“You Are A Theologian: An Invitation to Know and Love God Well” by Jen Wilkin and J.T. English
B&H Books, 2023
Books on theology can be rather dry and difficult for many Christians. Jen Wilkin and J. T. English set out to remedy that by writing “You Are A Theologian,” an overview of Christian doctrine that is easy enough for newer believers but also engaging for more seasoned Christians.
English serves as the pastor of Storyline Church in Arvada, Colorado, and he has a doctorate from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Wilkin is a popular women’s Bible teacher from the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas. They emphasize that all people have thoughts about God, whether accurate or not. In that sense, everyone is a theologian. “A book cannot make you a theologian because you already are a theologian. Be the best one you can be” (p. 14).
The authors make a case for the importance of sound theology and then survey nine general areas: the Trinity, the attributes of God, the revelation of Scripture, the nature of humanity, the tragedy of sin, the person and work of Christ, the person and work of the Holy Spirit, the nature of the Church and the doctrine of the end times.
The strength of the book is its clarity and balance. They introduce theological terms like immutability, omniscience and the hypostatic union, but they explain these terms with simplicity.
They address some of the major heresies that Christians have faced, particularly in how Jesus is understood. “These common misconceptions still populate the pews today to varying degrees, as every generation of believers tries to resolve the tension of the dual nature of Christ” (p. 124). They give concise explanations that many church members will find enlightening.
There are some controversies they avoid, however. You won’t find a description of the debate between Calvinists and Arminians or a detailed look at different views of the gifts of the Spirit or end-time events. They stay focused on issues about which most evangelical Christians have agreement. For some, this may be a drawback, but for those looking for a good introduction that that lays a strong foundation about basic biblical doctrine, this is a valuable resource.