Every year I pick a subject that I plan to spend the next 12 months studying, or at least that’s what I’ve done for many years. Last year Krista and I had a book to finish and this year…well, this year COVID happened and all my plans seemed to change. But I am planning to get back to my normal routine next year and you can help me decide what I am going to study.
I generally pick a topic from one of five categories:
- Biblical – I study a particular book of the Bible or a Biblical theme. In the past I have spent twelve months studying Exodus, Leviticus, and intro to Biblical Theology.
- Theological – In this category I study a particular doctrine or theological approach. In the past I have studied the Gifts of the Spirit, Calvinism, and the Doctrine of Scripture.
- Historical – In this category I survey a person or time period in history, usually related to church history. In the past I have studied Jonathan Edwards, Martin Luther, and The Reformation in general.
- Practical – In this category I am exploring the outworking of theology in life and/or ministry. Previously I have studied discipleship, church planting, and worship.
- Cultural – In this category I consider issues happening in the broader culture and the implications for the church. Previously I have studied addiction recovery, New Atheism, and pop-culture theory.
As I make plans for next year I am considering all five categories as potential options. I move through each category in a five year period, but it feels like I am starting over in 2021, so any category will do as a starting point. I have a few ideas that I am tossing around: theological method, trauma counseling, Francis Schaeffer, the attributes of God, or the book of James. But, I am at the point now where I am open to any ideas and would be willing to entertain suggestions.
So, if you’d like to help me make some decisions about what to study next year then share your thoughts. Tell me what you think I should study and give me a rationale for why you think I should.
My vote is for the attributes of God. With the world seeming to spiral faster downward and out of control (but we know it’s not) it would be comforting to be reminded as to why we believe that it’s not (out of His control).
Trauma Counseling would be high on my list. In the past it has seemed to be somewhat elusive finding a counselor who could handle some of the deeper stuff. Francis Schaefer would be an interesting one. I have a few friends who studied at L’abri (sic?) under him.