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Doctrine—Geting Started

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A simple introduction to theology course based upon Alister McGraths work, The Basics.

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Doctrine—Geting Started

  1. 1. DOCTRINE: LIVING TRUTH
  2. 2. DOCTRINE: LIVING TRUTH A introductory course in Christian Theology Based upon Alister McGrath's Theology; The Basics
  3. 3. THE APOSTLES CREED This book is based loosely on the Apostles Creed, which is widely used as a basic summary of the Christian faith and included as part of public worship in many places. It is a simple statement that gives a good framework for exploring central ideas of Christian theology. The version below was written in about the eight century,
  4. 4. Part 1- 5 marks Part 2 - 15 marks Part 3 - 10 marks 90%+ correct - 5 marks /15 / 10 70%+ correct - 3 marks / 10 / 7 50%+ correct - 1 mark / 3 / 2
  5. 5. I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
  6. 6. I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
  7. 7. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
  8. 8. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. Assignment: Memorise the Apostles Creed as stated here.
  9. 9. GETTING STARTED BACKGROUND INFORMATION
  10. 10. Christian theology involves talking about God from a Christian perspective - in a Christian way. This is different to the way that other religions will talk or think about God. It is the process of looking at the Bible and bringing together the different themes contained in it, and also, the result of that reflection, the ideas that come —often we call this doctrine (teachings).
  11. 11. Christians also use creeds (brief statements of the Christian faith) for teaching purposes —many Christian theologians argue that Christian theology is the exploration of the basic ideas of these creeds, their basis in the Bible and their impact on Christian thinking and living.
  12. 12. Christians also use creeds (brief statements of the Christian faith) for teaching purposes —many Christian theologians argue that Christian theology is the exploration of the basic ideas of these creeds, their basis in the Bible and their impact on Christian thinking and living. The word creed comes from the Latin credo meaning, “I believe”
  13. 13. HOW DO WE STUDY THEOLOGY? If you had to write a new course on theology to be taught at your church how would you go about it, what resources would you use?
  14. 14. HOW DO WE STUDY THEOLOGY? 1. From Theologians 2. Looking at the History of Christian Theology 3. By Topic (subject)
  15. 15. 1. FROM THEOLOGIANS
  16. 16. We might read different theologians and see their approach and how they develop their ideas, - how do they deal with different arguments, - how do they use the Bible and other theologians?
  17. 17. McGrath mentions two theologians from the classic era of Christian theology, i)______________________________________ _______________________________________ (Latin, the total of theology) which is one of the most admired works of systematic theology.
  18. 18. McGrath mentions two theologians from the classic era of Christian theology, i)______________________________________ _______________________________________ (Latin, the total of theology) which is one of the most admired works of systematic theology. Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274), wrote Summa Theologiae
  19. 19. McGrath mentions two theologians from the classic era of Christian theology, i)______________________________________ _______________________________________ (Latin, the total of theology) which is one of the most admired works of systematic theology. Thomas Aquinas (ca. 1225-1274), wrote Summa Theologiae
  20. 20. ii) ____________________________________ _______________________________________ one of the most important works of Christian theology.
  21. 21. ii) ____________________________________ _______________________________________ one of the most important works of Christian theology. John Calvin (1509-1564) wrote Institutes of the Christian Religion
  22. 22. In the 20th century two theologians are often looked at with special interest, _______________________________________ ______________________________________, thought of as one of the most important theological works of this period.
  23. 23. In the 20th century two theologians are often looked at with special interest, _______________________________________ ______________________________________, thought of as one of the most important theological works of this period. i) Karl Barth (1886-1968), a Protestant, who wrote Church Dogmatics
  24. 24. In the 20th century two theologians are often looked at with special interest, _______________________________________ ______________________________________, thought of as one of the most important theological works of this period. i) Karl Barth (1886-1968), a Protestant, who wrote Church Dogmatics
  25. 25. KARL BARTH WAS A SWISS REFORMED THEOLOGIAN WHO IS OFTEN REGARDED AS THE GREATEST PROTESTANT THEOLOGIAN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. WIKIPEDIA
  26. 26. "FAITH IS AWE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE INCOGNITO; IT IS THE LOVE OF GOD THAT IS AWARE OF THE QUALITATIVE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN AND GOD AND THE WORLD."
