Introduction To Theology (2004)

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Introduction To Theology

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  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is a copyright slide for The Theology Program, published by Biblical Studies Press, LLC . It is not a slide that needs to be shown to students.
  • Slide Teacher’s Notes Information Page This notes section is to inform those who would choose to teach this course using the material provided by The Theology Program. Any and all teachers, professors, and pastors are welcome to use TTP material for the purpose of instructing people in the individual courses or through the entire program. It should be noted, however, that each set of notes, PowerPoint presentations, and assignments assumes knowledge of the previous course according to the program schedule (see program schedule on www.theologyprogram.com). It is our hope that TTP material would be of benefit to those whose purpose it is teach theology at a level greater than that which is readily available though self-study or the typical Bible studies. PowerPoint Slides and Notes: The PowerPoint notes provided have the teacher in mind. They are not meant to be an exhaustive source of information on the topic covered. Neither are they meant to answer all of the questions that may come up during the presentation. What we hope to accomplish with the notes section is to give the teacher a basic understanding of what the individual slide is trying to accomplish along with some additional information on the subject of the slide. The notes will be kept as brief as possible and contain the following types of information: Explanation of Slide: Explanations of what the slide is trying to accomplish. (Most of the time we hope that this is self-evident). Presentation notes: Expanded subject information including definitions of terms with which we feel the teacher may not be acquainted. Also, there may be suggested illustrations for the topic being discussed. Activity: Sometimes the slides are created with a particular learning activity in mind and are non-productive without this activity. If this is the case, a suggested activity will be explained. Sometimes the activities are suggested and left up to the teacher’s discretion. References: This will contain references that were used in the slide and suggested references for further study on the subject. Keep in mind that some of the slides are self-explanatory and, therefore, do not need notes. The teacher is expected to have watched the video of the class being taught so that he can get a better idea of what is trying to be accomplished. Student Notes: The student notes are created to coincide interactively with the PowerPoint slides. Some will have all the information contained in the slides, and some will simply be a blank page so that the student can draw the chart or illustration that is represented on the slide. We have intentionally left much space in the student notes so that the student can take lecture notes. Fonts: Along with standard fonts such as Times New Roman, these are the fonts that are used in all The Theology Program material. If you do not already have them, they can be downloaded from our web-site. It is highly recommended that you use these in all the materials since changing the fonts will affect the format of the notes and PowerPoint. If you change the fonts, it will be necessary for you to reformat the lines and paragraphs of all of the material. Bradley Hand ITC Calligrapher 2. Brush Script MT 3. Perpetua Titling MT 4. Perpetua
  • Slide Explanation of Slide: This is simply an introductory slide that may or may not be explained. You might speak about the importance of knowing God. You cannot love someone unless you know them. Hopefully, you will have read Love Your God with All Your Mind by J.P. Moreland. This book details much of the philosophy of TTP program and gives us motivation to love God with our mind, as well as understanding of how this is accomplished.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : These are the twenty-three primary questions that will be addressed in this course. They will serve as an outline for the course.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : The primary purpose of the following slides is to use humor to put people at ease concerning the rationale for taking this course. While the examples are given comically, they truly are representative of first-time students of TTP.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is the attitude of many. They need to be encouraged, and their fear needs to be taken seriously, since they truly believe that they are not smart and cannot learn at this level.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This type of person can cause much frustration and take over the entire class if you are not careful. The goal is not to keep him quite, but to challenge him through the conversation of the community.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This type of person is very set in his ways. He will not open his mind until you help change his way of thinking. We hope to do that in this course.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : We will use, and expect the student to become aware of, issues in theology and theological terminology that will be new to most. We will not cover issues that amount to academic “busy work” and that are not essential to becoming well informed with issues that impact our spiritual walk with God.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The idea is that the further you move to the left, the less you can count on people’s faithful attendance.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : The Sunday sermon can and does contribute to a person’s theology, but this type of teaching and exhortation is limited in what it can actually accomplish in helping people take ownership of their understanding of the Bible and theology.
  • Slide Illustration: In order to demonstrate this, ask people what they learned in last Sunday’s sermon. You don’t necessarily need to have them answer out loud since there will always be one or two people who can recall it to their mind and then seemingly prove your point wrong. Then ask them what they learned last week in teacher training course. They will more than likely be able to recall more of last Saturday’s lesson than Sunday’s sermon.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is often referred to as the “Power of the Pulpit.” People sense more of the immediate presence of God in a passive learning environment such as a Sunday sermon. In these situations, people not able to argue, discuss, or debate the issues are more likely to let God speak directly to them and, therefore, tend to experience more conviction and short-term life change.
  • Slide Illustration : Ask your students whether they are receiving all of these types of teaching in their lives. Ask them if they are in balance. Most people rely upon the Sunday sermon to give them all of their spiritual education, when, because of its nature, it can only accomplish a small part.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : We realize that there is a time and a need for each of these methods to be emphasized. The arrows represent the goal of The Theology Program to utilize all methods of doing theology, always beginning with and bent toward our irenic approach. There will be times when we are very polemic in our approach. As well, there will be apologetic elements to all that we do. But this all must be done with an irenic spirit. This evidences our assumption that people, even those with whom we disagree strongly, have reasons for their beliefs, and these reasons need to be examined as objectively as possible. If we are not able to do this, we are not teaching but are indoctrinating. Ironically, this is also the ancient symbol for the Trinity. How can we go wrong with this approach! Illustration (1): The often-used illustration of the counterfeit dollar bill helps people to understand what we are not . The illustration goes like this: Those who deal with money are trained to spot counterfeits. Rather than studying the different types of counterfeits, their training involves studying the real thing. Moral: We should only study good theology so that we can spot bad theology when it crosses our path. Besides the fact that this illustration is not true of bankers, it is really not true of theology. First of all, how does one know what true theology is? You must start with an assumption that dictates the entire process. The assumption is that the theology you have started with (the true dollar bill) is the exact representation of the truth. This is more than any of us can say, since we are all biased by our perspective. We need the community of God to help us continually shape our theology. The dollar bill approach evidences a purely polemic and modernistic Christian mindset. This approach, we hope, is more relevant and persuasive. Illustration (2) As well, this can be illustrated in modern American politics. It is very polemical in nature. Neither side ever wants to acknowledge any good on the opposing side, whether in motives or beliefs. The more credible politicians will give due credit to the opposing parties position, while at the same time having strong convictions against them.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This chart describes the progression of courses in The Theology Program. It is suggested that the student take the courses in the suggested order, but this is not a requirement. Introduction to Theology is the prerequisite to all other courses because it gives us the “rules of engagement” for doing theology. The reason why this is different is because we focus only on these seven courses. Many Bible institutes contain so many courses (albeit good courses) that people don’t know what courses to take. There is no pastor guidance. This program is very intentional in its progression of courses. Each class assumes knowledge of the previous courses. This is the pastoral element to The Theology Program. When the program was designed, we asked ourselves, What is it that the Church needs the most? We saw many good Bible studies going on in many places, but we did not see a place where people could learn to do theology. We did not see a place where people were taught to think. Since the public school system is not doing this, and we did not see any high-quality intention programs available to the Church, we thought that we would do what we could to fill this gap.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : It is important to note that TTP covers only the relevant issues in historic, systematic, and contemporary theology of which we believe people need to be aware, so that they can be well informed; this makes the program comprehensive.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : People understand things differently depending on their culture, personality, personal history, and their situation in life. Different people will understand things differently and, therefore, will contribute to the community in different ways. If we were to study theology alone, we would be greatly deficient in our understanding and perspective, and we would become unnecessarily bigoted, exclusive, and isolated from the larger Body of Christ.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Explain TTP logo here.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Have people separate into groups of 5–10 people to discuss the questions found in the student notes. Make sure that each group has a leader who is familiar with the material and able to keep the discussion on track . The discussion groups should last no longer than 45 minutes.
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  • Slide Activity: Neighbor Nudge Have people break into groups of two and come up with an answer to this question. The goal here is to get people to come to an agreement on a definition that is VERY broad so that everyone understands that ALL people have a theology of one sort or another. If we started with a Christian definition of theology, it might look something like this: “The study of God through the revelation contained in Scripture.” But this would exclude people of other religions who do have a theology, just not one defined as ours. It would also exclude the atheist, who also has a theology which is founded on the denial of the existence of God. This early in the course, you need to try to keep the definition broad and inclusive. Our definition: Theology is a belief system concerning deity.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Illustrate this point by using someone who you would not have expected to ask “ultimate questions.” Children always make good illustrations because they ask these questions early in life, especially when introduced to death. When my daughter Katelynn was two, our rabbit named Anselm (I was in charge of naming the rabbit!) died. When we buried it, Katelynn was confused and asked many unsolicited questions like: “Where did he go?” “Why did he die?” “Why do things have to die?” These are all theological questions from a two-year-old! All people are theologically inquisitive. Students may say that some people do not have a theology because they believe that matters of theology are beyond us, being too difficult for finite minds to fathom or understand. But this in itself is a theology. This person’s theology would be that matters of theology are beyond us. No one can escape the fact that they have a theology and are, therefore, in some sense, a theologian.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Have people discuss what Sproul means when he says that we live in the most anti-intellectual period in the history of the west. Ask them if they agree with this. Ask them how the church evidences this anti-intellectualism. This quote can create some great discussion if you give the students time. Reference : R.C. Sproul, “Burning Hearts Are Not Nourished by Empty Heads,” Christianity Today 26 (Sept. 3, 1982), 100.
  • Slide References: These categories are taken from Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson Who Needs Theology? (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1996). Presentation Notes: These are five different arenas in which people can conduct their theology. Each person primarily does theology in one of these five arenas. Our goal in the next few slides is to help people move out of the tabloid and folk theology arenas. Only when this is accomplished will they truly be able to know why they believe what they believe. If people remain tabloid and folk theologians, they will be unable to learn anything new, since they will believe something only if they already agree with it. To folk theologians, whether a teacher is good or bad depends on how much the teacher agrees with them. This will be explained more in the following slides.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Examples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Feed a cold. Sit-ups can reduce stomach size. Side-bends get rid of love handles.
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  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Stop at this point and have the people discuss more examples of Tabloid theology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Look to the video for explanation of these examples.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Stop at this point and have the people discuss examples of Folk theology. You need to take a lot of time with this one. You will get a lot of great answers if you give the students time. Don’t reveal your example until they have had time to come up with theirs. Guide them through this discussion to a greater understanding of the fact that every individual has a lot of Folk theology in them. It is VERY IMPORTANT to point out that there is incorrect and correct Folk theology. We may have learned from childhood through the traditions passed on to us that man is created in the image of God. This is true. This theology becomes Folk theology if the person does not know what it means to be created in the image of God or, if they do know what it means, they cannot tell you why it is true nor defend it in any way. Folk theology is something that we have believed but don’t know why we have believed it. When defined this way, it creates a lot of healthy tension and conviction with the group to become better acquainted with what they already “know.”
  • Slide Activity: Group Discussion Stop at this point and have the people discuss examples of Folk theology.
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  • Slide Activity: Group Discussion Before you reveal the Demon possession slide, ask people this question: “What people, throughout all of history, would you think are most likely to have been demon possessed?” Most people will answer with Hitler, Stalin, or Manson. Why? Because they were evil, cunning, and killed a lot of people. Ask the people where they got the idea that being evil, cunning, and killing people was criteria for demon possession. The people in the Bible who were said to have a demon never went about killing people. Those in the NT were mad and isolationists. They were never out trying to take over the world or committing mass murders. I am not saying that Hitler or Stalin or any of the others were not demonized, but it is certainly not a foregone conclusion. The Bible has very little to say about the activity of demons in relation to man. I think that it is best to remain unsure as to the exact influence behind their mischief, understanding that man, without the devil, is very evil at heart (Jer. 17:9).
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Stop at this point and have the people discuss this question. Basically, most learning calls for deconstruction of unfounded beliefs (Folk theology). This, if the beliefs have been foundational, causes a paradigm shift in people’s thinking and affects everything in their lives. If a person has much of their personality and time invested in these beliefs, it becomes too great a loss to consider change. For example, Mormons have much of their lives invested in the practice of their beliefs (e.g.,, door-to-door evangelism). Therefore, to call into question their most basic beliefs about salvation (i.e., that if you evangelize enough, you can be saved) and to have them actually consider that they are wrong is, to them, the same as asking them to consider that their lives, efforts, and hopes are all wrong. For this reason, Folk theology is difficult to deconstruct.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: We would hope that the Church is moving people in a direction away from Folk theology to more reflective theology. A doctrine of essentiality is an understanding of the essentials of the Christian faith. The ability to distinguish the difference in minor issues (e.g.,, views about the rapture) and major issues (e.g.,, deity of Christ). This is a move away from legalism. We are going to formulate a doctrine of essentiality in this course. The assigned paper, “Representing Christ to a Postmodern World,” covers this in much more detail.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: In our view, this is the place that our students need to be. One of the greatest changes that we can bring about in our students is to teach them to critique their own theology with honesty and humility. This will be done throughout the program by challenging many people’s beliefs and seeing if they stand up to the most intense scrutiny. If they don’t stand up, maybe we should give them up! This is a difficult mind-set to instill in anyone, including ourselves. But if we are to truly be growing in Christ and in our knowledge of Him, we have to have this philosophy. At the very least, it is a non-negotiable for The Theology Program; therefore, much time needs to be devoted to this topic. Theological methodology is what we are doing now and what we will continue to do throughout this course. While lay theologians are willing to use study tools, they usually do not have the ability to read critically, thinking that anything “religious” is worth reading. The ministerial theologian, on the other hand, reads critically, knowing that not all “religious” or “Christian” material has equal worth. Ministerial theologians become familiar with publishing companies, authors, and subjects that are more relevant than others. The ability to critique one’s own theology against other valid options, interpretations, and perspectives is invaluable to the continued construction of theology. Ministerial theologians will read widely in their area of study, examining the best claims of those with whom they do not agree, allowing their claims to change or alter their views if necessary. Theological integration is another way of saying that the ministerial theologian will create a “systematic theology.” To do so, as will be explained later, is to integrate new knowledge with old and, if necessary, to reshape the new in light of the old.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Examples: Professors at seminaries and universities. Charles Ryrie J. I. Packer William Craig J. P. Moreland Dan Wallace The list could go on and on. We are greatly indebted to the Professional theologians who study and research with pastors and teachers in mind. They may not make it to the pulpit or the Sunday school room very often, but much of our learning and teaching is the result of their faithful dedication in the study. Didactically: Oriented toward teaching.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : It is not uncommon today to hear preachers say that studies in theology quench what the Spirit is trying to do in people’s lives. Therefore, many come down on the “theologians,” blaming them for the creation of a spiritless academic Christianity. But this simply is not true. The individual is responsible for acting on the truth system which he builds. One thing that is true is that a person cannot act on what he or she does not know. Orthodoxy (right teaching) is a prerequisite to orthopraxy (right practice). Nothing could be clearer in Scripture. Do not let yourself or your student create a false dichotomy between the mind and the spirit, the Bible does not recognize the difference. The book “Love the Lord with All Your Mind” by J. P. Moreland covers this well.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This type of theology usually follows a liberal academic status quo, although there are exceptions. Keep in mind that we are not in any way saying that anyone who teaches academic theology is an academic theologian in the sense that we are using the term. The way that we are using it is for those who truly represent an unspiritual academia, not because of the nature or depth of the studies, but because of the motivation and results of the studies. Academic theologians are devoid of any purpose of spiritual edification. This is just as unacceptable as folk theology.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Stop at this point and have the people discuss examples of academic theology. Examples: Liberal Theologians who have no spiritual purpose to their studies. People who study and research only for academic standing or approval.
