4 Things My Mom Taught Me About Theology

Derek Rishmawy | May 8, 2016


Out of all the pastors, authors, and theologians in the world, who has influenced you most theologically?

I asked myself this question and started rifling through the names—John Calvin, Herman Bavinck, C. S.  Lewis, Soren Kierkegaard. But then I came up with a surprising answer: my mother, Arliett. The reality is that for all the Calvin or Bavinck I may quote, the deepest roots of my theological instincts can be traced to my mom’s instruction in the faith.

Now, my mom doesn’t have “formal theological training.” She was raised in a Catholic school and got saved in a Calvary Chapel Bible study a few years before I was born. I don’t recall us owning a single systematic theology text in the home before I bought mine in seminary. Mom learned theology by attending church and Bible studies, and through her own devotional reading and the countless hours she spent listening to sermon tapes. In time, she learned enough to be recognized by the leadership at our old church and was asked to be a women’s Bible study leader, which she excelled at leading.

After knowing and loving Jesus herself, more than anything Mom wanted my sister and me to know him too. For the first few years of my churchgoing life she was my Sunday school teacher who used flannelgraphs to teach us God’s Word. After her major…


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