  27. 27. ii) ____________________________________, a Catholic, who wrote Theological Investigations, which reestablished the use of short theological essays in theological debate and exploration.
  28. 28. ii) ____________________________________, a Catholic, who wrote Theological Investigations, which reestablished the use of short theological essays in theological debate and exploration. Karl Rahner (1904-84)
  29. 29. KARL RAHNER, WAS A GERMAN JESUIT PRIEST AND THEOLOGIAN WHO IS CONSIDERED ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL CATHOLIC THEOLOGIANS OF THE 20TH CENTURY. WIKIPEDIA
  30. 30. “THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF ATHEISM IS CHRISTIANS. THOSE WHO PROCLAIM HIM WITH THEIR MOUTHS AND DENY HIM WITH THEIR ACTIONS IS WHAT AN UNBELIEVING WORLD FINDS UNBELIEVABLE.”
  31. 31. What are the strengths and weaknesses of studying theologians in order to decide our doctrine?
  32. 32. Although there are good points in this approach it is demanding for students who would have to read a large amount of material and know a lot of background material before being able to properly understand the subject. And, as McGrath puts it, “Why limit the study of theology to such a limited number of figures?”
  33. 33. 2. HISTORICAL THEOLOGY
  34. 34. 2. HISTORICAL THEOLOGY This means looking at the history of Christian theology and seeing how it has developed through the ages.
  35. 35. This doesn’t focus on individuals and their efforts but requires much study by students in looking at how over 2000 years Christian thinking has evolved. Each theologian will have their own opinion on how to divide this period up in order to make it manageable but McGrath suggests this structure:
  36. 36. _______________________________________ This term really indicates that it is a period of time involved or starting with the apostles, when the New Testament documents were written. Christianity expanded across the Mediterranean with Paul, with the events of the book of Acts being pivotal.
  37. 37. _______________________________________ This term really indicates that it is a period of time involved or starting with the apostles, when the New Testament documents were written. Christianity expanded across the Mediterranean with Paul, with the events of the book of Acts being pivotal. 1.The Apostolic Period - the first 100 years
  38. 38. _______________________________________ This term really indicates that it is a period of time involved or starting with the apostles, when the New Testament documents were written. Christianity expanded across the Mediterranean with Paul, with the events of the book of Acts being pivotal. 1.The Apostolic Period - the first 100 years
  39. 39. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Patristic comes from the Greek patres, meaning fathers—a term used to refer to the writers of this period.
  40. 40. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Patristic comes from the Greek patres, meaning fathers—a term used to refer to the writers of this period. 2.The Patristic Period From approximately 100 to 451 (The Council of Chalcedon).
  41. 41. The Council of Chalcedon was a landmark in clarifying thinking about some issues but especially Jesus Christ. During this period the church, Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the relationship of grace and freewill were heavily explored.
  42. 42. The Council of Chalcedon was a landmark in clarifying thinking about some issues but especially Jesus Christ. During this period the church, Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the relationship of grace and freewill were heavily explored.
  43. 43. The Council of Chalcedon, A.D. 451 Summoned by the emperor Marcian, at the instance of the Roman bishop Leo Composed of 520 (some say 630) bishops. Among these were 3 delegates of the bishop of Rome, 2 bishops of Africa, and the rest all Greeks and Orientals. Fixed the orthodox doctrine of the person of Christ in opposition to Eutychianism and Nestorianism. (Schaff, History of the Church)
  44. 44. RESTART
  45. 45. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ (Medieval means a middle age, or intervening period). Theologically this time produced some very influential writers—we mentioned Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, but could also include the writings of Duns Scotus (1266-1308) and William of Ockham (1280-1349).
  46. 46. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ (Medieval means a middle age, or intervening period). Theologically this time produced some very influential writers—we mentioned Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, but could also include the writings of Duns Scotus (1266-1308) and William of Ockham (1280-1349). 3.The Medieval Period From the Council of Chalcedon until about 1500.