  • Slide Activity: Prayer This might be a good place to stop and pray that you and your class approach this subject with humility and fear.
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  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Have people answer this question. My answers are contained on the following slides. This slide is intended to bring more relevance to our study.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Explain each of these. You can substitute you own. Here are my explanations: The moment we begin thinking about God, we are, by definition, doing theology. Your views of soteriology and the sovereignty of God will affect how you share the Gospel. An Arminian might be more concerned about the urgency and persuasiveness with which he must present the Gospel, while one who is more Calvinistic may be more relaxed while sharing the Gospel, placing more confidence in the Spirit to do the necessary work of opening the person’s ears. Your view of inspiration and inerrancy will definitely affect how you interpret Scripture. Your view of the providence of God will affect how you act when you get sick. Is God in control, or is this something that He does not want in your life? Is a person to mount a rational defense for the faith, or is faith something that does not need rational arguments? Your theology will determine your future plans. Your views about the Christian and culture will influence whether or not you home school or choose public school. The person with the “kingdom of priests” mentality may see public schools as a necessary choice for their children to be prepared for outreach. The person with the “holy nation” attitude may see home schooling as a necessary choice for their children to be sanctified from the world.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Our theology will influence the way we vote, because it is very difficult to separate politics from morality and it is impossible to separate morality from theology. Our theology will influence our battle against sin. Do we have a “let go, let God” mentality, or do we battle sin by taking responsibility for our actions and by changing patterns in our life? Or is it somewhere in the middle? Our theology will help us in our marriage. Do we believe that God has the perfect person out there for us, and it is our job to find him or her? If we do not find “Mr. Right” or “Ms. Right,” have we shortchanged ourselves by not waiting for “God’s best”? Or do we see that “God’s best” may not have to meet our criteria and that it may be God’s will for us to have trouble in our marriage?
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is not to assume that each person in your class is a believer, since the program is open to all who want to learn. But, nonetheless, this is the definition of theology that we will use for the program. Someone has once well said that we are saved in a moment in time, then we spend the rest of our lives discovering what happened at that moment.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Have people separate into groups of 5-10 people to discuss the questions found in the student notes. Make sure that each group has a leader that is familiar with the material and able to keep the discussion on track . The discussion groups should last no longer than 45 minutes.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Give a brief definition of all of these categories. Systematic Theology: A system of studying theology which draws from all sources of revelation in order to come to systematic conclusions about what has been revealed about the various theological disciplines. Biblical Theology: A system of studying theology that uses the Bible as its only source. Biblical theology can be done by looking at particular books, testaments, theology of a particular author, or the Bible as a whole. Historical Theology: A system of studying theology that uses Church history as its primary source. Historical theology studies the struggle, development, and articulation of doctrine throughout history. Creedal/Dogmatic Theology: A system of studying theology which uses creedal statements of faith from particular Christian institutions such as the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Council of Trent. Apologetic Theology: A system of studying theology that is focused on defending the truth of Christianity to unbelievers. Philosophical Theology: A system of studying theology that uses reason and general revelation as its primary source. Most arguments for the existence of God would be classified as philosophical theology. It is very important that you communicate that The Theology Program is a systematic theology program. It uses all of the categories of theology, since all are valuable.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Trinitarianism is more properly understood as the study of all three members of the Trinity, which would include Christology, Pneumatology, and Paterology (the study of the Father).
  • Slide Explanation of Slide: This slide is to further distinguish between biblical and systematic theology. Presentation Notes: It is important to note that students may draw the conclusion that biblical theology is better than systematic since it is “biblical,” seeking the Bible as its only source. This, however, is a misunderstanding since systematic theology uses the Bible as its primary resource, recognizing that it is the only infallible resource available. This concept will be covered in greater detail later in the “Sources for Theology” section. Dan Wallace’s comments about this slide helps us to avoid pitfalls in these descriptions: “The description of biblical theology seems a bit negative. The key here is that biblical theology begins with the author’s categories, emphases, and situation. It also shows us progressive revelation, the unfolding drama of redemption. It is vital to do biblical theology as a prerequisite to systematic theology since we have to know what the authors could have known at the time they wrote before we can assess how their writings contribute to an overall scheme. Further, since the Incarnation occurred in time-space history, since the Bible is not a systematic theology, it is imperative that we look at the data in their historical contexts first. Although we may end up with Chalcedonian-colored readings of the text, this is not the place to start.”
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : This slide helps guide people in understanding the difference between exegesis, theology, and homiletics or application. This process is often referred to as the homiletical process. We will return to this slide many times throughout the program.
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  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when theology is done only with the ancient audience, with no regard for the timeless or contemporary audience. What type of groups would practice biblical interpretation this way?
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The answer is people who have no regard for timeless truth and have no intention of applying it to their personal lives. This would be the consistent method of a liberal, atheist, or agnostic. This is the way that practical atheists live their lives. There is no timeless truth that would bind them, and there are no morals to dictate their actions.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to consider what it looks like when theology is constructed with no sources and no application.
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  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to consider what it looks like when theology is constructed with no sources, no eternal truth, only subjective application.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This represents a postmodern approach to theology. This is very common today in an age when the greatest desire is to be tolerant and accepting. This is the “unity-at-the-expense-of-truth” theology.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when application is taken directly from the ancient audience with no regard for the theological. What type of groups would practice biblical interpretation this way? There are many groups who believe that this is the way of interpreting the Bible that has the most integrity. It is the “the-Bible-says-it-let’s-do-it” mentality. It is a misguided piety that thinks application is to be taken directly out of the ancient audience with little or no regard for the customs of the ancient culture. In this method, there is no extraction of principle and no thought of how each principle applies uniquely in each culture. An example of this would be those churches who read 1 Cor. 11:6 and make it mandatory for women to wear head covering, even when, in their culture, it has no significance outside the church. The act is performed even though the principle does not carry over. In the ancient world, women who did not wear head covering were rebelling against their God-ordained roles as women. This is not what head coverings symbolize today. The principle that needs to be extracted is that women need to understand and appreciate their roles as women. The way this might be applied today is to say that married women should take the last name of their husbands. Another example would be that of churches who do not allow musical instruments in their church because the New Testament does not mention musical instruments. This is the direct application of a misinterpretation of the New Testament that does not take into account systematic theology.
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  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when theology is taken from the Scriptures with no regard for application. What type of groups would practice biblical interpretation this way? This method of doing theology is practiced by many churches whose focus is on Bible study and good theology, but who provide no avenues for application.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when theology is done in reverse order—when theology is taken from subjective personal opinion and then read into Scripture. Presentation Notes : This represents a subjective method of doing theology. The biblical hermeneutic employed here is called reader-response. With reader-response, there is no concern with the original intent of the authors, only a concern with what the text means to the individual (subject) who is currently reading. This hermeneutic is not limited to the Scriptures. It is common in all areas of literature from Shakespeare to Sir Conan Doyle. It is also common in history, politics, and the judicial system. The best example of this would be the current reinterpretation of the Constitution of the United States, where judges are employing the reader-response method of interpretation to the implementation of the law.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when theology is done in reverse order—when theology is taken from subjective personal opinion and then read into Scripture. Presentation Notes : Eisegesis, as opposed to exegesis, is to interpret Scripture by reading your own preconceived theology into the text. This represents a subjective method of doing theology.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Ask people to think of what it looks like when theology is done in the proper order.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This is the correct method.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : All in all, this provides a good illustration of what theology is in relation to the Scripture. This does not illustrate everything that theology is since it must also include other sources. This will be covered in more detail later in the course.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This summarizes the section “Categories of Theology.” This is a good way for someone to construct their theology. Scripture produces a biblical theology that references and is accountable to historical theology, which in turn is filtered through our reason, and finally a systematic theology is produced. From here, we construct an apologetic theology that reaches out and a creedal theology that defines who we are.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Relativism and Subjectivism are frequently used interchangeably, but this distinction is helpful, as some people would hold primarily to one or the other. Examples of Pragmatism would be people’s pragmatic views of divorce (if it makes me happier, ultimately it is right), understanding of ministry success (if there are a lot of people, God is behind it), and the American Revolution (since it was so successful, it was right).
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Let people give their opinions concerning this before moving to the next slide. Give them a few minutes to discuss this. Presentation Notes : As will become clear through the rest of this presentation, the first four best represent our postmodern or emerging culture.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Discuss this question only for a moment. Let people give their opinions, but do not settle the question since it will be discussed for the next two classes.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : This conversation is meant to demonstrate that the belief that all truth is relative is not necessarily new. What is new, however, is that it has become such an accepted global phenomenon. Until today, those who believed that all truth was relative were fringe groups that were more or less frowned upon by the majority of population and educated philosophers. Today, no matter where you go—philosophy, religion, politics, or the general public—you are frowned upon if you do not hold to a relativistic epistemology.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : It is important that you view the video on postmodern epistemology to understand how to present this survey. In the video, the stage of truth is illustrated historically to help the students understand why we are in a postmodern world of relativism. To help build the stage of truth, use people to represent each source of revelation. Reason: A person who majored in math or an engineer. Tradition: The person who comes from the largest immediate family Bible: The person who has the most assigned Bible verses memorized. After the presentation, you should challenge people with the question, “What should the Christian stage of truth look like?” Building this stage of truth is the ultimate purpose of Introduction to Theology .
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This slide explains that we, according to most scholars, are in the middle to late stages of the transition period into what has been called the postmodern period. This slide usually ends the third session.
  • Slide Reference : The illustration of Spock and Data is adapted from Stanley Grenz Primer on Postmodernism (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 1-10.
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  • Slide Illustration : This is a good illustration to open the class. Why did the chicken cross the road? THE BIBLE: And God came down from the heavens, and He said unto the chicken, “Thou shalt cross the road.” And the chicken crossed the road, and there was much rejoicing. COLONEL SANDERS: I missed one? L.A. POLICE DEPARTMENT: Give us five minutes with that chicken and we’ll find out. RICHARD M. NIXON: The chicken did not cross the road. I repeat, the chicken did not cross the road. I don't know any chickens. I have never known any chickens. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I envision a world where all chickens will be free to cross roads without having their motives called into question. GEORGE W. BUSH Because he made a promise to cross the road, and a promise made is a promise kept. AL GORE I do not identify with that chicken—nor any other chicken. I am my own man. GRANDPA: In my day, we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Someone told us that the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough for us. ARISTOTLE: It is the nature of chickens to cross the road. SADDAM HUSSEIN: This was an unprovoked act of rebellion, and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it. BILL CLINTON: I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What do you mean by chicken? Could you define chicken please? JOHN KERRY: It depends on who’s asking. CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK: To boldly go where no chicken has gone before. FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned that the chicken crossed the road reveals your underlying insecurity. EINSTEIN: Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken? POSTMODERN: It is impossible to know why the chicken crossed the road. The chicken himself does not even know why. If anyone thinks that they know the answer, that is fine, and I am glad that they have found their answer, but they have no right to try to push their beliefs upon me.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : Notice the rational element to these contradictions. These objections are an appeal to facts and evidence that can be demonstrated. Illustration : Exercise: When you work out, you have to shock your muscles by getting out of a routine in order to promote growth. It is the same thing with our theology. People cannot truly grow if they are stuck in a routine that does not challenge them in a new way.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Notice the emotional element to all of these questions. The postmodernist is not so concerned about the facts as they are about fairness.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Explain objective truth: Truth that is not bound by any time, culture, or personal opinion. Illustration: “ The Inch”: Everyone is aware of the concept of what an inch is. You may have a ruler that measures by inches. But how do you know that the space allotted for the inch on your ruler is really and inch. How do you know that when they made your ruler it was not off just a little? And the ruler from which they made your ruler was not off a slight bit as well? This could go on and on to the point that what we think of as an inch is really far from an inch. How would anyone know? The answer is that “The Inch” is in Washington at the Smithsonian. It is this standard against which all inches are measured. There is an objective ruler from which to measure. There is an objective truth concerning the inch that exists and judges all other inches. This is what postmoderns would deny concerning truth. They would state that all truth is relative and subjective without any objective standard to which they must measure.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: If the Bible promotes a geocentric solar system, and science evidences a heliocentric universe, one of them is wrong.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Example 1: “I might not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, but that does not mean that others have to hold to my opinion.” (subjectivism) Example 2: “You believe in Christianity because you come from a Christian culture. Those from other cultures are not bound to believe what you believe, because they have learned things differently.” (relativism)
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : Do not spend too much time on this slide . It is simply meant to introduce the students to the influence of Postmodern thought in the Church. These issues will be covered in Soteriology . You will have to leave this section with many unanswered questions—this is OK. Syncretism : In the Old Testament Israel is continually falling into syncretism as they intermingled Yahwehism with pagan religions and practices (e.g., sacrificing on the “high places” (1 Kings 3:3). Today, syncretism is expressed in many different ways. Interfaith prayer services, Catholic Buddhists, New Age Christians, Postmodern Christians (or Christians who believe in relativism or universalism) are all examples of syncretism. Inclusivism : This is a more subtle influence of postmodernism on Christianity. The idea is that Christ’s blood is the only way that anyone will make it to heaven, but knowledge of Christ, while better, is not necessary to make it to heaven. God may choose to apply Christ’s blood to those who have never heard of Christ as long as they are doing the best they can following the dictates of their conscience. This is a hard position to argue against, since most Christians are inclusivists when it comes to infants who die or Old Testament Saints, believing that both groups are in heaven even though they never actually heard and believed that Christ died for their sins and rose from the grave. Roman Catholicism, since Vatican II, holds to an inclusivistic view of salvation. Mel Gibson expressed this during an interview concerning “The Passion of the Christ” when he was asked if Christ was the only way. He responded, “No, He is just the easiest way.” Now that you have created the tension, I would leave this question unresolved until it is covered in Soteriology and Sanctification.
