THEOLOGY 101 Session One: Theology and Scripture.

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THEOLOGY 101 Session One: Theology and Scripture

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Transcript of THEOLOGY 101 Session One: Theology and Scripture.

  • THEOLOGY 101Session One: Theology and Scripture

  • Thinking about God

  • What is theology?A basic definitionTheos + logosReasoning about GodMore generally, reasoning about the entire body of beliefsThe study of the faith

  • Theology DefinedTheology: the quest for the ultimate truth about God, about ourselves and about the world we live in. (Christian Doctrine, S. Guthrie, John Knox Press, revised edition, 1994, p.1)

  • Why Do Theology?Philippians 3:8More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

    Hebrews 5:13-14For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

  • Discussion QuestionsHave you ever thought of yourself as a theologian? Why or why not? Describe, if you are able, any distinctive aspects of Reformed theology. Describe a positive and a negative experience of trying to tell someone else about your beliefs. What made these two experiences different?

  • Theology Helps Us Distinguish Between Essential and Non-Essential BeliefsFor the Christian, beliefs matter, but not all beliefs matter equally.Roger OlsenMosaic of Christian Beliefs (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002), 33

  • What beliefs are essential and which ones are non-essential?There is a God?That Christ rose from the grave?That God loves you?That a Presbyterian form of church government is implied in the New Testament?That Christ is coming back?That the Bible does not have any errors? That Adam and Eve were real people?That God created the earth in seven literal days?That infant baptism is the most biblical mode of baptism?That Christ died for you?That the Apocrypha (15 books in the Roman Catholic Bible) should not be included in Scripture?That miracles happen today?That the gift of tongues ceased in the first century?Others?

  • What is Systematic Theology?Systematic Theology is the discipline of organizing or systematizing theological thought. Systematic theology should be ultimately biblical in nature but also taking into account the history of biblical and theological interpretation.

  • Approaches to TheologyBiblical Theology, What does the Bible teach about ?Systematic Theology, What do we know about this topic as part of the whole biblical knowledge ?Historical Theology, What has the Church believed about ?Practical Theology, How does the Church live its belief about ?Pastoral Care/Counseling Christian EducationHomiletics/LiturgicsEvangelism/MissionsChurch Administration

  • Five Key Phrases of Reformation TheologySola Scriptura: Scripture aloneSola Fide: By faith aloneSola Gratia: By grace alone Solus Christus: Christ aloneSoli Deo gloria: Glory to God alone

  • Thinking about Scripture

  • What do you believe about the Bible?The Bible is the most treasured book of all.The Bible is a human book filled with contradictions and errors.We should be able to add more books to the Bible.It is important to understand the historical context of any text before we apply it to today.The answer to every question and problem can be found in the Bible.We cannot understand the New Testament without understanding the Old Testament.The Bible is too complicated.The Bible is best understood as a library of sacred books.It is important to read through the entire Bible at least once a year.The church should have the final word on how a text should be understood.Other?

  • Approaching the Bible We begin with the God of the BibleWho has made himself known to usThis is taken as an axiom and presupposition by faith We trust it as Gods Revelation Scriptural authority comes from God. In its total extent and in all its parts Scripture is the inspired, and thus also the infallible and authoritative Word of God. What Paul says, God says. Spykman, Reformational Theology, 123Reason is subordinated to ScriptureExperience is validated by ScriptureWe begin with Scripture rather than our own assumptions or biases

  • RevelationGeneral RevelationGod is revealed through the created order (nature)Special Revelation God is revealed through supernatural intervention in history by means of (1) miraculous events, (2) spoken and written words, and (3) visible manifestations.

  • General Revelation God Reveals himself in naturePsalm 8Psalm 19Romans 1:18-20, 2:14-15

  • General RevelationThere is a limited spiritual value to General RevelationThe unbeliever suppresses revelation in nature, so the practical import is that it has no value. But although the Lord represents both himself and his everlasting Kingdom in the mirror of his works with very great clarity, such is our stupidity that we grow increasingly dull toward so manifest testimonies, and they flow away without profit. Calvin, ICR, I,v,11 Believers who have their eyes opened can see God in his works. the invisible divinity is made manifest in such spectacles, but [that] we have not the eyes to see this unless they be illumined by the inner revelation of God through faith. Calvin, ICR, I,v,14

  • Special Revelation Special Revelation is:The self-revelation of GodRedemptive revelationThe history of a Covenant PeopleThe revelation of God in word and deed

  • Tradition Reason Experience EmotionsGeneral Revelation ObjectiveSubjectiveActs 17:11 These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the Scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so.Revelation: Objective and Subjective Knowledge

  • Proposed Stage of TruthScriptureTraditionExperienceGeneral RevelationReasonEmotionsBackFront

  • Special Revelation and InspirationInspiration is, therefore, usually defined as a supernatural influence exerted on the sacred writers by the Spirit of God, by virtue of which their writings are given divine trustworthiness. Warfield, Inspiration in R&I, 77-8.

  • Sufficiency of Scripture

    Belgic Confession, Article 7 - The Sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures to be the Only Rule of FaithWe believe that those Holy Scriptures fully contain the will of God, and that whatsoever man ought to believe unto salvation is sufficiently taught therein.2 Timothy 3:15, the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

  • Discussion QuestionsNow that we have reviewed the course, what are you thinking about the field of theology? If you had to name one or two things you wished you understood better when it comes to God and how God interacts with this world, what would it/they be? What reflections about the relationship of theology or Scripture to your life would you like to share with the group?

  • Looking AheadNext Session: God: Father, Son, and Holy SpiritNature, names, and attributes of GodTrinityPerson, work, and offices of ChristWork of the Holy Spirit

    A Basic DefinitionThe word comes from two Greek words, theos and logos, meaning reasoning about God or the study of God. But the word is usually used more generally to refer not simply to things pertaining to God, but also to those things which pertain to the entire body of beliefs of Christianity or some religion. Understood more generally, then, Christian theology is the study of the body of Christian belief (he pistissee Jude 3): the truths about God, humanity, the world, and the relation between those.

    Activity: Group discussionIf you have time, have the class break up into groups of two and discuss and fill out this chart in their class notes. If there is not time, answer these questions through a class discussion.

    If this cannot be done during class because of time constraints (which will probably be the case), have the people do it during discussion time.Presentation Notes:This slide demonstrates how all sources must submit to the Scriptures, since Scripture is the only objective guild that has been unaffected by sin. (Although, it must be admitted again that our interpretation is affected by sin).

    Illustration:Refer back to The Inch held at the Smithsonian Institute. All other inches must correspond to the true inch. Activity: Class discussionAsk people to find the stage of truth that this most resembles. They should answer the Protestant Reformation stage. Then ask them to state the difference.

    Presentation Notes:Notice that the only difference between this stage and the Protestant Reformation stage is that emotions have a definite place. This stage would agree with the Protestant confession of sola scriptura in that the Scripture alone has ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice and that Scripture alone is the objective and infallible source of revelation.