Kelly Kapic is professor of theological studies at Covenant College in Georgia. He has authored other books such as God So Loved, He Gave and Communion with God. Kapic wrote A Little Book For New Theologians to act as a primer for the study of theology. He also seeks to frame a proper way of approaching theology. He has used much of the content in the book as part of one of his classes that he teaches at Covenant College.
In part one of the book, which contains the first three chapters, he seeks to make a case for why one should study theology. He begins by stating that one enters an ongoing conversation when seeking to study theology, because each person thinks particular things about God and those things in turn impact how he or she lives. Kapic then explains that the purpose for studying God and thereby getting to know him is to enjoy him. However, the process of seeking to know God is a journey that takes time and an awareness of one’s human limitations.
In part two of the book, Kapic outlines characteristics of faithful theology and theologians. He begins the section by making the important point that true theology is lived out in the realm of spirituality, and is not simply doctrinal knowledge for its own sake. Next, he says that proper theology does not set reason aside, but in fact necessitates the use of reason. Thirdly, in relation to true theology needing to be lived out, he says that prayer should always accompany proper theological study. He then argues that theology should lead people to humility and repentance, because one increasingly faces the reality of a holy God as the study of theology progresses. Next, he says that theology not only changes one’s personal way of living, but also the way one interacts with others, namely through the increase of love and compassion for others. He then explains that proper theological study is in and based on the tradition of the church as well as in the community of the church. Finally, true theological study should lead people to a love for scripture because it is in scripture that theology is founded.
This book provides a helpful foundation for those seeking to begin the study of theology. It also serves as a reminder of some of the important aspects and goals of studying theology for those that have done so for a considerable amount of time. The book hits several important aspects of the practice of theological study, however the content of the chapters is a bit overrun with quotes at times. Kapic’s own points are occasionally drowned out by the amount of quotes used. This does not ruin the overall thrust of the book, but it does present a minor weakness in the book. Nevertheless, the points made in the book deem it useful for beginning students in Bible college or seminary, as well as beginning pastors or lay leaders. I would consider it a very useful discipleship tool.