  • Slide Reference : John H. Leith, Creeds of the Churches (Louisville, KY: John Knox Press, 1982), 467. Presentation Notes : This quote, taken from Vatican II, represents the influence of Roman Catholic scholar Karl Rahner (1904-1984), who believed that inward grace is given by God and that a person may find salvation without explicit knowledge of Christ, if they follow and build upon this grace. He called such people “anonymous Christians.”
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Using “The Inch” illustration again, describe God as “The Inch” to which all truth must ultimately correspond. Be sure to explain that there is no basis for truth without the existence of a transcendent Creator. If the modernists are right and there is no God, then the postmodernists are right that there is no truth. They are both inconsistent with regard to the relationship between their epistemology and theology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Ask people to react to this last statement. Give example of things that God cannot do: Cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Cannot change (1 Sam. 15:29). Cannot act against His own nature. Cannot make a stone so big that He cannot pick it up. The main point that needs to be made is that God cannot deny any attribute of His character. Rationality is an attribute of His character; it is not an exception to this rule.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: There are not many verses that speak to the reality of truth since it is presupposed in Scripture. This, however, is one that speaks of its universal and eternal applicability and is, therefore, relevant to our study. It is interesting to note that many people quote this verse when they have something in their lives that happens that they cannot explain or when they cannot understand some area of doctrine. While this application is valid, it tends to miss the main point of the verse. The primary thing that this verse is trying to communicate comes after the “but.” While there are many things that we do not understand because they have not been revealed to us, there are many things that have been revealed. That is the thrust of this statement. There are many things that God has revealed to us, and we should rejoice in that. This verse tells us that revealed truths are binding to all people (“us and our sons”), binding in all places (does not give a cultural or geographical restriction), binding for all time (“forever”), and that they have authority over our beliefs and practice (“that we may observe”).
  • Slide Presentation Notes : “ Apophadic” is taken from the Greek apophemee meaning “to deny” (n. apophasis ).
  • Slide Presentation Notes : “ Cataphatic” is taken from the Greek kataphainoo meaning “to declare” or “make known” (n. kataphatikos ). Christian theology should represent an epistemological balance between both apophatic and cataphatic theology. It is important to stress that the default modus operandi (mode of operation) is to cataphatic theology. When, and only when, our ability to comprehend is shown to be insufficient to understand the issue at hand, we must resort to an admission of mystery (apophatic).
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Christian theology should represent an epistemological balance between both apophatic and cataphatic theology. Postmodernism has had a positive balancing effect upon evangelical Christianity in that postmoderns see the desperate need to recognize mystery in our theology. Responsible theology will start with cataphatic (“the things revealed”) and move toward mystery (“the secret things”) only when there is no other choice. This admission of mystery will come very often, but it should not define our theology or be the starting place for doing theology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is a summary chart on Christian Epistemology. The Christian quest for truth should begin with a Soft Skepticism. Soft Skepticism seeks truth understanding that there are many ways for the naive to be misled (more on next slide). Perspectivism understands that we need the input of others in order to better understand the truth, since we often bring our own agenda and misleading experience to the table. Perspectivism values community and counsel. Objectivism understands that there is objective truth to be found (note: the Christian view of truth is not objectivism in the sense that all truth is objective, but that objective truth does exist). Sometimes truth is so clear that it does not need multiple avenues of verification. This is called the perspicuity, or the clarity of truth. For example, one does not need to search for long before he realizes that the Bible teaches us to trust God. There is no need to dispute this—it is clear. There are many issues and doctrine in Scripture and outside of Scripture that are clear and do not need much verification.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Webster’s defines naïve as one who is “deficient in worldly wisdom or informed judgment.” The basic idea is that the naive have misinformed judgment that characterizes the way they come to know truth. The naïve Christian is a Christian who does theology in the Folk Theology arena. Soft skepticism calls for an end to the simpleton’s epistemology and demands that the “gates of the mind” (as discussed in the lessons on Folk Theology) be closed until there is good reason to open them.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : The students should have read and be prepared to discuss the paper “Representing Christ to a Postmodern World” by C. Michael Patton.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The following slides on the “Quadrant of Objectivity” can be misleading when viewed. Therefore, it is vitally important that you watch the DVDs for an explanation of the slides.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Explain the difference between true relativity and true objectivity. True Relativity: Everything that exists on the left side of the quadrant is truly relative. It is either completely independent of right or wrong, or the right or wrong is determined by the situation. True Objectivity: All that is on the right side of the quadrant is the objective side. Everything on this side has a definite right or wrong. There is always an objective truth that is true no matter whether one believes it. It is not dependent upon time, culture, or any situation. It exists as true or false in and of itself. All biblical principles and doctrines belong on this side.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Explain situational relativity. Situational Relativity: The right and the wrong of those in this category are dependent upon the culture, time, situation, or some other variable. Women not wearing a head covering (1 Cor. 11:5) is a good example. While the women who did not wear a head covering were expressing an underlying sinful principle, the wearing of the head covering itself was not right or wrong. Its sinfulness was dependent upon the cultural expression. The same sin may be expressed in our culture but in a different way.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Explain autonomous relativity. Autonomous Relativity: This category contains those things that are truly relative. There is no right or wrong. This category is filled primarily with opinions and autonomous customs that are not related to right or wrong. One’s opinion on the best song is an example of something that is autonomously relative. There is no one correct answer that exists by itself — it is always relative.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Explain non-essential objectivity. Non-Essential Objectivity: This category contains both doctrinal and non-doctrinal issues that are not necessary for one’s salvation. A good example might be the age of the earth. The earth has a definite and objective age. The truth here is surely objective. But at the same time, it is non-essential, because it is not necessary to believe one way or the other as a prerequisite to salvation.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Explain essential objectivity. Essential Objectivity: In our current chart, this category contains only those truths that are essential for salvation. This should contain only those truths which you believe a person must accept in order to be considered a true Christian.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : There are not many who would disagree that belief in the existence of God is essential to salvation.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : In Romans 10:9, Paul says that confession of Christ as “Lord” (which in the context means “Yahweh”) is essential to salvation. The question then becomes one of comprehension. Some simply believe that Christ is the only begotten “Son of God,” implying that He is more than man, but they do not understand all of the implications of what it means to be God’s unique Son. Christian orthodoxy confesses, in a Trinitarian formula, that Christ is everything that God is, while at the same time being a separate person from the Father and the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that it is necessary to have an orthodox understanding of everything that a confession of “Christ is Lord” means. But one must believe that He is more than a man and that He is to be worshipped. Therefore, in this sense it is necessary for one to believe that Christ is Lord.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This one is a little different than the others because it represents an objective reality that secures salvation, but not necessarily one that is always comprehended and believed. In Romans 3:28, Paul says, “For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law.” A person is saved by faith alone, but he or she may have insufficient understanding of this. An example of this is a believer who has understood and accepted that salvation is by faith alone. This believer commits a sin that casts doubt on his salvation. The subjective feeling that the person has at that time causes him to doubt his salvation, thinking, “If I did something like this, maybe I am not saved.” We have all doubted our salvation at times, and the doubt is usually related to something we have done (sin of commission) or failed to do (sin of omission). While our belief in salvation by faith alone is, at this point, in jeopardy, the reality that salvation is by faith alone is not. Therefore, there are many who have been saved by faith alone in the past, and they are still saved, but they are trusting in their works to keep them saved. In other words, they have been saved by faith alone, but they don’t know it.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Paul, writing to the Corinthians, makes it clear that a person must believe in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection: “Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is related to the last, but it focuses on the significance of Christ’s death. The key here is that people must believe that Christ died “for” them. In order to believe this, there must be a realization of sin in the life of the believer, otherwise there is no reason to trust in His death. An understanding of exactly how His death saves someone is not essential for salvation. In other words, one does not have to comprehend and believe in the vicarious substitutionary theory of the atonement (as important as it is) to be saved. One may simply trust that whatever He did on the cross, and however He did it, Christ’s work on the cross was sufficient to take away one’s sins.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion Have your class discuss where they would place these on their quadrant.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: The important thing to note here is that mathematical certainty and empirical certainty can never prove something beyond any doubt whatsoever. This, however, is misleading unless we understand that most all of the decisions that we make are based upon “improvable” ascertains. For example, I cannot prove mathematically or empirically that the outside world exists—it could all be an illusion. Neither can I prove mathematically or empirically that I have existed more than 5 minutes—I could have just come into existence with prerecorded memories that have been placed in my mind. Because I cannot prove these things mathematically or empirically, does not mean that my belief in these things in unwarranted and that it is irrational for me to act as if they were true. In fact, it would be absurd for me to believe otherwise. As well, I cannot prove beyond any doubt whatsoever that I do not have an evil twin brother who loves popcorn living on Mars. I just happen to believe that this is true. We rely upon empirical evidence in our legal system not by demanding that something is proven beyond a possible doubt, but beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, both mathematical and empirical proofs are real proofs provided that we do demand of them what they cannot do. Logical certainty, on the other hand, is provable beyond any doubt whatsoever. It requires deduction and elimination of all possibilities until you arrive at the final option. This final option is true by logical proof. Take for example the famous syllogism: If all men are mortal And if Socrates is a man Therefore, Socrates would be mortal. Provided that the first two premise are correct, the conclusion is correct beyond any doubt whatsoever. Moral certainty has to do with what is demanded by the cumulative case argument. In a courtroom, the murder weapon found on the accused may not be enough to convict. But this along with his finger prints on the weapon, a motive for the crime, and witnesses who saw him commit the crime would be enough and would require a moral conclusion that the accused is indeed guilty.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This chart is meant to help people think through the certainty of their beliefs. The main goal here is to help people understand that there are certain truths that the Bible presents clearly, while others are not so clear. Therefore, there will be beliefs that we hold to with absolute certainty (+10), and there will be those that we believe with less certainty (+2, etc.). For example, Scripture clearly teaches that Christ rose from the grave, and this doctrine should be among the beliefs that we hold with absolute certainty (+10). But doctrines such as the pretribulationalist view of the Rapture are not taught as clearly (if at all, according to some) and, therefore, we should consider them with less certainty.
  • Slide Activity: Group discussion If 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.
  • Slide Reference : Often falsely attributed to Augustine, this dictum comes from an unpublished tract called Paraenesis votiva pro Pace Ecclesiae ad Theologos Augustanae Confessionis, Auctore Ruperto Meldenio Theologo , c. 1627, 62.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Be very clear about what the Gospel is according to a Protestant. Martin Luther stated that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is the confession upon which the Church stands or falls. Protestants believe that the timeline of Christianity is defined by the Gospel. To the extent that people believe the true and unadulterated Gospel, they belong to the Church. Protestants have traditionally believed that there was mass corruption in the Gospel with the introduction of the sacramental system. This sacramental system moved the Catholic Church, as an institution, toward a works-based salvation. Therefore, the church, as an institution, lost the true Gospel and was no longer the true Church.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is a presentation for Roman Catholicism. Until the time of the Protestant Reformation, the entire Church was defined as “catholic”–which simply means “universal.” The term “Roman Catholicism” has been in general use since the Reformation to identify the faith and practice of “Christians in communion with the pope.” The key distinction is the defining marker of the timeline. In the Roman Catholic tradition, the Church must define the Gospel, rather than the Gospel defining the Church. The primary argument for this view would be that it is impossible to have the Gospel without the Church, since the Gospel comes from the Church. No one could know what the Gospel is unless the Church defined the cannon of Scripture which contains the Gospel. No one could know what true doctrine is unless the Church defined orthodoxy. In short, if there is no Church, there is no Gospel. Roman Catholics would interpret Peter’s confession in Matt. 16:13-19 as being justification for this model. Peter, according to the Roman Catholic interpretation, is given authority over the Church, which has the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. In essence, the Church, as it has descended from Peter, is given control over the Gospel. The Church is the guardian of the Gospel and the graces of God given through the sacraments. Therefore, as the saying became, extra ecclesia nula salutus, “Outside the Church there is no salvation.”
  • Slide Presentation Notes : While Protestants have traditionally seen Eastern Orthodoxy (sometimes called Greek Orthodox or simply Orthodox) as simply Roman Catholicism without a Pope, Eastern Orthodox would see the division as one between Eastern thinking (Eastern Orthodox) and Western thinking (Roman Catholics and Protestants). Essentially, they would see Roman Catholicism and Protestantism as two sides of the same coin. References: www.probe.org/docs/east-orth.html (article from a protestant perspective) www.orthodoxonline.com/resources/index.htm www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/catechism_ext.htm www.saintignatiuschurch.org/timeline.html (great timeline from an Orthodox perspective)
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The next few slides are not meant to exhaust the reasons for all the various denominations, but they are to show how most divisions find their roots in their theological persuasion. To be sure, many divisions are more practical than theological. But the major “meta” divisions within Protestantism find their genesis in theology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : These are representative sub-traditions that are transdenominational.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is simply meant to be a brief overview of the Protestant movement. The two main divisions are that of the Reformed tradition (top line) and the Arminian tradition (bottom line). The way that we are distinguishing them here is with regards to their anthropology. Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformed tradition in the sixteenth century. In Luther’s thesis The Bondage of the Will , he revived the Augustinian view that man’s will is not free in the traditional sense, but man is bound to the desire of his fallen, evil nature. A fallen nature can only desire evil. Therefore, man cannot and would not ever choose God in his fallen state. This is primarily evidenced in Paul’s arguments in Romans 3:10-18. Generally speaking, all those who adhere to this view of the will of man follow the Reformed tradition. The Arminian tradition, on the other hand, generally speaking, follows that man’s will has been effected by the fall, but not to the extent that a person could not choose God. The Arminian argument would be that it is absurd for God to command people to do something that they are not able to do on their own, namely accept Christ. Generally speaking, all who adhere to this view of the will of man follow the Arminian tradition. Illustration: The rise and fall of fundamentalism can be likened to the rise and fall of the Pharisees. The Pharisees came from a pious group of Jews during the post-exilic/intertestamental period called the hasidim (“godly people”). Known as the “out-of-date spoil sports,” they sought to preserve the Jewish religion from corruption in hope of avoiding another exile due to compromise. What started as a good thing was itself corrupted and confused as many of the Pharisees built a wall of rules around their religion to such an extent that the religion itself could no longer be seen. The wall of rules became a religion of legalism with no true spirit. The fundamentalists have a strikingly similar history. They wanted to protect the essential truths of Scripture, but in doing so they separated themselves from the rest of the world by building a similar wall of rules. Anything that had the smell of the world was associated with the corruption of liberalism and humanism. If the world went to the theater, then Christians should not. If the world celebrated Halloween, then the Church was to have no part in it. If the world smoked cigarettes, then it was incumbent upon believers to avoid smoking. On and on the rules went until people could no longer see the light of that which they were trying to protect. Fundamentalism became legalism.