  47. 47. Major issues developed in this period include, the relation between faith and reason, the theology of the sacraments, as well as continued exploration of issues discussed in the patristic period including grace and free will as well as the identity of Christ.
  48. 48. Major issues developed in this period include, the relation between faith and reason, the theology of the sacraments, as well as continued exploration of issues discussed in the patristic period including grace and free will as well as the identity of Christ.
  49. 49. Major issues developed in this period include, the relation between faith and reason, the theology of the sacraments, as well as continued exploration of issues discussed in the patristic period including grace and free will as well as the identity of Christ.
  50. 50. _______________________________________ The 16th century was a time of rapid change in the Western church. From this period of reformation the Protestant tradition developed. _______________________________________ a great theological debate was started with special interest given to issues like the Bible, the church and what it is necessary to do in order to be saved.
  51. 51. _______________________________________ The 16th century was a time of rapid change in the Western church. From this period of reformation the Protestant tradition developed. _______________________________________ a great theological debate was started with special interest given to issues like the Bible, the church and what it is necessary to do in order to be saved. 4.The Reformation
  52. 52. _______________________________________ The 16th century was a time of rapid change in the Western church. From this period of reformation the Protestant tradition developed. _______________________________________ a great theological debate was started with special interest given to issues like the Bible, the church and what it is necessary to do in order to be saved. 4.The Reformation Headed by Martin Luther and John Calvin
  53. 53. _______________________________________ The 16th century was a time of rapid change in the Western church. From this period of reformation the Protestant tradition developed. _______________________________________ a great theological debate was started with special interest given to issues like the Bible, the church and what it is necessary to do in order to be saved. 4.The Reformation Headed by Martin Luther and John Calvin
  54. 54. The Catholic church also had a time of reformation with the Council of Trent (1544-63) establishing a Catholic position on many important issues.
  55. 55. Many scholars also include the seventeenth century (the 1600’s) as part of this time of great reformation saying that in this time the changes which started in the previous century were consolidated. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  56. 56. Many scholars also include the seventeenth century (the 1600’s) as part of this time of great reformation saying that in this time the changes which started in the previous century were consolidated. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Also in this period Christians first emigrated to North America and started to establish that region as an important theological centre.
  57. 57. Many scholars also include the seventeenth century (the 1600’s) as part of this time of great reformation saying that in this time the changes which started in the previous century were consolidated. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Also in this period Christians first emigrated to North America and started to establish that region as an important theological centre.
  58. 58. ______________________________________ This is thought of as the time since the 18th century. In Western Europe there was a great deal of difficulty following the French revolution of 1789 and in Eastern Europe the rise of Marxism had a powerful effect in the 20th century.
  59. 59. ______________________________________ This is thought of as the time since the 18th century. In Western Europe there was a great deal of difficulty following the French revolution of 1789 and in Eastern Europe the rise of Marxism had a powerful effect in the 20th century. 5.The Modern Period
  60. 60. It was also a period of great theological creativity in Europe and North America. Also there was an increase in Christian presence in Asia and Africa with a result of new local theological ideas coming from these regions.
  61. 61. “HISTORICAL THEOLOGY IS CRUCIAL BECAUSE OF WHAT IT SHOWS US CONCERNING THE EMERGENCE, DEVELOPMENT, REFINEMENT, AND ULTIMATE IMPACT OF CHRISTIAN BELIEF.” SAM STORMS
  62. 62. What are the strengths and weaknesses of studying Historical theology in order to decide our doctrine?
  63. 63. We can see from the brief survey here that historical theology is a complex and demanding study. McGrath suggests that his book is not suitable for such a study, it would simply not be possible to do it properly in the space of this introductory book. For this reason he says he has adopted the topical approach to studying theology.
  64. 64. 3. TOPICAL THEOLOGY
  65. 65. 3. TOPICAL THEOLOGY Topical theological study involves looking at different areas (topics / subjects) of Christian thought and exploring what theologians have said about them and how these ideas have developed. This will help in developing our own thinking about issues, not simply learning what great theologians have concluded.
