I just finished reading Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Horger Alsup. I stumbled upon it by accident and I am so glad that I did. It’s solid, meaty, yet easy to comprehend while presenting a rather unique challenge to women. That is? To study theology. Why? Because it is important to know not only who you are, but also what you believe.
Admittedly, the book caught my eye because of the cover. It’s pretty. I think one of the reasons it has the cover art that it does is to appeal to the modern female. The title added to my curiosity. I’m not one to avoid books on theology but it has been awhile since I’ve tackled one. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book but I was pleasantly surprised.
Alsup wrote this book because she has had experience with women who think that somehow knowing Jesus and studying theology are at two opposite ends of the spectrum. She uses the book to argue her point that to truly know God and who He is, one must study theology. However, she also points out that most books on theology are written by men for men. (I don’t necessarily agree with her argument, I’m just telling you what it is.) She is using this book to approach women with the practical applications of theology in their everyday working/mothering lives.
She first defines theology and explains why it is that you should care about it (i.e., why it is important to know what you believe). I need a good reminder on this from time to time. Next she shares some basic (and otherwise) truths about who God is and why knowing who He is, is important. Knowing who God is defines the way you speak, the way you act, the way you go about your day-to-day life! It eases the stresses of life and removes some of the burdens. It regulates the emotions and steadies the heart. I personally couldn’t agree more.
I like this book for its simplicity and yet also for Alsup’s hard hitting approach to convincing women that it’s not ok to refuse to define your thoughts/beliefs/opinions about God. In short, she argues that to tell God you don’t want to know anymore about Him and have no desire to know His heart for you is a slap in His face. She makes her points well. I like that she quotes scripture (at length) in the book. If you take the time to read through every word, I think you’ll find yourself agreeing with her arguments or, at the very least, admitting you haven’t tried to learn as much as you could.
This is a great book for women but it sure would be nice if the men read it too. This book is what it says it is — practical. It’s a quick and “easy” read and I heartily recommend it.
Carrie comes by her book obsession honestly, having descended from a long line of bibliophiles. She blogs about books regularly at Reading to Know.