Bibliology and Hermeneutics – Inspiration of Scripture What is inspiration? Did God inspire the mind of the author, or the text of Scripture, or both? How does one's view of inspiration effect his or her interpretation? Upon completion of this session, the student should have come to an understanding of the doctrine of inspiration, able to define what it means and how it is to be distinguished from revelation and illumination. The student will learn the different theories of inspiration that are held by theologians today. The student should understand that how one defines inspiration will determine how they interpret Scripture. Much time will be spent on the commonly held view of inspiration called “Mechanical Dictation.” It will be argued that this view evidences a neglect of the human element of Scripture, what we call “biblical Docetism, and is the primary hindrance to proper interpretation in many evangelical communities today. Most basically stated: without a proper view of inspiration, … [Read more...]

The Great Debate: Greg Bahnsen vs Gordon Stein

The Great Debate: Greg Bahnsen vs Gordon Stein on Vimeo. Christian philosopher Greg Bahnsen debates atheist Gordon Stein. Bahnsen's presentation and defense of the transcendental argument for the existence of God was masterful. He showed that one can focus on a crucial element of defending the faith, not get pulled into side issues, and repeatedly place the challenge before one's skeptical opponent. "The transcendental proof for God's existence is that without Him it is impossible to prove anything. The atheist world view is irrational and cannot consistently provide the preconditions of intelligible experience, science, logic, or morality." By the time you have listened to this engaging debate in its entirety, you will have these points firmly embedded in your mind.     … [Read more...]

Basic Training For Defending The Faith Video Series by Dr. Greg Bahnsen

Watch and learn as the late Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen teaches you how to think as a Christian. God didn't call us to be secret agents; He demands our minds, as well as our hearts, and expects us to be able to give a reasonable defense for the hope that is in us (1 Peter 3:15). Dr. Bahnsen reveals that our job as Christian apologists is not to change unbelieving hearts, but to simply close the mouth of the unbeliever. This 5-part video series will show you how silent the unbeliever and that faith is reasonable.  The talks include: Part One: The Myth of Neutrality (49 min) Part Two: Introduction to Worldviews (51 min) Part Three: Worldviews in Conflict (53 min) Part Four: Defending the Christian Faith (50 min) Part Five: Problems for Unbelieving Worldviews (90 min) Bonus: An audio CD of Dr. Bahnsen debating atheist George Smith is also included! About the Speaker: Dr. Greg L. Bahnsen (1948-1995) was once described as "the man atheists fear most." He was a distinguished … [Read more...]

Intro To Theology – Session 10 – Unity and Diversity

Session Overview What are the key elements that have united all Christians throughout Church history? What are the core beliefs that unite Evangelical Protestants since the Reformation? Should we seek absolute unity? Or is some diversity healthy for the Church? These are all important questions that are struggled with in this session. By the end of this session, the student should have wrestled with the concepts of unity and diversity. The student should have a greater understanding of what makes up the Great Tradition of Christianity, becoming more confident in the unity of all believers in Christ. Session Assignments (for self-study students) Case study 2 Quiz 2   … [Read more...]

Intro to Theology – Session 9 – Does God Still Speak Today?

Session Overview Does God still speak today through prophets, dreams, visions, and direct encounters or did He cease in the first century? If He did cease, why? Are those who claim speak on behalf of God to be tested the same way they were in biblical times? In this session, we will cover this important and divisive issue. If God still speak directly to people today, then we need to use those to whom He speaks as a primary source for truth. During this session, the student will learn and evaluate the arguments made by cessationists (those who believe that God does not speak directly or through prophets today) and continuationists (those who believe that He does), understanding that how one answers this question will greatly influence their theological methodology. Session Reading (for self-study students) Roger Olsen, Mosaic of Christian Belief, pp. 29-48 … [Read more...]

Introduction to Theology (Session 8) – Sources of Theology

Session Overview What are the sources that Christians should go to for truth? Is experience a valid source? How about emotion? Or should we only turn to the Scriptures when looking for truth? In this important session we will examine all the sources for truth that are available, evaluating them for their trustworthiness. This session rebuilds the stage of truth that will be used for the remainder of the program. The student should leave with a better understanding of the benefits and deficiencies of emotion, experience, reason, tradition, general revelation, and special revelation. Session Reading (for self-study students) Roger Olsen, Mosaic of Christian Belief, pp. 71-88   … [Read more...]

Do some Christians have an inability to separate their understanding of truth from TRUTH itself?

I see a tendency that is present in each individual who studies theology. That tendency is to identify our own understanding of the truth with the truth itself. That understanding becomes so tightly held that there is the irrational fear that reality itself will come unraveled if we are to change our position or open our minds to new perspectives. One might even charge that with some degree of accuracy that the inability to separate our understanding of truth from TRUTH itself is a claim that we have, at least on this issue the complete understanding of God himself. Read the whole article: Hardening of the Categories: Why Theologians Have Opposed “New Knowledge” … [Read more...]

Into to Theology – Session 7 – Traditions in Christian Theology

Session Overview What is the difference between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism? What does it mean to be Evangelical? Why are there so many denominations? This session overviews the history of Christianity with the intent of explaining what are the basic differences between the various traditions of Christianity. The student should leave with a better understanding of why the Protestant Reformation took place and what has happened in Christian theology since. The student will learn the basic differences between Christian liberals, fundamentalists, and evangelicals. Session Reading (for self-study students) Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 47-53 Roger Olsen, Mosaic of Christian Belief, pp. 49-69 … [Read more...]

Intro to Theology – Session 6 – Defining Essentials and Non-Essentials

Session Overview What are the essential beliefs that make a Christian a Christian? What are the core beliefs that someone must believe to be saved? Are there truths that are relative? If so, how do we know which ones? In this session the student will struggle with these difficult questions. The goal here is not that everyone comes to complete agreement, but that we begin to dialogue about such issues, understanding that failure to do so has produced legalism where people are judging others for not agreeing with them on each and every detail on non-essential issues. The student should also begin to recognize that their are different levels of certainty about all beliefs. … [Read more...]

Session 5 – Christian Epistemology

Session Overview What kind of questions are Christians to be prepared to answer today? Modernists ask questions that are rational. Did Christ really rise from the grave? Is the Bible reliable? Postmodernists ask questions that are emotional. Why does God allow evil to happen? What about those who have never heard? In this session, the student should gain a greater understanding of why Postmoderns are asking the type of questions they are. Should the Christian join the moderns or postmoderns? The student will learn what the Christian view of truth should be in response to both Modernism and Postmodernism. Session Reading (for self-study students) Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, pp. 105-126 … [Read more...]