  66. 66. 3. TOPICAL THEOLOGY Christian theology has always appealed to three basic resources: the Bible, tradition, and reason. In view of their importance, we shall examine each of them in a little detail, before moving on to our first topic.
  67. 67. A FEW IDEAS THAT WILL INFLUENCE YOUR APPROACH TO THEOLOGY...
  68. 68. INTRODUCING THE BIBLE
  69. 69. The word Bible comes from the Greek, biblia, meaning books. Christians see the bible having authority in matters of thought and life. What parts of the Bible do you fully obey and what parts do you choose not to— why? _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  70. 70. It is divided into the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is made up of the sacred Jewish scriptures. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  71. 71. It is divided into the Old and New Testaments. The Old Testament is made up of the sacred Jewish scriptures. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Christians see this section as setting the scene for the coming of Jesus, who would bring its themes and laws to fulfilment.
  72. 72. In theological terms testament means covenant or dispensation. The idea being that the same God who entered into a covenant with the people of Israel has now entered into a new covenant with all of humanity , leading to the emergence of the Christian church. This means that,
  73. 73. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________. This is a “new covenant” or “new dispensation”.
  74. 74. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________. This is a “new covenant” or “new dispensation”. 1.God called both the people of Israel and the Christian church—they are both “chosen people” in biblical terms
  75. 75. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________. This is a “new covenant” or “new dispensation”. 1.God called both the people of Israel and the Christian church—they are both “chosen people” in biblical terms 2. A new phase of God dealing with humanity came about in Christ
  76. 76. These ideas change the way Christians read the OT: We see the OT as anticipating the coming of Christ, and this is often seen in the NT e.g. Matt 1-2 where we see the idea of Christ fulfilling the OT scriptures is seen. Why would it be important for Matthew that Jesus Christ is seen as fulfilling OT prophecy?
  77. 77. Christians think the Bible is important in terms of theological authority / debate and personal devotion. Historic confessions of faith see it as central to thinking and living and the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) reaffirmed its centrality for Catholic theology and preaching.
  78. 78. We speak of the Bible being inspired by God, passing on God’s words (theologically we speak of its inspiration), e.g. The Gallic Confession of Faith (1559), _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  79. 79. We speak of the Bible being inspired by God, passing on God’s words (theologically we speak of its inspiration), e.g. The Gallic Confession of Faith (1559), _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ We believe that the Word contained in these books has proceeded from God, and receives its authority from him alone, and not from human beings.
  80. 80. The French Confession of Faith (1559) Also known as the Gallic Confession Traces its origin to a statement of faith sent to John Calvin from Reformed churches in France during a period of persecution in 1557. Calvin drew this statement into a confession for them, probably with the help of Theodore Beza and Pierre Viret.
  81. 81. When persecution subsided in 1559, 20 delegates representing 72 churches met secretly in Paris to expand upon Calvin's confession, and annex to it a Constitution of Ecclesiastical Discipline. In 1560 The French Confession of Faith was presented to Louis II with a preface requesting that persecution cease.
  82. 82. Outline - included: God Revelation Holy Scriptures Scriptures, Rule of Faith The Authority of Scriptures The Trinity Creation The Providence of God Original Purity and Fall of Man Heredity of Sin The Condemnation of Sin Our Election in Christ Our Salvation is in Christ The Divinity and the Humanity of Jesus Christ The Two Natures of Christ The Death of Christ Our Reconciliation Our Free Forgiveness Prayer Justification by Faith The Gift of Faith Our Regeneration The Use of the Law and the Prophets Rejection of False Doctrines The Ministry of Preaching and of the Sacraments The Union of the Church The True Church Counterfeit Churches The Officers of the Church Equality Among Pastors Callings Union Between Churches Ecclesiastical Laws and Regulations The Sacraments in General Baptism The Lord’s Supper The Efficacy of the Sacraments The Necessity of the Sacraments The Necessity of Governments Obedience Owed to Authorities
  83. 83. Some Christians disagree about what is included in the Bible. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ These books date from OT times but were not originally written in Hebrew and so not included in the Jewish or Hebrew bibles.
