TH 200D Survey of Theology

Instructor: Joe Harder

Semester: Spring

Course Description         

This course is an introduction to theology. The student is familiarized with the terms and concepts associated with theological study. The course also provides an overview of the major doctrines of the Christian faith.  

Required Books  

·      Bible—a translation (e.g. NIV, NASB, NKJV), not a paraphrase (e.g., The Living Bible, The Message).

·      Erickson, Millard J. Introducing Christian Doctrine, 2nd ed. Ed. L. Arnold Hustad. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2001. ISBN 0-8010-2250-9

·      Roberts, Mark D. After “I Believe”: Experiencing Authentic Christian Living. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2002. ISBN 0-8010-6389-2 

·         Hacker, Diana. A Pocket Style Manual. 4th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.

                (Or similar grammar and MLA style guide).

Course Schedule

Unit

Topic

Learning Objectives

 1

Introduction

  • From the reading: To understand what theology is and how it relates to our culture.
  • From the assignment: To reflect on the need for theology and its implications for our lives as believers.
  • From the discussion: To reflect on how a “postmodern” culture affects how we think theologically.

 2

Bibliology

  • From the Erickson reading: To understand the terms “revelation” and “inspiration.”
  • From the assignment: To examine several possible positions on the question of inerrancy and understand their implications.
  • From the discussion: To be able to define and identify the purposes of general and particular revelation.
  • From the discussion: To understand how “intimate fellowship” is a useful description of the Christian life.

 3

Theology Proper

  • From the reading: To be able to define the term “attribute,” understand how God’s attributes work together, and to understand the essential elements of Trinitarian doctrine.
  • From the assignment: To understand how a particular attribute of God affects our lives as believers.

 4

Theology Proper

  • From the Erickson reading: To understand the essentials of the biblical teaching of creation and its implications for our lives; to understand “providence” and how prayer is part of God’s continuing work in creation.
  • From the discussion: To understand the basic differences between Calvinist and Arminian answers to the question of “foreordination.” 
  • From the discussion: To understand some of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christians.
  • From the assignment: To reflect on how we as Christians should understand the continued existence of evil.

 5

Christology

  • From the reading: To grasp how Scripture teaches that Christ is two natures, divine and human, in one person.
  • From the assignment: To understand the importance of avoiding heretical understandings of the person of Jesus Christ.
  • From the discussion: To understand the biblical basis for the divinity of Christ.
  • From the discussion: To understand the role of other believers in our own walk with Christ.

 6

Christology

  • From the reading: To understand the humiliation, exaltation, and continuing functions of Christ.
  • From the assignment: To understand the biblical basis for the penal-substitution theory of the atonement.
  • From the discussion: To understand the role of the Bible in our “intimate fellowship” with God.

 7

Pneumatology

  • From the reading: To understand the full deity and “personality” of the Holy Spirit.
  • From the assignment: To reflect on how the Spirit has been at work in your life.

 8

Pneumatology

  • From the discussion: To understand the debate regarding charismatic gifts, and to begin to formulate your own position on the issue.
  • From the discussion: To understand the role of prayer in our “intimate fellowship” with God.

 9

Angelology

  • From the discussion: To discuss the relevance of the biblical teaching regarding angels and demons.
  • From the discussion: To understand how the Spirit gives us guidance as believers.

 10

Anthropology

  • From the reading: To explore the constitutional nature of human beings.
  • From the assignment: To discuss how we ought to understand the biblical account of creation.
  • From the discussion: To understand what worship is and the role it plays in the life of a Christian.
  • From the discussion: To understand what worship is and the role it plays in the life of a Christian.

 11

Hamartiology

  • From the reading: To understand the results of sin.
  • From the assignment: To understand the basic differences among Pelagian, Arminian and Calvinist theories of “original sin.”
  • From the discussion: To understand the definitions of the terms “total depravity” and “flesh.”
  • From the discussion: To discuss the mission that God has for us as believers.

 12

Soteriology

  • From the reading: To understand various conceptions of “salvation.”
  • From the assignment: To understand the debate between Calvinists and Arminians regarding salvation.
  • From the discussion: To understand what is entailed in “conversion.”
  • From the discussion: To discuss the mission that God has for us as believers.

 13

Soteriology

  • From the assignment: To understand the debate regarding eternal security, and to formulate a position.
  • From the discussion: To discuss what “sanctification” means and how to pursue it.
  • From the discussion: To discuss what it means for Christians to live a “transformed life.”

 14

Ecclesiology

  • From the assignment: To explore the debates regarding the meanings of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and to formulate a position on them.
  • From the discussion: To discuss how well we measure up to God’s purposes for His Church.
  • From the discussion: To discuss the role of love in the Christian life.

 15

Eschatology

  • From the reading: To understand what Scripture teaches regarding the future of believers and nonbelievers.
  • From the assignment: To examine the evidence for various positions regarding the millennium and tribulation.
  • From the discussion: To discuss the eternal state of believers.
  • From the discussion: To discuss what it means for followers of Christ to be people of peace.