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  • Slide Explanation of Slide : Starting from left to right: (1) culture, (2) mom or child represent tradition, (3) universe represents general revelation, (4) prayer represents experience, (5) the Bible is Special Revelation, (6) the sad man also represents experience, and (7) the preacher is another reference to tradition. The argument is going to head in this direction: While all of these sources are valid sources for our theology, the only truly reliable source, against which all of the others should be tested, is the Scripture.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Before we propose a stage of truth of our own, we will now go through the various traditions of Christian theology and variant traditions within Protestant theology and see what the typical stage of truth looks like for each tradition.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This is not an objective analysis of Roman Catholic epistemology, since some may build the stage with some differences. It is simply meant to represent the Church’s epistemological confession in general. It is also important to note that this is the typical confessional stage of truth, but not necessarily the pragmatic stage of truth. To put it another way, this is the professed stage of truth, but it does not mean that it is the practiced stage of truth.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Like that of Roman Catholicism, this is not an objective analysis of Eastern Orthodox epistemology, since some may build the Eastern Orthodox Church’s stage with some differences. It is simply meant to represent the Church’s epistemological confession in general. Notice that experience is moved to the front, and reason is no longer on the stage since, to the Orthodox Christian, God cannot be known by reason. This stage represents a fundamental difference between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism and should be emphasized once again.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: In general, this is how the Magisterial Reformers would have built the stage of truth. If you are referring to the chart “Traditions in Protestant Theology,” this would represent both the Reformed tradition and the Arminian tradition in their pure form. This is what the Reformers meant when they proclaimed sola scriptura . They did not mean that Scripture is the only source of truth, but that Scripture is the primary and only infallible source of truth to which all other sources must submit. Notice that the only source not represented is emotion (although some may have included it in experience).
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Again, this is not an objective analysis of Liberal epistemology, since some may build the stage with some differences. It is simply meant to represent the way liberal churches come to know truth in general. Notice that the only two that are not represented in liberal epistemology are Tradition and Scripture. Modernism, with its reliance on rationalism, plays the major role in the development of liberal epistemology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This is not an objective analysis of Charismatic epistemology, since some may build the stage with some differences. It is simply meant to represent the Charismatic Church’s epistemological confession in general. Notice that what was called “Scripture” in the previous tradition is called “Special Revelation” to the Charismatic, since Scripture, for the Charismatic, would not represent all the Special Revelation that is available to people today. This is because charismatics believe that God is still speaking today through various means (e.g.,, prophecy, tongues, word of wisdom/knowledge, dreams, etc.).
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Again, this is not an objective analysis of Fundamentalist epistemology, since some may build the stage with some differences. Fundamentalistic churches have the tendency to discredit all avenues of knowledge except Scripture. In reaction to the abuses of Roman Catholicism, they discredit tradition. In reaction to the abuses of liberalism, they discredit reason. In reaction to the abuses of Charismatics, they discredit emotion and experience. But, like the others, their practice usually differs from their profession.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: This stage refers us back to where we left off in session four. It would be possible to place experience on this stage for postmoderns, but we leave it off because this stage represents the way we attempt to come to know objective truth and, for the postmodern, there is no objective truth.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Examples: History of Christian thought, Church, parents, books, etc. Benefits: Keeps us from thinking that theology is something that can be done outside of the community, understands that the Spirit works through other people Deficiencies: Tradition is very fallible in that it often contradicts itself. It is always relative and subjective.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Examples: Law of non-contradiction, arguments for the existence of God, etc. Benefits: Available to all people, common ground, apologetic benefits for classical apologetics Deficiencies: Noeic effects of sin on the mind, is limited, is subjective (although not like that of experience)
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The reason for the inclusion of this and the following slide is to inform people of the constant debate that is evidenced throughout Church history concerning the use (or overuse) of reason in theology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This statement does not necessarily represent the consistent theology of Tertullian, but is probably an overstatement in his polemic against the rationalism of the Greek philosophers. It comes from Tertullian’s De Carne Christi 5.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Examples: Life’s circumstances, answered prayer, sin Benefits: Immediate experience can bring about great encouragement Deficiencies: Very subjective, can often be misinterpreted
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  • Slide Presentation Notes: Examples: Inner peace after prayer, a deep feeling of regret or guilt, etc. Benefits: Emotional experience can bring about great encouragement. Emotion can be conformational. It is personal. Deficiencies: Very subjective; can often lead one away from God’s will; cannot be relied upon, because people can produce emotional experience on their own
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This statement does not necessarily represent the consistent theology of Tertullian, but it is probably an overstatement in his polemic against the rationalism of the Greek philosophers. It comes from Tertullian’s De Carne Christi 5.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : Examples: The universe (which evidences immensity), the human eye (which evidences complexity), the human conscience (which evidences morality), the Rocky Mountains (which evidences beauty), OU football (which evidences power—scratch that) Benefits: The universal availability of general revelation, the vividness of the illustration, its use in apologetics Deficiencies: Does not always represent God accurately, because creation has been marred with the fall; does not provide the way of salvation Note: Many would include emotions, conscience, and reason in the category of general revelation, but we are using it here to refer only to the empirical effects of creation.
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  • Slide Presentation Notes : Examples: God speaking to Adam in the Garden, the parting of the Red Sea, the incarnation of Christ, Scripture, modern day prophets (for Charismatics), Church (for Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox), etc. Benefits: The benefits of Special Revelation are great and many. The primary benefit has to do with the directness of the communication of God. Since Special Revelation does not contain any intermediary corruption, its message is always true. A second benefit has to do with the specific nature of Special Revelation. It contains specific information about God, man, and the way of our relationship to God. Special Revelation is the only revelation that is sufficient to give a knowledge of the Gospel, since the Gospel is not evidence through any other source. The only reliable source of Special Revelation that we have available today is the Bible, unless God is still giving Special Revelation through prophets or direct encounter. We will cover this issue in the next class.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: Also referred to as the norma absoluta (absolute norm) and norma normata (norming norm).
  • Slide Activity: Class discussion Ask 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.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Now all the sources are included in our theological process.
  • Slide 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.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is an incredibly important question that could ultimately alter our stage of truth. At the very least, if God still speaks today, it would change “Scripture” to “Special Revelation”, resembling the Charismatic view. If God still speaks today through prophets, dreams, tongues, etc., this definitely will alter not only how we come to know truth, but how we seek for it.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This chart is meant to help understand the difference in the different type of gifts. The revelatory sign gifts are those which were meant for the establishment of the Church based on the message of the Gospel and the writing of the New Testament. The confirmatory gifts are those which were given to confirm the word of the Apostles and prophets. For the hard cessationist, both the revelatory and confirmatory sign gifts ceased with the death of the last apostle and the completion of the New Testament since there was no longer need of either. Many of the gifts—such as tongues, interpretation of tongues, discerning of spirits, word of wisdom, word of knowledge—are difficult to place on this chart because of the wide disagreement among cessationists and continuationists as to their meaning and purpose. We have placed them here because it is generally agreed that they are supernatural and are not related at all with talent or personality as are the permanent gifts in most cases. Therefore, the question “Does God still speak today?” is tied to the discussion about the gifts of the Spirit. This will be covered more in Ecclesiology and Eschatology.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This argument rightly places the burden of proof on the Cessationist. This does not mean that Cessationism cannot be substantiated, but rather that the burden is on those who would say that the supernatural sign gifts are no longer given and that God does not still speak to people directly or through prophets.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is a very strong argument for Continuationism. If one were to look at all of Scripture from Adam until the Apostle John, one would probably conclude that part of God’s modus operandi is to speak to people directly through direct encounter, dreams, visions, or through a divinely appointed prophet.
  • Slide
  • Slide
  • Slide Presentation Notes : If people were built upon a foundation that included the Christ (the work of Christ while on the earth), the apostles (the proclamation of this work), and the prophets (the forth-telling of this work), then the foundation is complete. The apostles and prophets were necessary for the establishment of the Church, just as Jesus Christ was necessary. Once the foundation was laid, the apostles and prophets were no longer needed as they were before.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This passages seems to suggest that apostles carried unique self-authenticating signs that demonstrated that they were apostles. If these signs were normative then or now, then Paul’s argument here would be meaningless. The continuationist would respond by saying that the authentication is not in the signs themselves, but the way the signs were conducted “with great perseverance.”
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The writer of Hebrews seems to suggest that he himself did not have the ability to perform signs and wonders (supernatural sign gifts), but only witness these things as they authenticated the message of the apostles. This, like 2 Cor. 12:12, tells us that the apostles had special gifts that were given only for the establishment of the Church. Once the Church was established, there was no longer any need for them. Among these gifts would be prophecy.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The idea here would be that the “perfect” is the complete canon of Scripture. Most informed cessationists would not use this verse, but at first glance it seems that it might support a cessationist argument. In reality, this is not the best Scripture for the cessationist to use, since the context makes it clear that the “perfect” is not the Bible, but the coming of Christ (see v. 12). In fact, this might then be used as an argument for Continuationism, since it may imply that tongues will not cease until Christ comes. Some cessationists would point to the fact that the verb for the ceasing of tongues is in the middle voice, implying that they would “cease of themselves” when their purpose was fulfilled. This is probably trying to do too much with the middle voice in this case.
  • Slide
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is not necessarily the best argument, since those who argue this would not be inclined to say that every prophecy of the Old or New Testament had to be placed in the Canon of Scripture. The continuationist response that prophecies do not open up the Canon of Scripture seems valid.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This argument is taken from both Warfield and MacArthur. It is responded to by Jack Deere in Surprised by the Power to the Spirit (Grand Rapids, IL: Zondervan, 1993), 253-266 .
  • Slide Presentation Notes : In 150 A.D., the Montanist movement claimed that the sign gifts were, in effect, much like the modern-day Charismatics (except they were unorthodox in their essential doctrine). The movement was condemned by various councils under the contention that the supernatural gifts had ceased. It is difficult for the continuationists to answer the question that this raises. If the supernatural sign gifts were meant to be normative for the Church, the Church has essentially been without this important element for 1900 years.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Others have called this view the “Open-But-Cautious” view.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This is not to suggest that the framers of the Westminster Confession were Soft Cessationists.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This does not mean that those who adhere to soft cessationism believe that there will definitely be other revelation before the coming of the events of Revelation, but that the Church must be open to the possibility.
  • Slide Presentation Notes: The spirit of the third commandment (Ex. 20:7) has to do with saying God said something He did not say. The ancient audience would have been very familiar with the prophets of other gods using the name of their god to accomplish their goal. They may have used the name of Baal to pronounce a curse or a blessing on someone. By using the name of their god, they believed that the curse or blessing had more validity to it. God tells the Israelites not to use His name in such a way. In essence, God was telling the Israelites, “Do not say I said something when I did not to accomplish your own purpose.” This would be using His name in vain. Illustration : Man who says that he has a word from God and then loses it.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The purpose of the lesson is to sum up and prepare the students to do theology in a new world, taking advantage of the postmodern context that our culture provides. It is to prepare them for future courses in The Theology Program. Students need to be aware of the pitfalls to which this emerging context can lead. By the end of this lesson, the students should be more aware of how we are united in the Great Tradition of Christianity. This lesson is a plea for unity. But at the same time, it does not purport to define everything that is necessary for orthodoxy. This task will be left to discussion that follow through the forthcoming courses in The Theology Program.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The idea here that should be introduced is that we live in a globalized society. In other words, people today are more aware of other cultures and nations than they have ever been. People can no longer be naive concerning those who do not think and believe that way they do. Theology must be done in a world where people are both confused and enlightened by this emerging pluralistic context. They are confused because they often fail to see what units people. They are enlightened because of the many different perspectives people have and bring to the table when searching for truth.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This does not mean that theology changes drastically as it is reforming, but that it is being enhanced and better understood as we reform it in the context of the entire body of Christ, both living and dead. For example, Christian theology will not ever reform the doctrine of the resurrection, if that change involves a denial of its historicity, but it may change/reform in its understanding of its significance as related to doctrines that are directly affected by it (e.g.,, the importance of the physical body, the understanding of what resurrected bodies will be like, the importance of Christ’s body as victor over the powers of sin, etc.). Students need to be aware of this principle so that they can move ahead, understanding that the Church is always to reform itself.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : The Apostles’ Creed (while not really from the Apostles themselves) was an attempt early in Church history to express what doctrines unit Christianity. While not very particular concerning the Great Tradition, it does show how the early Church united around many essentials. This slide is not meant to affirm that the Apostles’ Creed is sufficient to unite Christianity (seeing as how many cults could agree with this statement), but, again, it does evidence the early Church’s desire to show unity. Draw the students attention to the fact that Christians have always been concerned with discovering what units us in the Great Tradition.
  • Slide
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Here it is important to draw people’s attention to the unity and diversity of people throughout Church history. There are many doctrines that unify Christianity. These are often grouped together and called “The Great Tradition.” While there is much diversity concerning particulars of doctrine and practice, Christianity is also very unified on many things. Draw people’s attention to these things. Trinity: This doctrine was articulated in the fourth-century at the counsel of Nicea. Orthodox Christianity has been united concerning this doctrine, confessing that there is one God who eternally exists in three persons, all of which are fully God, all of which are equal. Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism are united in this confession. Only those on the fringe of Christianity have attempted to deny this doctrine. These groups have been labeled as heretical and cultic because of their denial of this essential doctrine. Doctrine of Christ (Hypostatic Union): This doctrine was articulated during the fourth and fifth-centuries with the climax coming with the statement of Chalcedon in 451. Christ, as it was articulated, is fully God and fully man. Again, all major Christian traditions are united concerning this confession. Doctrine of Man and Grace: This doctrine concerns the sinfulness of man and the necessity of God’s grace to save us. It was championed by Augustine in his debates with Pelagius. Like the others, it was not invented at this time, but was better understood and articulated at this time. Not all Christian traditions would agree about the particulars concerning this doctrine, but all would agree that all humanity has been infected with sin and in need of God’s grace and all would agree that we can only be saved by His grace. Doctrine of the Atonement: This doctrine made the most headway in the eleventh century, but Christianity has always been united that man is sinful and in need of a savior. Christ death on the Cross purchased salvation for mankind. While the particulars of how the benefits of the Cross is applied and how it is effective, all traditions agree that Christ died for man because he is sinful can not save himself.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This slide should focus on the unity concerning Protestantism. Protestantism is Catholic Christianity since catholic is a theological term that simply means “universal.” Protestants see themselves as part of the universal or invisible body of Christ (explained more in Ecclesiology and Eschatology ). Protestants did not name themselves according to their “protest.” It is an unfortunate label that was given to them by the Roman Catholic Church at Trent in the sixteenth century. It implies a concession to which Protestants would not agree. Protestants would not see themselves as a separatist groups that broke away from the Catholic Church, but as a continuation of the true Church that washed its hands of the corruption that had become a big part of the Medieval Church. Protestants have historically been united, not only in the Great Tradition spoken of above, but in the understanding that salvation is by faith alone. The five “solas” that follow unite Protestants in confession, even though the unfortunate truth is that many Protestants Churches today would not identify with their own tradition.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This will be covered more in Soteriology .
