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Theological Themes (part 1)

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The 5 major theological themes in Paul's letters are based on Pastoral issues that emerged in congregations of believers to whom Paul was writing. By examining these themes, we can understand Paul's theology more clearly, and get a glimpse of what it was like to be a Christian in the first century. This lecture covers the first two themes.


Theological Themes in Paul's Letters

Part 1

I. Introduction

A. Review

B. The plan or considering Paul’s theology synthetically

1. Five recurring themes:

2. Three fundamental convictions out of which Paul’s response to these five problems arises:


II. Theme 1: Perseverance in the Midst of Persecution

A. From the very first, Christians in the Roman empire were persecuted because of the threat that their religious convictions were thought to bring to social stability.

B. Paul’s Response to the Problem of Perseverance in the Face of Persecution (1 Thessalonians 1:1–10)

1. Identity formation—

2. The coming of the Day of the Lord

3. Imitation of the Examples of Those Who Have Suffered and Remained Faithful


III. Theme 2: The Witness of the Church to the Unbelieving World


A. Paul was also interested in the witness of the church to the unbelieving world.

B. The theme is most prominent in the Pastoral Letters

1. 1 Timothy

2. Titus 2:1–10

C. Does the prominence of the theme in the Pastorals mean that the Pastorals come from a post-Pauline era of concern with christliche Bürgerlichkeit?

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