Request an Exam Copy

My Advice to Students — Al Mohler Reminds Us That Theology and Life Are Inseperable

Categories My Advice to Students

A few short years ago when I was still an M.Div. student I remember a moment in the middle of the adult Sunday school class I was leading when the intersection of theology and life exploded in my face.

We were studying the Fall and an 84-year-old man who witnessed the horrors of WWII while in the Dutch resistance movement could not understand why the Fall could've happened. In fact he was rather angry that God allowed the serpent into the Garden to tempt Eve, angry that He didn't interveen to stop Eve and Adam from eating from the Tree, and dumbfounded that if God knew the Fall was going to happen that He didn't do something about it—resulting in the horrors of his youth.

This 84 year old man had experienced the kind of evil I as a pampered 29-year-old had "experienced" through Schindler's List and Call of Duty.

Now I could sure engage the theological complexities of the Fall in the classroom or in a paper—I had two classes of Systematic Theology under my belt by golly! But when life showed up that Sunday morning in the agony and anger of an old man's questions, I was clueless.

The reason why is because I forgot what Al Mohler reminds us of today in our advice video, "There's no way for theology to be merely an academic discipline...It can't be separated from life." And us students tend to go after the former with gusto, while forgetting to connect it to the later.

So as you begin the semester, dive into classroom debates, engage in rollicking conversations around the coffeeshop table, and write lengthy, meaty papers, yet keep in mind what Mohler (contributor to the forthcoming Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy) reminds us of: "theology and life have to be the same thing!"

-Jeremy Bouma, ThM (@bouma)


"My Advice to Students" is a weekly video series designed to advise and guide students who are studying for a future of ministry in the Church, whether in the academy or in congregations. In these specially curated videos, leading scholars of biblical studies share their seasoned wisdom to help you navigate this important season of preparation.

Can't view the video? Watch it here:

Wednesday Giveaway — Tim Keller's "Center Church"
Wednesday Giveaway — Tim Keller's "Center Church" Earlier this year Christianity Today awarded one of our ministry books their 2013 Book Award for The Church/Pastoral Le...
Your form could not be submitted. Please check errors and resubmit.

Thank you!
Sign up complete.

Subscribe to the Blog Get expert commentary on biblical languages, fresh explorations in theology, hand-picked book excerpts, author videos, and info on limited-time sales.
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at This form is protected by reCAPTCHA.