  • Slide
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Man and women were created with different gifts, genetics, and responsibilities. When these diversities are celebrated, then the image of God shines brightly. The are both unified and diverse. It should be apparent by now that God loves diversity. Men and women are to celebrate this diversity, rather than attempt to blur it. When men are functioning as men, and women are functioning as women, then God’s image is represented the way that it was intended to be. This will be covered more in Humanity and Sin .
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Like God created men and women with diverse gifts and perspectives, so also he created the nations with diversity. People from different cultures and upbringings add great and necessary value to our search for truth. Even when people are not believers in Christ, they are still created in the image of God, and therefore have value. Because of this, their perspectives should be respected and considered, even if their minds are unredeemed. It is vitally important at this point to draw attention to the importance of exposure to beliefs, cultures, and areas of the world where the people think differently. People who do theology only in their own context will be short-sighted and unable to take advantage of the contributions, values, and perspectives of others. Many people do theology in their “ivory towers,” never exposing themselves to real people who have real experiences. We need to be involved not only in the lives of believers of our own culture and tradition, but to those of other nations, traditions, and cultures. We need to have regular exposure to “real life.” This also means that we need to expand our conversations to unbelievers. We need to go on missions trips to other countries, not only to bring them to Christ, but to help understand the way other people think. But we also must not get caught up in the fallacy that says if you do not agree with the way others think (e.g. the western mindset understanding the eastern mindset), it means that you do not understand them, and are, therefore, disqualified to engage in meaningful contribution or evangelization of others.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : Here, it must be emphasized that people in general are unified by the fact that they are all created in the image of God. This will be covered more in Humanity and Sin but it is important to refer to it here. People are very similar to each other since they are similar to God. While people may set up their stage of truth differently, we all have a stage of truth. Although they may be arranged differently, all people utilize the same sources for their stage. All people have tradition, experience, emotion, reason, and general revelation on the stage. The majority of all people living today and throughout history have had some proclaimed form of special revelation on their stage. Why are we so similar? Because we are all in God’s image. While we are all created in the image of God, we are also quite diverse. We come from diverse families, countries, and cultures. We have different experiences and traditions. We have unique genetics and different personalities. We are diverse by nature and by nurture. We all have our perspectives that we take with us to the drawing board. All of these perspectives need to be valued because of their diversity. But at the same time, we must recognize that, according to the Bible, not all perspectives are equal. We are all tainted by sin (Rom. 2:23), and we follow the evil inclinations of our own heart (Jer. 16:12). God must change the way we think before we can be confident in our methodology (1 Cor. 2:15). Does this mean that our perspective is right and everyone else has nothing to contribute to our theology? No, but it does help us to recognize that not all theologies are equal. It keeps us from sinking in to the quagmire of mindless pluralism.
  • Slide Presentation Notes : This passage teaches about the four different ways that people receive truth (the word of God). It is important to emphasize that this parable was an exhortation given to the disciples. This parable is not simply about the way unbelievers receive truth, but the way that all people, believers and unbelievers, receive truth. We can all have prepared or unprepared hearts. We can all let the worries of this world make God’s word unproductive. We can all become excited about God’s plan and then fall away. The point is that we must all be prepared to receive God’s truth each day or theology will be completely unproductive. If we are not prepared, we will be constantly riddled with confusion, discouragement, and doubt. The point? According to Scripture, we cannot do theology without God’s Spirit preparing our hearts to receive His word. One fearful thing about this parable that is often missed is the exhortation in verse 18. Christ says that the one comes with a prepared heart and applies what he has learned, more will be given to him. If, on the other hand, someone does not apply what he or she has learned, even what they already knew and understood will be taken away from them. Illustration : When I was growing up, I had a friend who had a mom who was a strong believer in Christ and a great inspiration in my life. She was always giving us biblical instruction and helping us grow strong in the Lord with kindness and truth. She had a great understanding of Scripture and was very wise. But things changed. She had a husband who was not following the Lord. He was a gluttonous alcoholic, addicted to the lures of the nightlife. My friend’s mom struggled with this for years, fighting against him and trying to live a functional life with the Lord. This did not last. She finally made the decision to give up and follow her husband in his lifestyle. Many years have since passed. Now when I see her, she bears no resemblance to her former self. When we talk about the Lord, she speaks as a disillusioned person who has all but let go. She lives in a world of skepticism and doubt. Because she chose to follow her husband rather than the Lord, because she chose not to believe and apply God’s word, even what she had, her wisdom, strength, and insight, were “taken away” from her.
  • Introduction To Theology (2004)

    1. 1. <ul><li>Copyright © 2002-2004 The Theology Program, published by Biblical Studies Press, LLC, 11601 Plano Rd. Suite 108 Dallas, TX 75243. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>This material is provided for students and instructors in The Theology Program. Use of this material is encouraged for personal study and for use in preparation of lessons, sermons, or other oral communication. This material may be quoted so long as the material is unaltered and credit is given to The Theology Program. It may not under any circumstances be reprinted for any reason or any purpose without the prior expressed written consent of the Biblical Studies Press. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Certified instructors in The Theology Program are allowed to add to the material so long as approval is granted by The Theology Program developers. </li></ul><ul><li>Pastors and teachers are encouraged to use the material in their teaching, but it must remain unaltered. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Unless otherwise noted, Scripture are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972,1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission. Scripture are also taken from the NEW ENGLISH TRANSLATION, © 1997-2003 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. and the authors, and from HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSIONR. </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. </li></ul>
    2. 2. Introduction to Theology An Invitation to Theology?
    3. 3. “ Jesus said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” – Matthew 22:37
    4. 4. Question Outline <ul><li>Who are you and why are you here? </li></ul><ul><li>What is The Theology Program? </li></ul><ul><li>What is theology? </li></ul><ul><li>Who is a theologian? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we do theology every day? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the different categories of theology? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Theological Process? </li></ul><ul><li>What is epistemology? </li></ul><ul><li>What is postmodernism? </li></ul><ul><li>What questions are postmoderns asking? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the postmodern view of truth? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the modern view of truth? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Christian view of truth? </li></ul><ul><li>What truths are relative and what truths are objective? </li></ul><ul><li>What truths are essential for orthodoxy? </li></ul><ul><li>How certain are you about your beliefs? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the essential difference in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism? </li></ul><ul><li>Why are there so many Protestant denominations? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the different sources for truth? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the benefits and deficiencies of each source? </li></ul><ul><li>How do the different sources interact to form our theology? </li></ul><ul><li>Does God still speak today? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Continuationist view of prophecy? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Hard Cessationist view of prophecy? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Soft Cessationist view of prophecy? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we do theology in our emerging context? </li></ul>
    5. 5. Course Outline <ul><li>Introduction to The Theology Program </li></ul><ul><li>Defining Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Categories of Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern Epistemology </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Epistemology </li></ul><ul><li>Essentials of Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Traditions of Christian Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Does God Still Speak Today? </li></ul><ul><li>Unity and Diversity </li></ul>
    6. 6. Introduction to the Theology Program Defining the “Rules of Engagement”
    7. 7. Question <ul><li>Who are you and why are you here? </li></ul>
    8. 8. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who you are and why you are taking this course? </li></ul>
    9. 9. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Pricilla : You are a person who has never seen the practicality in deep theological study. You are here to see if we can change your mind. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Scared Susan : Big words scare you. You don’t really think that you are smart enough to be here. You are here this time, but you may not be here the next. </li></ul>
    11. 11. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Know-it-all Nick : You already know everything. You are just here to see if we do… and to pick up where we leave off. </li></ul>
    12. 12. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental Fred : You are the God-ordained guardian of orthodoxy. You are here to sit, with arms crossed, and protect. </li></ul>
    13. 13. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Want-an-answer Will : You have a lot of questions. You are here not to do theology in community, but to write theology down with a pen and paper. </li></ul>
    14. 14. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Traditionalist Teri : You want to learn, but your traditions and preconceived notions bind you. You are here to have your traditions confirmed to be true. </li></ul>
    15. 15. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Confrontational Carl : You are not a believer in Christ or the Bible and have no intention of becoming one. You are here to argue. </li></ul>
    16. 16. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Struggling Sam : You are a believer in Christ, but you have a lot of doubts and struggles. You have never had a safe place to express those doubts. You are here to see if this is the place. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Who are you and why are you taking this course? </li></ul><ul><li>Curious Carla : You are not really sure why you are here, but you’re excited to find out. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>We are all real people created by a real God, and we all have real struggles, real questions, and real convictions. </li></ul><ul><li>We are glad that you are here! </li></ul>
    19. 19. Question <ul><li>What is The Theology Program? </li></ul>
    20. 20. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>The Theology Program is an intense theological studies program, designed for busy people who may never go to seminary but who want deep theological training. While there are many great subjects, biblical and spiritual, that Christians can and need to study, our focus is on seven specific courses of systematic theology. Our desire is to teach people how to think by opening their minds to diverse views, learning from history, wrestling with difficult issues, and graciously engaging an increasingly relativistic and postmodern world. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Introduction to the Theology Program <ul><li>Mission : Renewing minds and changing lives by purposefully guiding people through a study of historic and biblical Christian theology. </li></ul><ul><li>Goal : “Our goal is not so much to teach good theology, as important as that is, but to teach people to think.” </li></ul>
    22. 22. Introduction to The Theology Program <ul><li>What makes The Theology Program different? </li></ul><ul><li>Intensity in studies </li></ul><ul><li>Irenic theology </li></ul><ul><li>Intentional program design </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive coverage </li></ul><ul><li>Doing theology in community </li></ul>
    23. 23. Intensity in Studies <ul><li>The Church must have an avenue of intense, interactive Christian education through a program which gives people an opportunity to learn at a level that other venues cannot provide. TTP endeavors to be this avenue. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Intensity in Studies Low Commitment High Commitment Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    25. 25. Intensity in Studies Low Expectations <ul><li>High Expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Assigned readings </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>Papers </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul><ul><li>Memorization of Scripture </li></ul><ul><li>Grades </li></ul>Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    26. 26. Intensity in Studies Devotional (Brings encouragement for the week) Foundational (Builds theology for a lifetime) Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    27. 27. Intensity in Studies Short-term life change Long-term life change Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    28. 28. Intensity in Studies Exhortation Education Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    29. 29. Intensity in Studies The education program of the Church needs to include all of these in balance . Sermon Fellowship/ Sunday School Interactive Classroom
    30. 30. Irenic Theology <ul><li>Key Terms </li></ul><ul><li>Irenic Theology: Theology that is done peaceably, accurately representing all views, even when you oppose them. </li></ul><ul><li>Polemic Theology: Theology that is done in a warlike manner inside the Church , prophetically speaking against those with whom there is disagreement. </li></ul><ul><li>Apologetic Theology: Theology that is done to defend the faith against those who oppose outside the church . </li></ul>
    31. 31. Irenic Theology Polemic Apologetic Irenic Peace War Defense
    32. 32. Intentional Program Design
    33. 33. Comprehensive Coverage <ul><li>In the courses, we will address all the relevant major issues, current and historic, of which we think people need to be aware. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Doing Theology in a Community <ul><li>We believe that truth is not found in Spirit-illuminated individuals, but in a community of Spirit-illuminated individuals. Therefore, we believe that the Body of Christ, both alive and dead, must come together to understand theology, shaping it from many perspectives and differing experiences. This is doing theology in a community. </li></ul>
    35. 35. The column represents a pillar, communicating that our theology creates a strong foundation upon which our life, purpose, and actions exist. The “T” stands for “Theology” in The Theology Program. Notice how the draft goes outside the lines at times. This represents how our theology, while having a great respect for tradition, must break with tradition at times. This is the Reformers’ principle of semper reformanda (“always reforming”). Notice how the draft is incomplete and erased at places. This illustrates how our theology is never finished in this life, but is always undergoing change and development. The tablet upon which we construct our theology is broken. This represents an imperfect people, broken by sin, doing our best to understand God in our state of imperfection.
    36. 36. Discussion Groups
    37. 37. Defining Theology “ What does it mean to ‘do’ theology?”
