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Lecture 1: Why Study Christian Doctrine?

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Lesson

If we already have God's revelation in the Bible, someone may well ask why we need to study Christian doctrine: surely it is sufficient to be a Bible student without bothering about doctrine? Perhaps the simplest answer to this question is that anybody who studies the Bible is, in fact, really studying doctrine. A systematic discussion of Christian theology will take the student to many sources of knowledge and areas of thinking. Our purpose here will be the more modest one of attempting to set out the biblical teaching that forms the foundation of Christian theology.

Outline

1.  Introduction

2.  What is Theology?

A.     The study of God

B.     Christian theology is a statement of what Christians believe

C.     The source of Christian theology is divine revelation, primarily the Bible.

3.  Christian Doctrine and Bible Study

4.  The Use of the Bible in Theology

A.     The Bible is the principal source for the theologian

B.     We need to study the message of the Bible as a whole

C.     We should not despise the many helps to the study of the Bible that exist

D.     We need the guidance of the Spirit

5.  The Uses of Christian Doctrine

A.     Keeps us from falling into error

B.     Enables us to grow in faith and understanding

C.     Helps us to apply our faith