• Fruitful Theology

about

Why do the theologians rage?

Even a cursory scrolling of social media may lead you to the conclusion that you have to be angry to do theology. Sadly, our day is characterized by theological fighting—complete with harsh words, exaggeration, biting sarcasm, and the spirit of tearing down our brothers and sisters in Christ. But it does not have to be this way. In fact, it should not be this way.

In Fruitful Theology, Ronni Kurtz swims upstream to counter this prevailing problem. Instead of theology leading to anger, division, and discord, this book shows that the life of the mind can actually lead to the fruit of the Spirit. Fruitful Theology is for anyone who:

  • Wants to grow in an understanding of Scripture, but is afraid that knowledge will make them arrogant;
  • Is confused about the relationship between doctrine and Christian living;
  • Is concerned that theological conviction promotes disunity and discord among Christians;
  • Desires to grow in Christian maturity, but isn’t sure how theology fits into that desire.

What if our speech and conduct were seasoned more with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control? How might the church’s unity be restored, and our witness be maximized, if we were characterized by the fruit of the Spirit instead of the spirit of our age? Theology may not be the most obvious candidate in helping reorient our life towards the fruit of the Spirit, but a right contemplation of God can indeed lead to right living for God, and that is exactly what this book hopes to explore.

the author

Ronni Kurtz (PhD, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) is an Assistant Professor of Theology at Cedarville University. Before moving to Ohio, Ronni was a pastor in Kansas City, Missouri for seven years where he also taught theology at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College. He is also the author of No Shadow of Turning: Divine Immutability and the Economy of Redemption. 

author q&a

Why did you write this book? What inspired you to write it?
I wrote this book because contemplating on God is one of the greatest ways to spend our days as Christians. More specifically, I wrote this book because I am convinced a head full of truth ought to lead to a heart full of love and hands full of care. Simply put, I believe the life of the mind can lead to the life of the soul by developing the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the Christian.
For whom did you write this book?

There were really two different groups of people I had in mind while writing the book.

  1. Those who’ve been disenfranchised or discouraged by theology because they’ve seen it misused and leveraged as a mere war tactic instead of a deep well of joy.
  2. Folks who might view theology as inaccessible—those who may think the theological task is reserved for a special few and who believe the lie that they are not well-read enough or smart enough to practice meaningful theology.
How does this book address misconceptions about theology and help readers understand how theology impacts every aspect of their lives?

Theology is often weaponized or politicized in an us-vs-them culture war. Instead of theology being used as an avenue to worship the Lord and love our neighbors, it can be wielded as a tool to belittle others and make much of ourselves. If theology must be a weapon, I hope to show how it can be a weapon of love.

How do these discussions demonstrate the theological life is worthwhile and transformative?
The book is centered around the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians five and shows how a sustained contemplation of God and all things in relation to God can bring about those virtues in our souls. Throughout the book, we look at different truths in the Christian faith to show how focusing our minds on these things will transform us into the kind of people who demonstrate the vital fruit of the Spirit.
How does this book allow Christians of all walks of life grow to be more faithful theologians?
In the book, I discuss how we are all theologians. If theology is the study of God and all things in relation to God, then anyone who has thoughts or words about God is a theologian. The question is not whether you are a theologian but whether you will be a good one. So, my hope for this book is to show readers how accessible theology can be.
How does this message resonate with you personally? What was formative in your own life for coming to see theology as a sanctifying work that leads to the fruit of the Spirit?
A paradigm-shifting and transformative moment in my life was when I was forced to work through a tough bit of theology for the first time. In the wrestling with theology, I found the whole process of theology—as challenging as it can be—can be a transformative experience. What’s more, I found the more I thought about the Lord, the more I loved Him. There was a direct correlation between my thought life and the life of my heart.
How does this book help readers discover what true holiness is and view it as an attractive pursuit?
Beholding God will indeed lead to transformation. As our mind’s eye gets a clearer picture of who He is and what He’s done, we’ll not remain the same. In fact, contemplating God will indeed bring about a transformation from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) until we ultimate are in glory where our faith is turned to sight and we will behold Him unlike ever before.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
My hope is readers of this book are convinced—either for the first time or over again—God is worth it. God’s worth us spending our days reflecting on His glory and grace. I hope this short book is a reminder that theology is not an end in itself. When theology is instead used as a means to the triune God, then it can be a buffet of gladness. I hope readers are reminded that the life spent meditating on our God is the good life and that in doing the wonderful work of Christian theology they are transformed from one degree of glory to another.

press inquiries

For press inquiries regarding Fruitful Theology,
please contact press@bhpublishinggroup.com