    38. 38. Question <ul><li>What is theology? </li></ul>
    39. 39. Protestant Eastern Orthodox Prophecy Postmodernism Truth Roman Catholic Cessationism Relativism Epistemology Special Revelation Exclusivism Denominations Traditions of Theology Protestant Theology Rationalism Modernism Cessationism Pluralism Experience
    40. 40. Defining Theology <ul><li>What is Theology? </li></ul><ul><li>Write a one or two sentence definition of theology: </li></ul>
    41. 41. Defining Theology “ The study or science of God.” – Millard Erickson Christian Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001), 22 “ The Science of God and of the relations between God and the universe.” – A. H. Strong “ Rational discussion respecting the deity.” – Augustine “ Thinking about God and expressing those thoughts in some way.” – Charles Ryrie Basic Theology (Wheaton, IL: 1986), 9
    42. 42. Defining Theology “ The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice; divinity; (as more commonly understood) the knowledge derivable from the Scriptures, the systematic exhibition of revealed truth, the science of Christian faith and life.” — Webster’s Dictionary
    43. 43. Question <ul><li>Who is a theologian? </li></ul>
    44. 44. Defining Theology <ul><li>Who is a theologian? </li></ul><ul><li>Anyone who has asked the ultimate questions of life: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why am I here? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is life? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What happens after death? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the difference between right and wrong? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Why is there something instead of nothing? </li></ul></ul>
    45. 45. Defining Theology The question is not, “Who is a theologian?” but “What kind of theologian am I going to be?” Are you going to be a good theologian or a bad theologian? This is a more accurate question because, as one writer put it, “not all theologies are equal.” – Source unknown
    46. 46. Defining Theology “ We live in what may be the most anti-intellectual period in the history of Western civilization. . . We must have passion—indeed hearts on fire for the things of God. But that passion must resist with intensity the anti-intellectual spirit of the world.” — R. C. Sproul “ Burning Hearts Are Not Nourished by Empty Heads,” Christianity Today 26 (Sept. 3, 1982), 100
    47. 47. Defining Theology <ul><li>There are basically six arenas in which we can do theology: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tabloid Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folk Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lay Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ministerial Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Professional Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Academic Theology </li></ul></ul>
    48. 48. Defining Theology Tabloid Lay Ministerial Professional Academic Folk
    49. 49. Defining theology Describe this chart in relation to practicing medicine Tabloid Lay Ministerial Professional Academic Folk
    50. 50. Defining Theology Now describe this chart in relation to practicing theology Tabloid Lay Ministerial Professional Academic Folk
    51. 51. Defining Theology <ul><li>Tabloid Theologian: One who constructs his or her theology based upon naïve hearsay information that has no basis in fact and very little, if any, evidence to be believed. Many times people are Tabloid theologians because of the theology’s appearance of originality. As well, it can be “cutting edge” in many people’s minds. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Defining Theology <ul><li>What are some examples of Tabloid theology? </li></ul>
    53. 53. Defining Theology <ul><li>Tabloid theology examples </li></ul>
    54. 54. Defining Theology <ul><li>Hitchhiking angel </li></ul><ul><li>Growing fire hose </li></ul><ul><li>“ I Saw Heaven” </li></ul>
    55. 55. Defining Theology <ul><li>Folk Theologian: One who uncritically and unreflectively constructs his or her theology according to traditions and religious folklore. The Folk theologian is often very dogmatic about his or her beliefs. </li></ul>
    56. 56. Defining Theology <ul><li>What are some examples of Folk theology? </li></ul>
    57. 57. Defining Theology <ul><li>Folk theology examples: </li></ul>
    58. 58. Defining Theology <ul><li>Folk theology examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Views of Heaven (clouds, harps) </li></ul><ul><li>Ghosts </li></ul><ul><li>Angels’ wings </li></ul><ul><li>Good works salvation </li></ul><ul><li>All people are good at heart </li></ul>
    59. 59. Defining Theology <ul><li>Folk theology examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Peter’s gate </li></ul><ul><li>Devil’s pitchfork </li></ul><ul><li>“ God helps those who help themselves” </li></ul><ul><li>Demon possession </li></ul><ul><li>People who commit suicide automatically go to Hell </li></ul><ul><li>When you die there will be a screen in heaven which shows to the world all the bad things you have done </li></ul><ul><li>Name-it-claim-it, health-and-wealth gospel </li></ul>
    60. 60. Defining Theology <ul><li>Why do you think that it is so hard for Folk theologians to learn? </li></ul>
    61. 61. Defining Theology <ul><li>Lay Theologian: A layperson who constructs his or her theology and who, unlike the folk and tabloid theologian, </li></ul><ul><li>is . . . </li></ul><ul><li>(1) more reflective upon learned theological concepts </li></ul><ul><li>(2) likely to formulate a system of beliefs which distinguishes between essential and non-essential doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>(3) more critical of unfounded traditions </li></ul><ul><li>(4) willing to use study tools </li></ul>
    62. 62. Defining Theology <ul><li>Ministerial Theologian: A layperson who constructs his or her theology and who, unlike the lay theologian is . . . </li></ul><ul><li>(1) educated in theological methodology </li></ul><ul><li>(2) able to use study tools and resources at a more effective level </li></ul><ul><li>(3) able to openly critique personal theology against competing models </li></ul><ul><li>(4) intent on devoting more time to reflection so that theological integration can take place </li></ul>
    63. 63. Defining Theology <ul><li>Professional Theologian: One who constructs his or her theology and makes a living doing so. They usually. . . </li></ul><ul><li>(1) are didactically purposed toward lay and pastoral theologians </li></ul><ul><li>(2) conduct practical original research </li></ul><ul><li>(3) critically evaluate common theological trends and folk theology. </li></ul>
    64. 64. Defining Theology <ul><li>Professional theologians are often accused of “quenching the Spirit.” Why do you think they receive this accusation? </li></ul>
    65. 65. Defining Theology <ul><li>Academic Theologian: A professional theologian who constructs his theology with an overly speculative and critical spirit. His dialogue can usually come only with other theologians. It is often called “Ivory Tower theology.” </li></ul>
    66. 66. Defining Theology <ul><li>What are some examples of Academic theology? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do you think someone would want to be an Academic theologian? </li></ul>
    67. 67. Defining Theology Sensational Tabloid Lay Ministerial Professional Academic Folk Skeptical Critical Gates permanently locked Gates wide open Naïve
    68. 68. Defining Theology Acceptable range Tabloid Lay Ministerial Professional Academic Folk
    69. 69. Defining Theology “ Theology is for everyone. Indeed, everyone needs to be a theologian. In reality, everyone is a theologian—of one sort or another. And therein lies the problem. There is nothing wrong with being an amateur theologian or a professional theologian, but there is everything wrong with being an ignorant or sloppy theologian.” — Charles Ryrie Basic Theology (Wheaton, IL: 1986), 9.
    70. 70. Defining Theology <ul><li>How do we “do” theology every day? </li></ul>
    71. 71. Defining Theology <ul><li>How do we “do” theology every day? In other words, how does our theology influence our daily routine? </li></ul>
    72. 72. Defining Theology <ul><li>When we think about God. </li></ul><ul><li>When we share the Gospel. </li></ul><ul><li>When we interpret the Bible. </li></ul><ul><li>When we get sick. </li></ul><ul><li>When we defend the faith. </li></ul><ul><li>When we plan for the future. </li></ul><ul><li>When we choose schooling for our children. </li></ul>
    73. 73. Defining Theology <ul><li>When we vote. </li></ul><ul><li>When we attempt to deal with sin in our lives. </li></ul><ul><li>When we decide on who we marry. </li></ul>
    74. 74. Defining Theology <ul><li>What is theology? </li></ul>
    75. 75. Defining Theology credo ut intelligam “ faith seeking understanding” This is a Latin phrase coined by Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) meaning “faith seeking understanding.” This is one of the earliest definitions of theology. It starts with the assumption that we are believers and, as such, we are seeking to understand our beliefs better.
    76. 76. Discussion Groups
    77. 77. Categories of Theology
    78. 78. Question <ul><li>What are the different categories of theology? </li></ul>
    79. 79. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Biblical </li></ul><ul><li>Historical </li></ul><ul><li>Philosophical </li></ul><ul><li>Creedal/Dogmatic </li></ul><ul><li>Apologetic </li></ul>
    80. 80. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Systematic Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Prolegomena : </li></ul><ul><li>Literally means “things which are spoken beforehand.” Deals with the foundational issues of theology such as theological methodology, sources, and reasons for the study of theology. </li></ul>
    81. 81. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Bibliology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the nature, transmission, canonization, and purpose of Scripture. </li></ul><ul><li>Theology Proper : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of God’s existence, nature, and attributes. Sometimes called “Trinitarianism.” </li></ul>
    82. 82. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Christology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the person and work of Christ. </li></ul><ul><li>Pneumatology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the person and work of the Holy Spirit. </li></ul>
    83. 83. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Anthropology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the purpose and nature of humanity, both in its pre-fall and post-fall state. </li></ul><ul><li>Hamartiology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the nature, origin, and effects of sin on all creation. </li></ul><ul><li>Angelology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the nature and works of demons and angels. </li></ul>
    84. 84. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Soteriology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of salvation. </li></ul><ul><li>Ecclesiology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the nature of the Church. </li></ul><ul><li>Eschatology : </li></ul><ul><li>The study of the end times. </li></ul>
    85. 85. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Biblical </li></ul><ul><li>Restricts the formulation of theology only to the Scripture . </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes will examine the individual parts of Scripture in order to formulate a particular theology that is restricted to a certain time period and a particular people (e.g., Pre-mosaic theology). </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes examines the theology of a certain author (e.g.,, John or Paul). </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology from all sources of theology , including Scripture. </li></ul><ul><li>Correlates the entirety of Scripture to formulate a general theology for all time and for all people . </li></ul><ul><li>Correlates information on a doctrine by examining the theology of all the authors . </li></ul>
    86. 86. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Historical </li></ul><ul><li>Restricts the formulation of theology only to the history of the Church . </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes will examine the individual periods of Church history in order to formulate a particular theology that is restricted to a certain time period (e.g.,, Patristic, Medieval, Reformation). </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology from all sources of theology . </li></ul><ul><li>Correlates the all of Church history to formulate a general theology for all time and for all people . </li></ul>
    87. 87. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Philosophical </li></ul><ul><li>Restricts the formulation of theology only to that which can be ascertained by reason . </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes will examine the individual periods of philosophical history in order to formulate a particular theology that is restricted to a certain time period (e.g.,, enlightenment, modern, postmodern). </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology from all sources of theology . </li></ul><ul><li>Correlates the all of philosophical history to formulate a general theology for all time and for all people . </li></ul>
    88. 88. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Creedal </li></ul><ul><li>Restricts the formulation of theology only to that of a particular religious institution or denomination . </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology from all sources of theology including the creedal statement of many institutions and denominations. </li></ul>
    89. 89. Categories of Theology <ul><li>Apologetic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology for the purpose of explaining and defending the faith to those outside the faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic </li></ul><ul><li>Formulates theology for the purpose of creating a comprehensive and coherent understanding of various doctrines. </li></ul>
    90. 90. Question <ul><li>What is the Theological Process? </li></ul>
    91. 91. <ul><li>Historical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Grammatical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Interpretation </li></ul>1 . Exegetical Statement “ What did it mean then?” 2 . Theological Statement “ What is the timeless truth taught?” 3 . Homiletical Statement “ How does it apply to us?” Timeless Audience Time bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience author's Intent Author's Intent Analogy of Scripture Truth Extract timeless principles Contextualize Principles for today compare compare
    92. 92. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Biblical Hermeneutics Systematic Theology Application Ancient Audience
    93. 93. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience
    94. 94. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience Liberal Theology
    95. 95. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ?
    96. 96. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? Hypocritical Folk Theology
    97. 97. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ?
    98. 98. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? Subjective Theology
    99. 99. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ?
    100. 100. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ? Irrelevant Theology
    101. 101. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ?
    102. 102. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ? Folk Theology
    103. 103. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ?
    104. 104. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience ? Ancient Audience ? Short-circuit Theology
    105. 105. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? ? ?
    106. 106. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? ? ? Eisegetical Theology
    107. 107. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? ? ?
    108. 108. Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience ? ? ? Exegetical Theology
    109. 109. <ul><li>Historical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Grammatical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Interpretation </li></ul>1. Exegetical Statement “ What did it mean then?” 3. Homiletical Statement “ How does it apply to us?” Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience author's Intent Author's Intent Theology Analogy of Scripture Contextualize Principles for today
    110. 110. Categories of Theology Scripture Biblical Theology Historical Theology Philosophical Theology Systematic Theology Apologetic Theology Creedal/Dogmatic Theology
    111. 111. Postmodern Epistemology Understanding Our Changing Culture
    112. 112. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>What is Epistemology? </li></ul>
    113. 113. Postmodern Epistemology “ The theory or science of the method or grounds of knowledge.” — Webster’s Dictionary
    114. 114. Postmodern Epistemology “ The branch of philosophy that is concerned with the theory of knowledge. It is an inquiry into the nature and source of knowledge, the bounds of knowledge, and the justification of claims to knowledge.” — Paul Feinberg Walter A. Elwell ed., “Epistemology” in The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2001), 382.
    115. 115. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Key Terms </li></ul><ul><li>Relativism: The belief that all truth is relative, being determined by some group. </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivism: The belief that all truth is subjective, being defined by the perspective of the individual. </li></ul><ul><li>Skepticism: The belief that truth cannot be known with certainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Perspectivism: The belief that truth is found in the combined perspectives of many. </li></ul><ul><li>Pragmatism: The belief that truth is ultimately defined by that which works to accomplish the best outcome. “The end justifies the means.” </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivism : The belief that truth is an objective reality that exist whether someone believes it or not. </li></ul>
    116. 116. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Which best describes our culture today? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relativism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjectivism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skepticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perspectivalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectivism </li></ul></ul>
    117. 117. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Which is true? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Relativism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subjectivism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skepticism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perspectivalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pragmatism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objectivism </li></ul></ul>
    118. 118. Question <ul><li>What is Postmodernism? </li></ul>
    119. 119. Postmodern Epistemology “ Christian’s today cannot work with the same assumptions that we did just 20 years ago. At that time, people would join you in your search for absolute truth. It is different now. Today, before we begin to lead people to the truth of Jesus Christ, we may have to lead them to the truth of truth. Common ground must be created before the Gospel can be proclaimed”
    120. 120. Postmodern Epistemology “ Apologetically, the question which arises in the postmodern context is the following. How can Christianity’s claims to truth be taken seriously, when there are so many rival alternatives, and when ‘truth’ itself has become a devalued notion? No-one can lay claim to possession of truth. It is all a question of perspective. The conclusion of this line of thought is as simple as it is devastating: ‘the truth is that there is no truth” – Alister McGrath A Passion for Truth (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 1996), 188
    121. 121. <ul><li>Protagoras: Truth is relative. It is only a matter of opinion. </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates: You mean that truth is mere subjective opinion? </li></ul><ul><li>Protagoras: Exactly. What is true for you is true for you, and what is true for me is true for me. Truth is subjective. </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates: Do you really mean that? That my opinion is true by virtue of its being my opinion? </li></ul>Postmodern Epistemology A Conversation Between Protagoras and Socrates (4th Century B.C.)
    122. 122. <ul><li>Protagoras: Indeed I do. </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates: My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you, Mr. Protagoras, are absolutely in error. Since this is my opinion, you must grant that it is true according to your philosophy. </li></ul><ul><li>Protagoras: You are quite correct, Socrates. </li></ul>Postmodern Epistemology
    123. 123. Postmodern Epistemology Self-defeating Statements “ I cannot speak a word in English.” “ My wife has never been married.” “ We cannot know anything about God.” “ There is no such thing as truth.” “ Truth cannot be known with certainty.”