  84. 84. Some Christians disagree about what is included in the Bible. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ These books date from OT times but were not originally written in Hebrew and so not included in the Jewish or Hebrew bibles. Most important here is The Apocrypha, (from the Greek for hidden), also known as “Deuterocanonical works”.
  85. 85. Protestants tend to think of these books as interesting but carrying no authority in doctrine. Catholics and Orthodox Christians tend to include them as part of the Bible. Some Bibles include them in a third section titled the Apocrypha, in Catholic bibles (e.g. Jerusalem Bible) they are included in the OT section.
  86. 86. Protestants tend to think of these books as interesting but carrying no authority in doctrine. Catholics and Orthodox Christians tend to include them as part of the Bible. Some Bibles include them in a third section titled the Apocrypha, in Catholic bibles (e.g. Jerusalem Bible) they are included in the OT section.
  87. 87. RESTART
  88. 88. TRADITION
  89. 89. TRADITION How important is tradition in your life, in your church? How do you justify what you do?
  90. 90. In the early church there were a series of controversies all of which led people to see the importance of tradition. Tradition comes from a Latin word and means _______________________________________ This idea is found in the Bible, 1 Cor 15:1-4
  91. 91. In the early church there were a series of controversies all of which led people to see the importance of tradition. Tradition comes from a Latin word and means _______________________________________ This idea is found in the Bible, 1 Cor 15:1-4 “handing over, down or on”
  92. 92. Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
  93. 93. In the church tradition means a number of things, • The passing on of teachings—a process •_____________________________________ in this manner—a body of teaching •______________________________________ ______________________________________ —Jesus criticised certain activities within Judaism of his day, Matt 15:1-6, Mark 7:13
  94. 94. In the church tradition means a number of things, • The passing on of teachings—a process •_____________________________________ in this manner—a body of teaching •______________________________________ ______________________________________ —Jesus criticised certain activities within Judaism of his day, Matt 15:1-6, Mark 7:13 The content of teachings passed on
  95. 95. In the church tradition means a number of things, • The passing on of teachings—a process •_____________________________________ in this manner—a body of teaching •______________________________________ ______________________________________ —Jesus criticised certain activities within Judaism of his day, Matt 15:1-6, Mark 7:13 The content of teachings passed on Human ideas and practices that are not divinely authorised
  96. 96. The Pastoral Epistles contain a great deal of information about church structure and teaching—yet they also command in 2 Tim 1:14, Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
  97. 97. The importance of tradition was shown in _______________________________________ _______________________________________ controversy of the second century. This focussed on certain questions including how salvation could be achieved. - It suggested that certain secret ideas had to be known in order to be saved.
  98. 98. The importance of tradition was shown in _______________________________________ _______________________________________ controversy of the second century. This focussed on certain questions including how salvation could be achieved. - It suggested that certain secret ideas had to be known in order to be saved. the Gnostic (Greek word gnosis = knowledge)
  99. 99. - Within this some unusual and creative interpretations of the Bible were used—how should they be dealt with? _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  100. 100. - Within this some unusual and creative interpretations of the Bible were used—how should they be dealt with? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ If the Bible was authoritative, was every interpretation of equal value?
  101. 101. ______________________________________, a great thinker in church history, didn't think so. He asked how the Bible was to be interpreted—he suggested _______________________________________ _______________________________________ whilst orthodox believers interpreted the Bible in ways that the apostles would have approved of.
  102. 102. ______________________________________, a great thinker in church history, didn't think so. He asked how the Bible was to be interpreted—he suggested _______________________________________ _______________________________________ whilst orthodox believers interpreted the Bible in ways that the apostles would have approved of. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130-200)
  103. 103. ______________________________________, a great thinker in church history, didn't think so. He asked how the Bible was to be interpreted—he suggested _______________________________________ _______________________________________ whilst orthodox believers interpreted the Bible in ways that the apostles would have approved of. Irenaeus of Lyons (ca. 130-200) heretics interpreted the Bible according to what they wanted
  104. 104. In other words the apostles didn’t just give us writings but they also gave a certain way of reading and understanding those writings,
  105. 105. “Everyone who wishes to perceive the truth should consider the apostolic tradition, which has been made known to every church in the entire world. We are able to number those who are bishops appointed by the apostles, and their successors in the churches to the present day, who taught and knew nothing of such things as these people imagine.”
