Introduction to theology, and our view of Scripture and God.
About this Class
This is the first of a two semester class on systematic theology. The main subjects covered are an explanation of and rationalization for systematic theology, description of some of the major protestant theological systems, and the doctrines of scripture, God, humanity and sin.
We recommend the book Systematic Theolgy by Wayne Grudem as a companion book for this class. Dr. Grudem also wrote an abridged version entitled Bible Doctrines that includes discussion questions that are helpful for using in a small group/classroom situation.
An introduction to theology, answering the questions of what is EST (Evangelical Systematic Theology), why study EST, and how it relates to other theological disciplines.
Introductory issues of how to do EST and the criteria for assessing theological formulations.
Issues of cultural Christianity, and the evangelical position of "contextualized normativity."
Begins with a discussion of the background to the discussion (Pelagius, Augustine, Council of Carthage, and semi-Pelagianism), and then a discussion of Luther, Calvin, Arminius, the Synod of Dort and the Five Points of Calvinism.
Covenant Theology, Dispensationalism, and their views of Israel and the church
A discussion of these three positions and the key figures in each (Schleiermacher, Ritschl, von Harnack; Barth, Brunner, Niebuhr; Carnell, Henry, Graham)
The beginning discussion of revelation and the specifics of General Revelation
A continuation of the discussion of revelation with an emphasis on Special Revelation, moving into the topic of Inspiration (definition and key passages).
A survey of the recent debate, defining inerrancy (including the relationship of hermeneutics and inerrancy), and its relationship to authority.
The definition of illumination, why it is necessary, and how we come to know truth. The critceria for canonicity is then discussed and why the canon is now closed (i.e., why no more books would be accepted into the Bible).
Why there is a need to know God, and "theism" (arguments as to whether there is a God or not).
Can God be known? The Doctrine of the Trinity (Scriptural basis; historical background; Monarchian heresies)
Continuation of the discussion of the Trinity and the church's rejection of Monarchianism
Beginning of the discussion of the attributes of God's character, and how the discussion is organized.
The related doctrines of God's self-sufficiency and his love. (The lecture begins in the middle of a sentence but not much content is missing. Point V., subpoints 1 and 2 were covered in lecture 14. See Outline tab.)
God's incommunicable attributes are those that he does not share with us: self-existence; self-sufficiency; infinity; omnipresence; eternity
Completes the discussion of God's incommunicable attributes by discussing immutability, the doctrine that God does not change.
Discussion of those attributes of God's character that he shares (to some degee) with his creation, beginning with his intellectual attributes (omniscience).
A continuing discussion of God communicable attributes, both intellectual (Omnisapience; truth) and moral (goodness; love).
Continuation of the discussion of God's communicable moral attributes (love, grace, mercy; holiness, righteousness, justice) and the attributes of God's rulership (freedom; omnipotence).