    124. 124. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>A short history of western civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Three periods: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Premodern (400-1600 A.D.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Modern (1600-1900 A.D.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Postmodern (1960-present) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    125. 125. Postmodern Epistemology Premodern Modern Postmodern 400 1600 1960
    126. 126. Postmodern Epistemology Stage of Truth Back Front
    127. 127. Postmodern Epistemology Transition 1960-? Modern Postmodern
    128. 128. <ul><li>Modern Generation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preboomers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Boomers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Postmodern Generation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Busters (Gen X) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridgers (Gen Y) </li></ul></ul>Postmodern Epistemology 53% 57%
    129. 129. <ul><li>Modernism </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual </li></ul><ul><li>Reason </li></ul><ul><li>Optimism </li></ul><ul><li>Hope for the future </li></ul><ul><li>Objectivism </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusivism </li></ul><ul><li>Science method </li></ul><ul><li>Man is evolving </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodernism </li></ul><ul><li>Anti-intellectual </li></ul><ul><li>Feeling </li></ul><ul><li>Pessimism </li></ul><ul><li>Despair for the present </li></ul><ul><li>Subjectivism/relativism </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralism/inclusivism </li></ul><ul><li>Distrust in science </li></ul><ul><li>Man is devolving </li></ul>Postmodern Epistemology
    130. 130. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Spock is always logical and objective. </li></ul><ul><li>Never acts upon feeling, because that would be “illogical.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Physical laws simply cannot be ignored. Existence cannot be without them.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Pain is a thing of the mind. The mind can be controlled.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Ideal Modern Man: Mr. Spock </li></ul>
    131. 131. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Data is the “perfect” modern human. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite his “perfection,” Data . . . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wants to be human. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rebels against logic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attempts to develop emotions and feelings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Ideal Modern Man Mocked: Data </li></ul>
    132. 132. Postmodern Epistemology <ul><li>Premodern : “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and I call them as they are.” </li></ul><ul><li>Modern : “There’s balls and there’s strikes, and I call them as I see them.” </li></ul><ul><li>Postmodern : “They ain’t nothing ‘til I call ‘em.” </li></ul>
    133. 133. Postmodern Epistemology “ In Postmodernism, there is no objective, universal truth; there is only the perspective of the group. . . . In postmodernism, all viewpoints, all lifestyles, all beliefs and behaviors are regarded as equally valid. . . . Tolerance has become so important that no exception is tolerated.” – Charles Colson How Now Shall We Live? (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale, 1999), 23
    134. 134. Christian Epistemology
    135. 135. Question <ul><li>What questions are postmoderns asking? </li></ul>
    136. 136. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Modernist Objections to Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>What about all the contradictions? </li></ul><ul><li>God is just a crutch. Religion was invented by man. </li></ul><ul><li>Jesus was just a man. </li></ul><ul><li>The Bible we have today is not the same as when it was written 2000 years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>I don’t believe in what I can’t see. </li></ul><ul><li>Evolution has proven Christianity to be wrong. </li></ul>
    137. 137. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>The Bible is a myth full of fairy tales. </li></ul><ul><li>How did Noah get all of the animals on the Ark? </li></ul><ul><li>There are no such thing as miracles. </li></ul><ul><li>Do you really believe in the story of Adam and Eve? </li></ul>
    138. 138. <ul><li>Postmodernist Objections to Christianity </li></ul><ul><li>If God exists, why is there evil? </li></ul><ul><li>The Inquisition and the Crusades show that Christianity is oppressive. </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity is a way to God but not the only way. </li></ul><ul><li>Christianity is arrogant and exclusive. </li></ul><ul><li>How do you know that your Bible is better than other religious writings? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people? </li></ul>Christian Epistemology
    139. 139. <ul><li>What about those who have never heard? </li></ul><ul><li>The church is full of hypocrites. </li></ul><ul><li>Why would God send anyone to Hell? </li></ul><ul><li>The God of the OT is cruel, partial, and unjust. </li></ul>Christian Epistemology
    140. 140. Christian Epistemology Modernist Postmodernist Facts Rationality Evidence Fairness Relationships Emotion
    141. 141. Question <ul><li>What is the modern view of truth? </li></ul>
    142. 142. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Correspondence view of truth: (1) Truth is an objective reality that exists whether someone believes it or not, (2) and that objective reality is grounded in nature. </li></ul>
    143. 143. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>True statements are those which correspond to that objective reality. </li></ul><ul><li>False statements are those which do not correspond to that objective reality. </li></ul>
    144. 144. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Law of non-contradiction applies </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>A ≠ -A </li></ul><ul><li>at the same time and in the same relationship. </li></ul>
    145. 145. Epistemology Key Motto “ Man can and will know all truth.”
    146. 146. Question <ul><li>What is the postmodern view of truth? </li></ul>
    147. 147. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Relative view of truth: (1) Truth is a perspective reality that exists in the perspective of the individual or group, (2) and that perspective reality is grounded in time. </li></ul>
    148. 148. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Law of non-contradiction does not apply </li></ul><ul><li>A = -A </li></ul><ul><li>at the same time and in the same relationship. </li></ul>
    149. 149. Christian Epistemology Key Motto “ The truth cannot be known.”
    150. 150. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Religious Spin on Postmodern Epistemology </li></ul><ul><li>Universalism: The belief that all people, good or bad, will eventually make it to Heaven. </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralism: The belief that there are many ways to God that are equally valid. </li></ul><ul><li>Syncretism: The assimilation of differing beliefs and practices. </li></ul><ul><li>Inclusivism: The belief that salvation is only through Christ, but Christ may be revealed in other religions. </li></ul>
    151. 151. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Vatican II (1962-1965) and inclusivism </li></ul><ul><li>“ But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator. In the first place among these there are the Moslems, whom professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful god, who on the last day will judge mankind. Those also can attain salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his church, yet sincerely seek god and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience.” </li></ul>
    152. 152. Question <ul><li>What is the Christian view truth? </li></ul>
    153. 153. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Correspondence view of truth: (1) Truth is an objective reality that exists whether someone believes it or not, (2) and that objective reality is grounded in an eternal God. </li></ul>
    154. 154. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>The law of non-contradiction is a foundational necessity to all truth. </li></ul><ul><li>God cannot even violate this principle since it is a logical impossibility. </li></ul>
    155. 155. Christian Epistemology Key Motto “ The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law” (Deut. 29:29).
    156. 156. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Christian truth must have a balance between the “ things revealed ” and mystery (“secret things”). </li></ul>
    157. 157. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Apophadic Theology : Lit. “negative theology.” Apophadic Theology emphasizes mystery . Often called the “way of negation” ( via negativa ) or “negative theology,” apophadic theology sees God, and much of theology, as beyond our understanding and, therefore, beyond defining through positive assertations. Finite people cannot say what the infinite God is but only what He is not. God is “uncreated,” “immutable,” “infinite,” “immortal.” </li></ul>
    158. 158. Christian Epistemology <ul><li>Cataphatic Theology : Lit. “affirmative theology.” Cataphatic Theology emphasizes revelation . Often called “positive theology,” cataphatic theology seeks to understand God in positive terms, understanding that God communicates to us through language and concepts that are analogous to who and what He truly is (“analogy of language”). </li></ul>
    159. 159. Christian Epistemology Cataphatic Theology “ things revealed” Apophatic Theology “ secret things” Modernism West Rationalists Roman Catholic/Protestants Postmodernism East Mystics Eastern Orthodox Responsible theology
    160. 160. Christian Epistemology Perspectivism Prov. 12:15 Soft Skepticism Prov. 8:5 Objectivism Prov. 23:23 Cataphatic Theology Apophatic Theology Perspicuity
    161. 161. Christian Epistemology Perspectivism Prov. 12:15 Soft Skepticism Prov. 8:5 Objectivism Prov. 23:23 Cataphatic Theology Apophatic Theology Perspicuity “ You who are naive, discern wisdom! And you fools, understand discernment!”
    162. 162. Christian Epistemology Perspectivism Prov. 12:15 Soft Skepticism Prov. 8:5 Objectivism Prov. 23:23 Cataphatic Theology Apophatic Theology Perspicuity “ The way of a fool is right in his own opinion, but the one who listens to advice is wise.”
    163. 163. Christian Epistemology Perspectivism Prov. 12:15 Soft Skepticism Prov. 8:5 Objectivism Prov. 23:23 Cataphatic Theology Apophatic Theology Perspicuity “ Acquire truth and do not sell it . . .”
    164. 164. Defining Essentials and Non-essentials
    165. 165. Question <ul><li>What truths are relative and what truths are objective? </li></ul>
    166. 166. Essentials and Non-Essentials <ul><li>Discussion of paper “Representing Christ to a Postmodern World” </li></ul>
    167. 167. Essentials and Non-essentials <ul><li>Quadrant of Objectivity </li></ul>
    168. 168. True Relativity True Objectivity
    169. 169. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity True Objectivity
    170. 170. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity True Objectivity
    171. 171. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity True Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    172. 172. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    173. 173. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity Existence of God True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    174. 174. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity Christ’s deity Existence of God True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    175. 175. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity Christ’s deity Faith alone Existence of God True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    176. 176. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity Christ’s deity Faith alone Death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Existence of God True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    177. 177. Going to the movies Wearing a head covering Eating meat sacrificed to idols Home schooling Drinking a glass of wine/beer True Relativity Situational Relativity Coke or Pepsi Church music Temperature of a room (hot or cold) Best song Best kind of food Autonomous Relativity Christ’s deity Faith alone Death, burial, and resurrection of Christ The atonement Existence of God True Objectivity Essential Objectivity Date of Christ’s coming Young earth/Old earth Continuation of tongues Canon of Scripture Views of Predestination Non-Essential Objectivity
    178. 178. Essentials and Non-Essentials <ul><li>Where would you place these on the quadrant? </li></ul><ul><li>Belief in the doctrine of the Trinity? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Smoking? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Eating healthy and exercising? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Getting intoxicated? Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Having your mind altered by anti-depressants? Why? </li></ul>
    179. 179. Question <ul><li>What truths are essential for orthodoxy? </li></ul>
    180. 180. Essentials and Non-essentials <ul><li>Concentric Circle of Importance </li></ul>
    181. 181. Essential for Salvation Essential for Orthodoxy Important, but Not Essential Not Important Pure Speculation
    182. 182. Essentials and Non-essentials “ For the Christian, beliefs matter, but not all beliefs matter equally .” – Roger Olsen Mosaic of Christian Beliefs (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002), 33
    183. 183. Question <ul><li>How certain are you </li></ul><ul><li>about your beliefs? </li></ul>
    184. 184. Essentials and Non-essentials “ There are those dogmatic Christians who seem to overdefine Christianity such that being authentically Christian includes (for them) firm adherence to a detailed set of extrabiblical beliefs, some of which are quite outside the Great Tradition itself.” – Roger Olsen Mosaic of Christian Beliefs (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002), 33
    185. 185. Essentials and non-essentials <ul><li>“ Certain” ( Webster’s ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Definite; fixed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sure to come or happen; inevitable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Established beyond doubt or question; indisputable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capable of being relied on; dependable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Having or showing confidence; assured. </li></ul></ul>
    186. 186. The Existence of God <ul><li>Types of Certainty </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mathematical certainty (scientific method) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Empirical certainty (weight of evidences) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Logical certainty (what is reasonable) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moral certainty (what is demanded) </li></ul></ul>
    187. 187. Essentials and Non-essentials <ul><li>Chart of Certainty </li></ul>
    188. 188. Essentials and non-essentials 10 0 10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – + I believe Chart of Certainty I Do not believe
    189. 189. Essentials and non-essentials <ul><li>How certain are you that . . . </li></ul><ul><li>There is a God? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ rose from the grave? </li></ul><ul><li>That God loves you? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ is going to come and Rapture the Church before the Great Tribulaton? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ is coming back to reign on the earth for a thousand years? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ is coming back? </li></ul><ul><li>That God wants you to trust that He will protect you from all physical harm? </li></ul><ul><li>That God wants you to trust that He will protect you from all emotional harm? </li></ul><ul><li>That God wants you to trust in Him in every circumstance? </li></ul><ul><li>That the Bible does not have any historical errors? </li></ul><ul><li>That Adam and Eve were real people? </li></ul><ul><li>That there was really a snake in the garden? </li></ul><ul><li>That God created the earth in seven literal days? </li></ul><ul><li>The God created the earth? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ paid for the sins of all mankind? </li></ul><ul><li>That Christ died for you? </li></ul><ul><li>That the Apocrypha (15 books in the Roman Catholic Bible) should not be included in Scripture? </li></ul><ul><li>That the book of 3 John should be included in Scripture? </li></ul><ul><li>That the book of Genesis should be included in Scripture? </li></ul><ul><li>That the gift of tongues ceased in the first century? </li></ul>
    190. 190. Essentials and Non-essentials “ When you overstate, readers will be instantly on guard and everything that has preceded your overstatement as well as everything that follows it will be suspect in their minds because they have lost confidence in your judgment or your poise. Overstatement is one of the common faults. A single overstatement, wherever or however it occurs, diminishes the whole, and a single carefree superlative has the power to destroy, for readers, the object of your enthusiasm.” – Strunk and White Elements of Style, (Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon), 7.
    191. 191. Essentials and Non-Essentials “ In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.” – Rupertus Meldenius
    192. 192. Essentials and Non-essentials <ul><li>Guiding Principles and Application : </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t divide over non-essentials no matter how convicted you are about their truth. </li></ul><ul><li>Never compromise the essentials no matter what the consequence. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no shame in being less certain about some things than others. The Bible does not teach all things with the same clarity. </li></ul><ul><li>Showing honest uncertainty about difficult issues makes your witness more authentic and powerful to a postmodern world. </li></ul>
    193. 193. Traditions in Christian Theology
    194. 194. Question <ul><li>What is the essential difference in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism? </li></ul>
    195. 195. Traditions in Theology <ul><li>Traditions in Christian Theology </li></ul><ul><li>Roman Catholic </li></ul><ul><li>Eastern Orthodox </li></ul><ul><li>Protestant </li></ul>
    196. 196. Traditions in Theology Protestant Roman Catholic Orthodox 349 million 943 million 211 million
    197. 197. Question <ul><li>What is the Protestant view of Church history? </li></ul>
    198. 198. 100 AD 1200 1500 500 Formulation Protestant View of Ecclesiastical History Gospel Roman Catholic Loss of Gospel Corruption Greek Orthodox 1054 Restoration Protestant Church
    199. 199. Traditions in Theology “ Justification is the hinge upon which true Christianity stands.” – John Calvin “ Christianity stands or falls upon the doctrine of justification.” – Martin Luther
    200. 200. Question <ul><li>What is the Roman Catholic view of Church history? </li></ul>
    201. 201. 100 AD 1200 1500 500 Formulation Roman Catholic View of Ecclesiastical History Church Establishing Greek Orthodox 1054 Protestants Corruption of Morals Restoration Roman Catholicism
    202. 202. Rome Constantinople Antioch Jerusalem Alexandria Five Bishoprics of the Early Church
    203. 203. Rome Constantinople Antioch Jerusalem Alexandria Five Bishoprics of the Early Church
    204. 204. Rome Constantinople Antioch Jerusalem Alexandria Invasion of Islam 612
    205. 205. Rome Constantinople Filioque Fight for Supremacy Split 1054 Eastern Orthodox Catholic
    206. 206. Rome Constantinople Invasion of Islam 1453
    207. 207. Rome
    208. 208. Rome Eastern Church moves north. Russian Orthodoxy becomes primary Orthodox Church.
    209. 209. Question <ul><li>What is the Eastern Orthodox view of Church history? </li></ul>
    210. 210. 100 AD 1200 1500 500 Formulation Eastern Orthodox View of Ecclesiastical History Church Disruption West East Eastern Orthodox Purification Protestants Roman Catholics
    211. 211. Question <ul><li>Why are there so many Protestant denominations? </li></ul>
    212. 212. Traditions in Theology <ul><li>Sub-traditions : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reformed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Arminian </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liberal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundamental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charismatic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evangelical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Postmodernist </li></ul></ul>
    213. 213. Brief History of the Protestant Movement 1500 1700 1900 2000 Reformed Tradition Arminian Tradition Pentecostals Methodists Wesleyans Church of Christ Nazarenes Free-will Baptists Calvinists Presbyterians Lutherans Reformed Baptists Fundamentalist Tradition Liberal Tradition Charismatic Tradition Evangelical Tradition Postmodern Tradition
    214. 214. Sources of Theology “ Where do we go for truth?”