  106. 106. Irenaeus is saying that there is a stream of teaching from the apostles to his own day— _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  107. 107. Irenaeus is saying that there is a stream of teaching from the apostles to his own day— _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ the church can see people who have maintained the standard creeds and beliefs of Christianity.
  108. 108. Tradition is thus the guarantor of faithfulness to the original apostolic teaching, a safeguard against the innovations and misrepresentations of biblical texts on the part of the Gnostics.
  109. 109. This was important as it underlined the emergence of creeds— _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________, but avoid unorthodox or unusual interpretations of biblical material.
  110. 110. This was important as it underlined the emergence of creeds— _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________, but avoid unorthodox or unusual interpretations of biblical material. which are public, authoritative statements of the basic points of the Christian faith, which are based upon the Bible
  111. 111. This was emphasised again by Vincent of Lerins (died before 450) who was concerned that new / unusual doctrines were being introduced without good reason. He saw a need for public standards by which to judge such matters, a safeguard against error. He saw tradition as offering this, suggesting it was,
  112. 112. This was emphasised again by Vincent of Lerins (died before 450) who was concerned that new / unusual doctrines were being introduced without good reason. He saw a need for public standards by which to judge such matters, a safeguard against error. He saw tradition as offering this, suggesting it was, “a rule for the interpretation of the apostles and prophets in such a way that is directed by the rule of the universal church”
  113. 113. Tradition is the form of divine revelation often associated with the Roman Catholic Church: Jesus taught his apostles, who orally taught their successors, who were the bishops of the early church…and onto present day Papal succession. It’s a kind of literal passing of Jesus’ words from successive generations of church leaders. Two examples.
  114. 114. In 1854 Pope Pius IX declared the immaculate conception of Mary. He stated that when Mary was conceived in the womb, she bore no guilt from Adam and had no corruption in her nature. She was born without sin and lived her entire life without sin.
  115. 115. In 1950 Pope Pius XII proclaimed the bodily assumption of Mary. If Mary was conceived without sin, bore no sin, and lived her entire life without sin, then there was no need for her to undergo decay in the grave. Her body didn’t need to die. Instead, she was taken up into heaven and remains embodied there.
  116. 116. Whilst Protestant Christians, think of tradition being informed by wisdom that belongs to us from the past, but this kind of tradition doesn’t consider the past as binding. The role of tradition is to clarify and discern Scripture. Scripture still remains the ultimate authority.
  117. 117. CREEDS
  118. 118. How did creeds come about in their modern form? Two things were especially important: 1._____________________________________ which could be used in teaching, and defence of the Christian faith against misrepresentations.
  119. 119. How did creeds come about in their modern form? Two things were especially important: 1._____________________________________ which could be used in teaching, and defence of the Christian faith against misrepresentations. The need for public statements of faith
  120. 120. 2. _____________________________________ _______________________________________ We have discussed #1, but #2 needs explaining. - The early church regarded baptism as very important.
  121. 121. 2. _____________________________________ _______________________________________ We have discussed #1, but #2 needs explaining. - The early church regarded baptism as very important. The need for personal “confessions of faith” at the time of baptism.
  122. 122. - In the 3rd and 4th centuries a pattern of instruction for baptism emerged. - Instruction in the basics of the faith took place during Lent. - Candidates were baptised on Easter Day. - New members had to show their faith by agreeing to key statements of Christian belief.
  123. 123. Hippolytus of Rome (died ca. 236) suggests three questions were put to the candidates: _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Do you believe in Jesus Christ, our Saviour? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ As time went on the answer to each question was expanded.
