Monday, August 21, 2006

BEDROCK BELIEFS COURSE OUTLINE

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by Laura Springer, M.Div.
-tentative and subject to change-
-updated 122106-

Course Description
Bedrock Beliefs introduces some essentials of Christian theology through readings and in-class discussion. Topics include the bible, God, humanity, sin, salvation, church, and last things. Special attention is given to worshipful theological reflection and the place of theology and worldview in forming Christ-followers.

Learning Objectives

Cognitive--Knowledge
1. Define key theological terms.
2. Explain how theology relates to godly living and thinking.
3. Describe the components of a worldview and theology’s contribution to that worldview.

Affective--Values
1. Practice worshipful theological reflection.
2. Explain the importance of theology in the life of the believer.

Behavioral--Actions and Skills
1. Meditate on key passages and journal theological reflections.
2. Create a devotional notebook that combines theological reflection, key Scripture readings, and prayers of praise and request.

Learning Activities
1. Read assigned chapters in the Theology Reader in preparation for each class discussion (see the assignment schedule).
2. Meditate on the assigned Scripture Readings in preparation for each class discussion (see the assignment schedule).
3. Keep a journal of theological reflections, questions, insights, and prayers.
4. Create a devotional notebook. For each category (prolegomena, bibliology, theology proper, Christology, pneumatology, anthropology, hamartiology, soteriology, ecclesiology, and eschatology) the notebook should include:
a. Definitions of key terms/Explanations of key ideas
b. At least one pertinent Scripture reading
c. A prayer of request and/or praise

Schedule

Jan 7
Prolegomena: First Things
Worldview
Bibliology: the Bible

Jan 14
Theology Proper: Father
Christology: Jesus
Pneumatology: Holy Spirit

Jan 21
Anthropology: Humanity
Hamartiology: Sin

Jan 28
Soteriology: Salvation
Ecclesiology: Church
Eschatology: Last Things
Developing a Christian Worldview

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

BEDROCK BELIEFS--BIBLIOLOGY: BIBLE BASICS

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by Laura Springer, M.Div.

Christianity is defined by certain beliefs and practices. Bedrock Beliefs summarizes some of the beliefs that define Christianity. These beliefs—also known as “theology”—are an important part of following Christ, for our theology—what we believe about God, his work, and his world—shapes our worldview. Our worldview determines our attitudes and actions. Theology is about who we know and why we live how we live.

BIBLIOLOGY: BIBLE BASICS

THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WRITTEN WORD

As a divine book, the bible has certain characteristics: inspiration, inerrancy, infallibility, and authority.

Inspiration means that the words of the Bible are “God-breathed” or “God-spoken.” The Holy Spirit worked through the human writers so that while freely writing according to their own style and personality, the result was the Word of God.

Inerrancy means that the original manuscripts do not say anything contrary to fact. This includes not only statements about theology, but also statements about history, geography, and the like.

Infallibility means that the Bible will not lead us in the wrong way when it comes to the content and practice of faith. It can be trusted as a guide to salvation and to Christ-following, for it is the revelation of God in words.

Authority means that to disbelieve and disobey the Bible is to disbelieve and disobey God. The Bible is master, not servant. It is the source and measure of the content and practice of faith.

If the Bible truly is inspired, inerrant, infallible, and authoritative, then how should we respond? The Bible must be handled with respect. Even odd stories and genealogies are God’s Word.

The Bible must be allowed to speak for itself. Commentaries, bible study guides, and even preachers are useful, but their words do not determine what the Bible says. The Bible determines what they say.

The Bible must be obeyed. If our reading and study of God’s Word does not result in obedient behavior then we have not treated the Bible as the Word of God.

THE BIBLE IS GOD’S WRITTEN WORD.

While the Bible is a divine book, it is also a human book. The Holy Spirit used the style and personality of the human authors to communicate his Word. To understand the Bible we must consider culture, history, genre, style, and occasion.

Culture is the worldview of the writer and the intended readers. The Bible was written over a span of about 1,500 years, in three ancient languages (none of which is English), and in a number of nations (none of which is the USA). Culture is crucial.

History includes the significant events happening at the time of the writing and at the time of the story.

Genre is the type of literature as shown in style, form, or content. There are a great number of genres in the Bible: for example, narrative, poetry, apocalypse, and letter.

Style is the author’s distinct manner of expression. Different authors choose to use different words, different levels of complexity, different grammatical structures, and different moods.

Occasion is the situation that prompted the writing. In a few rare cases, the situation is specified. Most of the time, we must look at clues in the biblical book and then make our best guess.

RESOURCES

to be added later...

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

If you would like to learn more about theology, worldview, and how these shape Christ-following, sign up for the January 2007 TFB Academy course:

Bedrock Beliefs
Sundays in January 2007, 4:30 pm
2118 Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501
310-328-5030
Instructor: Laura Springer, M.Div.

Monday, August 07, 2006

THIS IS NOT A BLOG

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Honest... this is an learning place for Torrance First Baptist. Starting in late August 2006, we will be introducing the first TFB Academy course: Bedrock Beliefs. The course will take place in January at TFB, 2118 Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501 (dates and times TBA). If you are interested in either the online or the in-class versions, leave a comment and I'll get back to you.