Brandon Smith and Jeff Medders are pastors, theologians, and friends of mine. This week they released a new book, Rooted: Theology for Growing Christians. Some books we read for pure pleasure. Other books are resources, tools to shape our minds and hearts. This is the latter. Brandon and Jeff have put together a concise, foundational, accessible book to introduce a reader to the study of theology. It’s almost a defense of theology which is necessary in our day of self-defined truth and loose handling of scripture. Rooted is an ideal little book for group study and discussion or for personal benefit. Church leaders should keep a few close at hand to help hungry, curious congregants with their questions.
Here are some of the best quotes from it.
“The aim of theology is worship: meeting with God, living with God, and living for God.”
“He doesn’t simply want you to have good theology; he wants all people everywhere to have good theology. As his disciples who are called to make more disciples, it is important for us to tell people about him in a proper way. We don’t want them just to know about God, but to know God as he has revealed himself.”
“God is more than some sort of cosmic conqueror, ordering his minions to do as he pleases. He cares for his people and does not hide it. In the triune God we have a Father, a Brother, and a Helper.”
“The Word of God is living, active, and armed like an atomic bomb of grace to change our lives for God’s glory and our joy (Heb. 4:12). Come to the Bible not to just learn the data, facts, and figures, but to behold the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Come to the Bible because Jesus invites you to come and sit awhile.”
“The Word is most certainly alive, not like a puppy or houseplant—provide it moderate attention and you’ll derive pleasure from keeping it around. It doesn’t eat or drink, require walks, or rest. Rather, the Bible itself is food. The Bible takes us on walks, and brings us rest.”
“Sin is a disease that makes the bubonic plague seem like a common cold. Sin is deadly, in every sense of the word. It’s the real Black Death. It brings not only physical death, but also spiritual death.”
“[Jesus’s] miracles are not baptized party tricks. They are neon signs or flare guns announcing that the kingdom of God had arrived.”
“The cross of Christ, though it killed him, didn’t end him. He died and he rose again, heart and lungs pumping, brain firing on all cylinders, for the justification, the pardoning of sinners.”
“If eschatology is not encouraging and life-redirecting, it’s not biblical.”
“Death isn’t the final nail in the coffin. There is a glorious eternity on the other side of a non-beating heart because Christ conquered death on its home court. One day there won’t be enough nails in the coffin to hold you in.”
“Heaven is not our eternal home. We may be there for a time, in the presence of God, but he has more for us. We don’t spend forever in the clouds with God in some fanciful dream world, shedding our earth-suits, leaving this world an empty shell. Rather, heaven and earth will come together in one physical, concrete place. We’ll experience the answer, the promise, of the Lord’s Prayer.”
“When we rise again, we will take the most natural breath of air we’ve ever inhaled.”