This blog serves to chronicle our journey through fundamental biblical theology as we explore Erickson‘s work through a moderate evangelistic lens. In chapter by chapter fashion, we will engage in dialogue through modes of detailed interpretation and expansion on main points & concepts, answering the provided study questions, and sharing anecdotal truths or testimonies.
Our aim is to accurately construct and thoroughly comprehend a sound theological foundation incorporating modern-day knowledge and understanding. In the process we hope it elucidates ambiguities, illuminates fuller biblical truths, and deepens your walk with the Lord.
Each chapter is recorded (except 1-3)
Text read verbatim
Study questions answered and discussed
“But grow in the grace, and in knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
Christian theology seeks to understand the God revealed in the bible and to provide a Christian understanding of God’s creation, particularly human beings and their condition, and God’s redemptive work. With scripture as its starting point, theology is most effectively developed by following a definite methodology.
State and explain five facets of the definition of theology
Explain why theology may be considered a science
Identify the potential source for Christian doctrine, and explain why this question is important
Describe the process of doing theology and illustrate how it should be done
The acceleration of change and the explosion and fragmentation of information have made doing theology more difficult in today’s world than was true in the slower-paced previous centuries. It is important to state the gospel message in terms that will be understood in the twenty-first century. In doing so, some theologians have changed not merely the form of expression but also the substance. The goal for contemporizing the Christian message is to retain the content and biblical doctrine while making the message more understandable today. Five criteria are presented to assess the integrity of the message.
What are the three lessons to be learned about the present-day theological environment, and what is the significance of each?
Name and briefly describe the theories of what constitutes the permanent elements of Christianity that the author mentions
Compare and contrast the transformer’s view with the translator’s view of contemporizing theology today
What criteria are used to identify the essence of a doctrine?
Modernism, with its “belief in the rationality of the universe,” has been the hallmark of the twentieth century. Today, however, there has been growing dissatisfaction with the modern view. The result has been the emergence of the postmodern movement, which is affecting every area of intellectual endeavor, including theology. It is important for Christians to understand postmodernism and to construct a theology to evidence awareness of and response to it. Some aspects of postmodernism are compatible with and supportive of biblical Christian theology, while other parts are antagonistic. Christian theology needs to support and use the former while rejecting the latter.
Reviewing the characteristics of modernity, how did they influence and affect theology during the period characterized as “modern”?
In comparison to thoughts and ideals of scientists and philosophers of the modern period, what changes in perspective have occurred in the postmodern period?
Considering the values and morals of the postmodern age, what do you believe the theologians of the post-postmodern age will have to contend with?
How should we construct a responsible criticism of radical postmodernism?
The study of God’s revelation of himself to humanity has been classified in two ways: general revelation and special revelation. The general revelation of God has been found in three areas: nature, history, and humanity. Theologians concerned with the comprehensiveness of general revelation have developed what is known as natural theology. This theology studies the way in which God’s existence is known outside the biblical source, specifically through the use of reason. There is general revelation without natural theology, but the effect of sin prevents the unbeliever from coming to the knowledge of God. The salvation of the individual through God’s general revelation can only be measured by faith.
In what areas do we find God’s general revelation?
Describe and evaluate the assumptions of natural theology
What makes natural theology ineffective in bringing the Christian message to the unbeliever?
How is humanity involved in the general revelation of God outside special revelation?
People need a more personal understanding of God than is available through nature and general history. God has provided particular revelation of himself. The modalities that God uses include historical events, divine speech, and the incarnation of God in Christ. Theologians have disagreed as to whether special revelation is propositional or personal. The bible provides both cognitive and affective knowledge of God.
What is the nature of special revelation?
Name and describe three characteristics of special revelation. What does each contribute to our understanding of special revelation?
Through what three means has God chosen to reveal himself? How does each contribute to our understanding of special revelation?
Why is the incarnation the most complete modality of special revelation?
How would you compare and contrast personal and propositional revelation? Which is more important and why?
One of the topics that is hotly debated today is the degree to which scripture is inspired by God. Inspiration is necessary because it confirms the nature of God’s special revelation through scripture. An important part of biblical theology is the formulation of a theory regarding the extent to which the bible is inspired. A variety of theories are scrutinized and evaluated. While in the proper sense inspiration is of the writers, in the derivative sense we may also say that the writings themselves are inspired.
Why is inspiration so important to the authority of scripture?
In what ways does the bible witness to its divine origins?
Compare and contrast the five theories of inspiration
How would you summarize the characteristics that should be included in an appropriate model of inspiration?