  124. 124. Hippolytus of Rome (died ca. 236) suggests three questions were put to the candidates: _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Do you believe in Jesus Christ, our Saviour? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ As time went on the answer to each question was expanded. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty?
  125. 125. Hippolytus of Rome (died ca. 236) suggests three questions were put to the candidates: _______________________________________ _______________________________________ Do you believe in Jesus Christ, our Saviour? _______________________________________ _______________________________________ As time went on the answer to each question was expanded. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the church, the forgiveness of sins?
  126. 126. What, if any, extra questions might you ask today? Are there cultural issues that are important to clarify?
  127. 127. The most important baptismal creed was the Apostles Creed which is usually set out in 12 statements. Although the Apostles did not write the creed it is apostolic in containing the main ideas of the Christian faith that the church received form the apostles. The modern form has three sections which answer, in expanded form, the three questions of Hippolytus.
  128. 128. The most important baptismal creed was the Apostles Creed which is usually set out in 12 statements. Although the Apostles did not write the creed it is apostolic in containing the main ideas of the Christian faith that the church received form the apostles. The modern form has three sections which answer, in expanded form, the three questions of Hippolytus. For the book, and this course, it offers a good summary of the Christian faith and will be used in this course.
  129. 129. RESTART
  130. 130. REASON
  131. 131. Reason is important in Christian theology. Traditionally in theological thinking reason is thought to be subservient to revelation. Thomas Aquinas argued that supernatural truths had to be revealed to us (by God)— human reason on its own could not come to God or know / understand him.
  132. 132. But the human mind could reflect or think about things once they had been revealed, although this must be done _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________
  133. 133. But the human mind could reflect or think about things once they had been revealed, although this must be done _______________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ critically (thoroughly / carefully / deliberately, in order to judge what the good and bad aspects of something are).
  134. 134. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ (a very influential writer in the Latin west). He said that human reason and philosophies had much to offer theology as long as they were used critically. He used Israel leaving Egypt to explain his point:
  135. 135. _______________________________________ _______________________________________ (a very influential writer in the Latin west). He said that human reason and philosophies had much to offer theology as long as they were used critically. He used Israel leaving Egypt to explain his point: Being critical yet positive was the attitude of Augustine of Hippo
  136. 136. When Israel left Egypt they took many treasures of Egypt with them. Augustine says that in the same way we can take out all that is good in philosophy and use it in preaching the gospel.
  137. 137. Moreover, if those who are called philosophers, and especially the Platonists, have said aught that is true and in harmony with our faith, we are not only not to shrink from it, but to claim it for our own use... For, as the Egyptians had not only the idols and heavy burdens which the people of Israel hated and fled from, but also vessels and ornaments of gold and silver, and garments, which the same people when going out of Egypt appropriated to themselves, designing them for a better use...
  138. 138. These, therefore, the Christian, when he separates himself in spirit from the miserable fellowship of these men, ought to take away from them, and to devote to their proper use in preaching the gospel. Their garments, also,—that is, human institutions such as are adapted to that intercourse with men which is indispensable in this life,—we must take and turn to a Christian use.
  139. 139. Much of Christian reasoning followed this approach until the “Age of Reason” (1750-1950). During this time _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________. Reason could deduce anything that needed to be known about God, there was no need of diving revelation.
  140. 140. Much of Christian reasoning followed this approach until the “Age of Reason” (1750-1950). During this time _______________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________. Reason could deduce anything that needed to be known about God, there was no need of diving revelation. humanity said that unaided human reasoning could explain and master the world
  141. 141. ______________________________________. It is less influential now as people have seen that rationalism varies between cultures— reason was not the universal quality that many thought it to be.
  142. 142. This is called rationalism______________________________________. It is less influential now as people have seen that rationalism varies between cultures— reason was not the universal quality that many thought it to be.
  143. 143. HELPMATES— ASSISTANTS OR HELPERS —ANCILLA THEOLOGIAE
  144. 144. Ancilla Theologiae _______________________________________ _______________________________________ In addition to faith and reason coming together there are other intellectual resources that Christians have called upon to support and develop their theological vision.
