Truth that Matters
In Titus 1:9, Paul instructs elders "both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict." This class will present an organized overview of the fundamental truths of our faith, enabling us to think clearly about these issues and to identify the centuries-old challenges to the gospel message. We will also apply these truths to our lives, developing an understanding of how our attitudes and actions as Christians flow out of the truths of the faith.
Unlike a usual Bible Study, we will read both Scripture and writings by pastors and theologians trying to understand Scripture. In that sense, this will be more like a class in Systematic Theology. But unlike many such classes, our emphasis will be on the Word itself.
For each class, I will assign several passages of Scripture. You will read and meditate on these Scriptures, and then respond in written form to a set of questions. So you encounter the Scriptures and respond yourself prior to reading the ideas and arguments of others.
Once you have written your answers, you then read the non-Scriptural assignments. These will be a combination of theological writings, class notes, and sermons; some will be contemporary, others will be several hundred years old. Most are available over the internet. These writings will help us to get insights into Scripture that we might otherwise have missed. But we also must be prepared to critique these writings in view of Scripture itself; indeed, some of the writings will contradict each other.
Finally, after doing all the reading, I will ask you to reconsider what you have written, and to revise your answers in light of the insights into Scripture you have gained. We will then discuss these questions in class.
In general we will meet once every two weeks. The assignments are rather lengthy; I expect you to work on them daily during the two-week period.
Our primary text, of course, is the Bible itself. The following reference will be useful for many classes:
J.I. Packer, Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs. Tyndale, 1993.
Outline of the Course:
(There will be more to come in the future!)
Enjoy these encounters with God's word!
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