given time in our lives there are things that matter to us. They even matter to us greatly. But they tend to matter to us greatly at that time. Years, maybe months, later, they have trended down, maybe even dropping off the radar. I once treasured my cassette tape collection. Revered it. That was then.

I will not assume to know what matters to you, particularly if you’re a teenager in the 2020s, a member of Generation Z. I will offer this advice. Much of what matters to us is not what should ultimately matter to us. Whatever our list is—and your list may be music and cars, too—at the front of the list should always be God. God matters most because God matters ultimately and eternally. God does not only matter later when you’re launched into life. God matters now. That is to say, young people should study theology. Middle-aged people should study theology. Old people should study theology. Why? At every stage of our lives, God matters most. Theology is simply the study of God and the study of what matters to God.

In Dr. R.C. Sproul’s notes from the first classes he taught on theology, he mentions several things:

  • Theology provides a cohesive understanding of God’s Word. God’s Word is our only true, certain, and sure guide. Theology helps us understand it, comprehend it, and make sense of it.
  • Theology also leads us to a greater reverence for God, to live for God and to worship God in all of life for our entire life.
  • Theology leads to obedience. Knowing God leads to loving God, and loving God leads to obeying God.
  • Theology leads us to live for God’s glory.

There is nothing that matters more.