  145. 145. Ancilla Theologiae _______________________________________ _______________________________________ In addition to faith and reason coming together there are other intellectual resources that Christians have called upon to support and develop their theological vision. is Latin and means—“a handmaid of theology”
  146. 146. For a long time Christians have believed that philosophies developed by non- Christian thinkers can be of use in developing theological thinking as well as dialogue between Christian thinkers and their cultural environment. McGrath suggests that Platonism and Aristotelianism are the two most important examples of this.
  147. 147. 1. Platonism was the first major worldview encountered by the church as it spread. This encounter could be seen as positive or negative—an opportunity for dialogue and growth, or a threat to the existence of Christianity.
  148. 148. Early scholars such as Justin Martyr (ca. 100-164) and Clement of Alexandria (ca 15-215) had to make use of the intellectual good points of Platonism to help Christianity, whilst not compromising Christianity itself. There are occasional similarities in Platonism and Christianity, but they are not the same.
  149. 149. 2. In the 13th century (the golden age of scholastic theology) Aristotle was rediscovered by Medieval writers who felt he offered new resources that helped in intellectual life including, physics, ethics and philosophy. Theologians wanted to see what use they could make of Aristotelian ideas and methods. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae was produced at this time— considered one of the greatest works of theology ever written.
  150. 150. For both of these using another intellectual discipline as ancilla theologiae brought opportunities and risk. _______________________________________ The major opportunities in this approach are,
  151. 151. What do you think they are?
  152. 152. The major opportunities in this approach are, 1. It allows for a more rigorous exploration of ideas. The problems Christian theologians encounter within their work are paralleled by others in their work too. Aquinas made use of Aristotle's idea of an “unmoved mover” helpful in arguing for the existence of God.
  153. 153. 2. _____________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ . Justin Martyr believed that Platonists would be impressed by similarities with Platonism and Christianity and so consider converting. Paul in his Areopagus address used ideas from stoic philosophy to try to share Christ with the Athenian culture.
  154. 154. 2. _____________________________________ _______________________________________ _______________________________________ . Justin Martyr believed that Platonists would be impressed by similarities with Platonism and Christianity and so consider converting. Paul in his Areopagus address used ideas from stoic philosophy to try to share Christ with the Athenian culture. It allows theology to engage in dialogue with another worldview—helping with witness to a secular context
  155. 155. On a negative note the dangers include, -_____________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________. Martin Luther argued that the uncritical use of Aristotelian ideas had influenced medieval theology in a negative way during the Middle Ages.
  156. 156. On a negative note the dangers include, -_____________________________________ _______________________________________ ______________________________________. Martin Luther argued that the uncritical use of Aristotelian ideas had influenced medieval theology in a negative way during the Middle Ages. ideas that are not distinctly Christian come to play an important role in Christian theology
  157. 157. - However many still think this use is positive—German theologians of the 19th century used Hegel and Kant in their work, Rudolf Bultman (1884-1976) and Paul Tillich (1886-1965) found engaging existentialism to be useful.
  158. 158. This section has given a brief background to Christian theology—and yet it has left much unsaid or untouched. McGrath suggests he shall start to fill in these gaps by examining specific theological topics and using these to reflect on issues, ideas, personalities and debates of Christian theology. His framework for this is to use the Apostles’ Creed—something that most of us are familiar with.
  159. 159. The need for public statements of faith
  160. 160. To counter the reformers’ emphasis on Scripture as the sole basis of revelation and interpretation, the Catholic Church reaffirmed both its oral and its written traditions as the basis of faith. The biblical canon was determined by the Catholic Church, so the same church must be the source and norm of true interpretation. Jerome’s Vulgate, including the deuterocanonical books, was confirmed by the council as the official Bible of the Catholic Church.
  161. 161. The Council argued that, in addition to theology and moral law, the Bible provides reliable knowledge regarding history and the world, including cosmology, natural history, science, and law. The council also claimed that political authority is instituted by God, meaning that every political power is subject to the authority of the church, a matter that would be disputed on the battlefield during the Thirty Years War (1618–1648).

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