Being Women of Rock-Solid Doctrine


A woman with robust theology is an awesome thing to behold. Think Katie Luther. Many of us have heard the anecdote of reformer Martin Luther, in a season of dragging his feet and feeling glum, found his wife at home dressed in black. Luther is said to have cried, “Who is dead?” And Katie turns to him, deadpan and resolute. “Why, have you not heard that God is dead? My husband, Martin Luther, would never be in such a state of mind if he had a living God to trust to.”

Plucky Katie! I love her for doing this. But have you ever asked yourself, who is the reformer here? It’s not Luther—it’s Katie. She is doing what reformers do best: biblically (and somewhat creatively) challenging bad theology. To be sure, not every low season is the same as Luther’s. Here the Father of the Reformation has allowed dark, dismal clouds to obscure the great reality of a living God. Luther’s mighty doctrine of God has slipped from his eyes and Katie fortifies her husband. Her theology pulls him up. Yes! I say a woman of sound theology is an awesome thing indeed.

Because women of rock-solid doctrine protect their families. Scripture is chockful of such doctrinally plucky wives and mothers. Paul reveals this in his words to Timothy. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well” (2 Tim. 1:5). If Lois and Eunice had had weak theology, it wouldn’t have done Timothy much good. Pursuing knowledge of God makes us eternally useful to our families.

Alternatively, John Piper says, wimpy theology makes wimpy women:

Wimpy theology simply does not give a woman a God that is big enough, strong enough, wise enough, and good enough to handle the realities of life in a way that magnifies the infinite worth of Jesus Christ . . . Wimpy theology doesn’t have the granite foundation of God’s sovereignty or the solid steel structure of a great God-centered purpose for all things.[1]

Wimpy theology can never have a robust doxology. We are no good to our families with wimpy theology. Theology is, by definition, for all the faith-filled—men, women, and children! To delve into the things of God. To forage God’s self-revelation. Because, as John Owen wrote, “All true Christians are God’s theologians, as the saving light of the gospel has been bestowed upon them all.”[2]

But not just their families, women of rock-solid doctrine also protect the Church. Jonathan Leeman agrees,

There’s never a shortage of serpentine or beastly attacks against the church. Every woman, therefore, should desire to be equipped for the work of the ministry of building up the body of Christ . . . This will keep the church from being tossed about by the cunning of false doctrine (Eph. 4:11–14). Every woman needs rock solid doctrine. Imagine if every woman in your church had it. What kind of protection do you think that would afford your church?![3]

In dedicating ourselves to theology we fortify the body so it can be built up in biblical strength. As God’s theologians women can treasure Scripture and its doctrines, learning to rightly handle the Word of truth. Presenting ourselves “to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed” (2 Tim. 2:15). As women in the Church, we can become competent like Priscilla in Acts 18, who, with her husband Aquila, “explained the way of God more accurately” to Apollos (Acts 18:26). Thus, offering Apollos the theological protection Leeman describes.

This Mother’s Day let us desire to be like these women from Scripture and church history, who demonstrate that a life built upon the solid frame of biblical God-truth, can be as hearty as the eternal realities they lean upon. In the knowledge that our Christian lives will only be as strong as our doctrine. Our enjoyment of God will only be as full as our gospel understanding.

Do you want to be fortified? Do you want the adventure of discovering more of our awesome, inexhaustible God? Do you want to be moved to your knees in wonder, growing in godliness as your vision of God grows too? Do you want to be plucky and robust? For too long we have caused havoc in our own spiritual lives by divorcing God-truth from God-enjoyment. The purpose of theology is to warm the heart. Every page of every theology book exists to fan the affections into flame for Christ!

My sisters, let us be women of rock-solid doctrine in this generation.

Adapted from Priscilla Where Are You? A Call to Joyful Theology

[1] John Piper, “The Ultimate Meaning of True Womanhood,” 2008 True Woman Conference, Chicago, IL, messages/the-ultimate-meaning-of-true-womanhood.

[2] John Owen, Biblical Theology: The History of Theology from Adam to Christ, trans. Stephen P. Westcott (Pittsburgh: Soli Deo Gloria, 1994), 687.

[3] Jonathan Leeman, “Essential and Indispensable: Women and the Mission of the Church,” 9marks,, December 20, 2019. Emphasis added.



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Picture of Natalie Brand

Natalie Brand

Natalie Brand lectures and supervises research at Union School of Theology. She is the author of Crazy But True: Connected to Jesus for Life (Bryntirion Press, 2014) and Complementarian Spirituality: Reformed Women and Union with Christ (Wipf & Stock).
Picture of Natalie Brand

Natalie Brand

Natalie Brand lectures and supervises research at Union School of Theology. She is the author of Crazy But True: Connected to Jesus for Life (Bryntirion Press, 2014) and Complementarian Spirituality: Reformed Women and Union with Christ (Wipf & Stock).