As a recent graduate of Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky., I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the past two years and what the Lord has done in my life.
I grew up in a gospel-centered family that constantly encouraged me to walk with the Lord. I was humbled by opportunities he allowed me to be part of as I grew older. A couple of years ago, when I was presented with the idea of attending seminary, I wasn’t overly excited. I didn’t want to move again and, quite honestly, didn’t see the value of getting a theological education.
That’s what made the next two years so surprising. I can sum up my time in seminary this way: I didn’t realize how much I didn’t know about God.
My first semester, I took a Systematic Theology class and was blown away by things that I had never heard about before. I simply hadn’t known what I didn’t know. It wasn’t as if my church had neglected teaching the gospel, but I was made aware of the greatness of God and his never-ending attributes. God became so much bigger than I had made him out to be in my everyday life.
Personally, I started to realize my smallness towards God, but also how deeply he loves each and every one of his created beings. Every person is not only made in the image of God, but can also have a relationship with him. We hear that a lot in our churches on Sundays, but how often do we really grasp what that means, especially when we look at all the attributes of God?
We have biblical evidence that there is always something more to know about God. Consider Ephesians 3:18, where the apostle Paul says, “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Over the past two years, I have taken what I learned that first semester and built upon that foundation of realizing how deep and wide are the things I don’t know about God. At seminary, I learned alongside people of all ages and backgrounds who are being equipped to be sent all over the world to share the gospel. When you stop learning about God and think that you know all there is to know, you are cutting yourself short, as well as those you are leading and teaching.
God is so much greater than we could ever imagine. Realizing we have so much to learn should humble us to read God’s Word every day, and to rely on him to open our eyes to the truths of the gospel.
Sometimes the realization that I have so much still to learn is overwhelming, but it’s also exciting. Here in Louisville, I attend a church where I’m involved in women’s ministry. This fall, we will dive into a study about creation, how things once were, and how they are now, after the fall. At first glance, the material looks like something the average churchgoer could easily explain. But by taking a deeper look into the Scriptures, I have been realizing so many new truths that I never saw before in the creation account.
When we understand how little we actually know, it creates a passion in us to dig deeper into the Bible. This can be challenging at times and discouraging when we don’t understand what we are supposed to be learning. But over time, God reveals his truth to us.
This is true for every Christian, not just the seminary student or theologian. We all have something to learn. We all have things that we don’t know, we don’t know. But God, in his kindness, is always teaching us new things. We just have to be willing to get to know him more.
Carrie Campbell is a graduate of Southern Seminary and currently serves as an admissions counselor. She was a member of Delta Church in Springfield before moving to Louisville, Ky., to attend seminary.