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...]

Introduction To Theology #4 – Postmodern Epistemology

Session Overview Why is truth devalued in our culture today? What is Postmodernism? We live in a different world than we did just 20 years ago. People think differently today about the reality and nature of truth. Your truth is your truth, my truth is my truth-they are both right is a comon belief that we encounter in our Postmodern culture. Why are people thinking in such a manner? By the end of this session, the student should have a better understanding of the history of man's search for truth, learning that the Postmodern view of truth (that truth is relative) comes as a response and reaction to an overly optimistic view of man that came out of the enlightenment. We will begin to answer the question, How should the Christian respond to a Postmodernism culture? Session Reading (for self-study students) What Is Postmodernism? By Paul Copan Theopedia: Postmodernism The Postmodern Challenge R.C. Sproul Jr.: Postmodernism and Christianity The message will … [Read more...]

Intro to Theology – Session 3 – Categories of Theology

Session Overview What is systematic theology? What are the common mistake that people make with regards to doing theology? How important is it that one use a theological process that is testable? This session presents the different categories in which theology is done. The student should gain a greater understanding of what systematic theology is by understanding its relation to biblical, apologetic, historic, dogmatic, and philosophical theologies. A basic understanding of the theological process is introduced. The student should leave with an understanding that biblical theology must be done with great integrity, asking what did the text mean in its original setting? then asking what does it mean for all time? then finally what does it mean for today? Download Notebook by clicking here Session Reading (for self-study students) Representing Christ to a Postmodern World (also contained in Student Notebook) RELATED MEDIA Watch Video Listen to Audio Download Audio … [Read more...]

Introduction to Theology – Session 2 – Defining Theology

Session Overview What exactly is theology and who is a theologian? Why are there so many bad theologies out there? Are you a Tabloid theologian, believing everything you hear? Or are you a more skeptical theologian, who won't believe anything? This session will cover the different methods and commitments, good and bad, that people bring to their theology causing them to be a good theologian or a bad theologian. During this session the student will be persuaded that everyone is a theologian because everyone has theological persuasions and convictions, even if they don't realize it. The student will have to decide what type of theologian they want to be. One can be a sloppy theologian, by naively receiving their belief system without a constructive methodology, or one can be a theologian with integrity, by exercising critical examination. Download Notebook by clicking here RELATED MEDIA Watch Video Listen to Audio Download Audio … [Read more...]