    215. 215. Question <ul><li>What are the different sources of truth? </li></ul>
    216. 216. Sources of Theology <ul><li>John Wesley’s Quadrilateral </li></ul>Tradition Scripture Reason Experience
    217. 217. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Reason </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>General Revelation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Special Revelation (Scripture) </li></ul>
    218. 218. Sources of Theology
    219. 219. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Reason </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>General Revelation </li></ul><ul><li>Special Revelation (Scripture) </li></ul>Stage of Truth Back Front
    220. 220. Roman Catholic Scripture Reason Tradition Experience General Revelation Back Front
    221. 221. Eastern Orthodox Stage of Truth Scripture Tradition Experience General Revelation Back Front
    222. 222. Protestant Reformation Stage of Truth Scripture Tradition Experience General Revelation Reason Back Front
    223. 223. Liberal Stage of Truth Reason Experience General Revelation Emotions Back Front
    224. 224. Charismatic Stage of Truth Special Revelation Experience Emotions Back Front
    225. 225. Fundamentalist Stage of Truth Scripture General Revelation Back Front
    226. 226. Postmodern Stage of Truth Back Front
    227. 227. Question <ul><li>What are the benefits and deficiencies of each source? </li></ul>
    228. 228. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Tradition : Religious information that has been handed down to us from various sources. </li></ul>
    229. 229. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies: </li></ul>
    230. 230. Sources of Theology “ Tradition is the living faith of those now dead. Traditionalism is the dead faith of those now living.” – Jarislav Pelikan
    231. 231. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Reason : Information that comes through the human mind’s capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought. </li></ul>
    232. 232. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits: </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies: </li></ul>
    233. 233. Sources of Theology “ All truth is given by revelation, either general or special, and it must be received by reason. Reason is the God-given means for discovering the truth that God discloses, whether in his world or his Word. While God wants to reach the heart with truth, he does not bypass the mind.” – Jonathan Edwards
    234. 234. Sources of Theology “ The truth of the Christian faith surpasses the capacity of reason.” – Thomas Aquinas
    235. 235. Sources of Theology credo quia absurdum “ I believe because it is absurd” This Latin phrase coined by Tertullian (150-225) evidences some of the early Church’s disdain for the Greek philosophers’ reliance upon reason for truth. He said, “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem, or the academy with the Church?” He sought to return the element of mystery to the Christian faith.
    236. 236. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Experience : Information that comes through direct encounter, participation, or observation. </li></ul>
    237. 237. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples : </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits : </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies : </li></ul>
    238. 238. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Emotions : Information that comes through subjectively experienced psychological feelings. </li></ul>
    239. 239. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples : </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits : </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies : </li></ul>
    240. 240. Sources of Theology sensus divinitatus “ Sense of the divine” The sensus divinitatus is the inward persuasion all people have that directs them to a belief in God and a propensity to worship. While the sensus divinitatas can contribute to and shape our theology (natural theology), the information is insufficient to bring a person into a right relationship with God.
    241. 241. Sources of Theology <ul><li>General Revelation : Revelation about God given through the created order (Ps. 19:1–6 ; Rom. 1:18–20; 2:14–15). </li></ul>
    242. 242. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples : </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits : </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies : </li></ul>
    243. 243. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Special Revelation : Revelation given by God’s supernatural intervention in history through (1) miraculous events, (2) divine speech, and (3) visible manifestations. </li></ul>
    244. 244. Sources of Theology <ul><li>Examples : </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits : </li></ul><ul><li>Deficiencies : </li></ul>
    245. 245. Sources of Theology norma normans sed non normata “ A norm which norms but is not normed” This is a Latin phrase of the Protestant Reformation that stresses the importance of Scripture above all other sources of theology. The Scripture, according to the Reformers, is the standard (norm) against which all other sources for theology must be judged, but this standard cannot be judged by them.
    246. 246. Proposed Stage of Truth Scripture Tradition Experience General Revelation Reason Emotions Back Front
    247. 247. Question <ul><li>How do the different sources interact to form our theology? </li></ul>
    248. 248. <ul><li>Historical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Grammatical interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Contextual interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Literary Interpretation </li></ul>1 . Exegetical Statement “ What did it mean then?” 2 . Theological Statement “ What is the timeless truth taught?” 3 . Homiletical Statement “ How does it apply to us?” Timeless Audience Time-bound Audience Contemporary Audience Ancient Audience compare compare compare compare Tradition compare compare Emotions compare compare Experience compare compare Reason compare compare General Revelation
    249. 249. <ul><li>Tradition </li></ul><ul><li>Reason </li></ul><ul><li>Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Emotions </li></ul><ul><li>General Revelation </li></ul>Objective Subjective Acts 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 .
    250. 250. Excursus: Does God still Speak Today?
    251. 251. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Has Special Revelation ceased, or does God still communicate to people through prophets, dreams, visions, and audible encounters? </li></ul>
    252. 252. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Three positions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Continuationism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard Cessationism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soft Cessationism </li></ul></ul>
    253. 253. Temporary Gifts Permanent Gifts Supernatural Sign Speaking Serving Revelatory Confirmatory <ul><li>Apostleship </li></ul><ul><li>Prophecy </li></ul><ul><li>Discerning of spirits </li></ul><ul><li>Word of wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Word of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Tongues </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation of tongues </li></ul><ul><li>Healings </li></ul><ul><li>Miracles </li></ul><ul><li>Tongues </li></ul><ul><li>Evangelism </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>Pastor-teacher </li></ul><ul><li>Exhortation </li></ul><ul><li>Service </li></ul><ul><li>Showing Mercy </li></ul><ul><li>Giving </li></ul><ul><li>Administration </li></ul><ul><li>Helps </li></ul>
    254. 254. Question <ul><li>What is the Continuationist view of Prophecy? </li></ul>
    255. 255. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Continuationism : View that miraculous sign gifts are still being given and, therefore, God still speaks directly in various ways today. </li></ul><ul><li>Adherents : Wayne Grudem, Jack Deere, Craig Keener, Jack Hayford </li></ul>
    256. 256. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Defense of Continuationism : </li></ul>
    257. 257. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Acts 2:14-21 seems to teach that supernatural occurrences such as tongues and prophecy would be normative for the Church era. </li></ul>
    258. 258. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>The entire book of Acts seems to show that the supernatural gifts are common within the Church. </li></ul>
    259. 259. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>All of Scripture supports the idea that it is God’s nature to work in supernatural ways. </li></ul>
    260. 260. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>The New Testament never explicitly states that the supernatural sign gifts would cease. </li></ul>
    261. 261. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? “ If you were to lock a brand-new Christian in a room with a Bible and tell him to study what Scripture has to say about healings and miracles, he would never come out of the room a cessationist.” – Jack Deere Surprised by the Power of the Spirit (Grand Rapids, Mi: Zondervan, 1997), 54
    262. 262. Question <ul><li>What is the Hard Cessationist view of Prophecy? </li></ul>
    263. 263. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Hard Cessationism : View that miraculous sign gifts ceased with the death of the last apostle and the completion of the New Testament. Therefore, God does not speak directly to people today. </li></ul><ul><li>Adherents : Charles Hodge, John MacArthur, majority of Church history </li></ul>
    264. 264. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Defense of Hard Cessationism : </li></ul>
    265. 265. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>The Bible implicitly supports the idea that the supernatural sign gifts were for the establishment of the Church era. </li></ul>
    266. 266. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Eph. 2:19-20 </li></ul><ul><li>“ So then you are no longer foreigners and noncitizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.” </li></ul>
    267. 267. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>2 Cor. 12:12 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Indeed, the signs of an apostle were performed among you with great perseverance by signs and wonders and powerful deeds.” </li></ul>
    268. 268. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Heb. 2:3-4 </li></ul><ul><li>“ How will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, while God confirmed their witness with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” </li></ul>
    269. 269. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>1 Cor. 13:8-10 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Love never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be set aside. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.” </li></ul><ul><li>” </li></ul>
    270. 270. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>It is agreed that the Bible never explicitly states that the sign gifts have ceased. But the Bible never explicitly states that Scripture is complete, yet both cessetionists and non-cessetionists agree that it is. </li></ul>
    271. 271. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>If God is still speaking supernaturally through prophecy, tongues, word of wisdom, etc., then the Canon of Scripture is still open. </li></ul>
    272. 272. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? “ It might, indeed, be a priori conceivable that God should deal with men [individually], and reveal Himself and His will to each individual, throughout the whole course of history, in the [depths] of his own consciousness. This is the mystics dream. It has not, however, been God’s way. He has chosen rather to deal with the race in its entirety, and to give this race His complete revelation of Himself in an organic whole.” – B.B. Warfield Counterfeit Miracles (Carlisle, PN: Banner of Truth, 1972), 26
    273. 273. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>If one were to examine the Scripture closely, it becomes evident that God’s direct intervention through prophecy and supernatural signs and wonders was not the norm as it may seem. The Bible, as theological history (not exhaustive history), only records the times when God does intervene, thereby giving the impression that God’s direct encounters through prophets, dreams, visions, etc. are God’s modus operandi when they are not. </li></ul>
    274. 274. Noah Moses 2000+ yrs of apparent silence Elijah & Elisha 500 yrs of apparent silence Christ and The Apostles 900 yrs of apparent silence
    275. 275. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>History convincingly suggests that the supernatural sign gifts have ceased. We do not see evidence of confirmed prophets after the death of the last apostle. Only fringe groups here and there have claimed that God still speaks through prophets, tongues, etc., until the 20 th century when the charismatic revival began. </li></ul>
    276. 276. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? “ This whole place [1 Cor. 12 on spiritual gifts] is very obscure . . . but the obscurity is produced by our ignorance of the facts referred to and by their cessation, being such as then used to occur, but now no longer take place.” – John Chrysostom (347-407) ECF 2.12.1.1.29.0
    277. 277. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>“ In the earliest time the Holy Ghost fell upon them that believed: and they spoke with tongues which they had not learned ‘as the Spirit gave them utterance.’ These were signs adapted to the time. For it was proper for the Holy Spirit to evidence Himself in all tongues, and to show that the Gospel of God had come to all tongues [languages] over the whole earth. The thing was done for a authentication and it passed away.” </li></ul><ul><li>– St. Augustine (354-430) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ten Homilies on the first Epistle of John VI, 10 </li></ul></ul></ul>
    278. 278. Question <ul><li>What is the Soft Cessationist view of Prophecy? </li></ul>
    279. 279. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Soft Cessationism : Or “Soft Continuationist.” The view that the miraculous sign gifts could still be given today, but believers need to be careful about outright acceptance of people’s claims of possession. </li></ul><ul><li>Adherents : D. A. Carson, Robert Saucy </li></ul>
    280. 280. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Defense of Soft Cessationism: </li></ul>
    281. 281. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Neither side’s arguments are conclusive. We must therefore proceed with great caution. </li></ul>
    282. 282. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>While it may be true that Church history has not seen the continuation of God speaking directly, this does not mean that it is not possible. </li></ul>
    283. 283. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? “ God, in his ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at his pleasure.” – Westminster Confession of Faith 5.3
    284. 284. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Those who adhere to a futuristic interpretation of Revelation must concede that there are going to be prophets in the future as represented by the Two Witnesses (Rev. 11:3) and, possibly, the 144,000 Israelites (Rev. 7:4). Therefore, we must be open to further direct revelation from God. </li></ul>
    285. 285. Excursus: Does God Still Speak Today? <ul><li>Guiding Principles : </li></ul><ul><li>God’s Word is not something to be trifled with (Ex. 20:7). </li></ul><ul><li>If you are a prophet, you must show convincing signs of a prophet (Deut 18:15-22). </li></ul><ul><li>If you are a prophet, you must have orthodox theology (Deut. 13:1-3). </li></ul><ul><li>If someone believes that they have a word from the Lord, they had better be certain and be ready to live by the consequences if it turns out false. </li></ul>
    286. 286. Unity and Diversity Doing Theology in the Emerging Context
    287. 287. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>How do we do theology in our emerging context? </li></ul>
    288. 288. Unity and Diversity semper reformanda “ Always reforming” This is the Reformation principle that Christian theology is always undergoing change, enhancement, and development. the Reformers understood that if theology was, at any point, thought to be solidified and one person’s, group’s, tradition’s, or denomination’s perspective was thought of to be “above all reproach” and, therefore, unable to be developed, the task of doing theology would be severely grieved. Our theology must be reforming itself continually.
    289. 289. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Apostles’ Creed </li></ul><ul><li>I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth </li></ul><ul><li>And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord </li></ul><ul><li>Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary </li></ul><ul><li>Suffered under Pontius Pilate; was crucified, dead and buried; He descended into the grave </li></ul><ul><li>The third day he rose again from the dead </li></ul><ul><li>He ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty </li></ul><ul><li>From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead </li></ul><ul><li>I believe in the Holy Ghost </li></ul><ul><li>I believe a holy catholic church; the communion of saints </li></ul><ul><li>The forgiveness of sins </li></ul><ul><li>The resurrection of the body </li></ul><ul><li>And the life everlasting. Amen. </li></ul>
    290. 290. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Unity and Diversity among the Traditions </li></ul>
    291. 291. Unity and Diversity 2000 A.D. 100 A.D. Trinity (325) Counsel of Nicea (325) Doctrine of the Atonement (eleventh century) 400 A.D. 1600 A.D. Doctrine of Christ Definition of Chalcedon (451) Doctrine of Man and Grace (fifth century) 1100 A.D.
    292. 292. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Unity and Diversity among Protestant Denominations </li></ul>
    293. 293. Unity and Diversity Five “Solas” of the Protestant Reformation Reformed Understanding Sola Scriptura Sola Christus Sola Gratia Sola Fide Sola deo Gloria Meaning The “Scripture alone” contains primary authority to dictate the lives of believers. The work of “Christ alone” is the basis for justification. Justification is by means of God’s “grace alone.” “ Faith alone” is the only instrumental cause of justification. All is done for “God’s glory alone.”
    294. 294. Unity and Diversity 2000 A.D. 100 A.D. Trinity (325) Counsel of Nicea (325) Doctrine of the Atonement (eleventh century) 400 A.D. 1600 A.D. Doctrine of Christ Definition of Chalcedon (451) Doctrine of Justification (sixteenth century) Doctrine of Scripture (sixteenth century) Doctrine of Man and Grace (fifth century) 1100 A.D.
    295. 295. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Unity and Diversity among the Sexes </li></ul>
    296. 296. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Unity and Diversity among the Nations </li></ul>
    297. 297. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Unity and Diversity among the Peoples </li></ul>
    298. 298. Unity and Diversity <ul><li>Luke 8:5-18 </li></ul>

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