Why is it important to study Doctrine? (Because stars aren’t specks of dust above our head)

This semester St. Alban’s at the Citadel will be starting a series called, “Doctrine: What every Christian should know”. Which leads me to ask… Why do we study Doctrine? Joshua Harris relates the following in reply to the answer:

“I knew a girl who used to think the stars were tiny specks of light just over her head. I’m not kidding. And she wasn’t in grade school when she believed this. She was in college. She was a really sweet, kind, redhead who spoke almost perfect Spanish. She was intelligent in many ways. But one day in a conversation she mentioned that she had just learned that stars in the night sky were actually really far away. I asked her what she meant. She said, “You know, they’re not just right up there. They’re not just tiny dots. They’re really far away.”

I was incredulous.

“What did you think they were before?” I asked.

“I thought they were, you know, just right up above us.”

If you were to ask me why it matters that we study the doctrine of God, I’d say for the same reason that it’s worth knowing that stars are not tiny pinpricks of light just above our heads. When we know the truth about God, it fills us with wonder. If we fail to understand his true character, we’ll never be amazed by him. We’ll never feel small as we stare up at him. We’ll never worship him as we ought. We’ll never run to him for refuge or realize the great love he’s shown in the measureless distance he bridged to rescue us.”

Joshua Harris, Dug Down Deep (Multnomah, 2010), pp. 48-49

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