The Old Testament Trinity by Andrei Rublev, c. 1410

(a.k.a. The Hospitality of Abraham)

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calendar OF AssignmentS — 2007

Homework Index

 

Part 1

The Christian Story

Part 2

Basic Christian Beliefs

Part 3

Special Topics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week

Tues

Thurs

 

 

Week

Tues

Thurs

 

 

Week

Tues

Thurs

 

 

 

1.

 

Aug 23

 

 

6.

Sept 25

Sept 27

 

 

13.

Nov 13

Nov 15

 

 

 

2.

Aug 28

Aug 30

 

 

7.

Oct 2

Oct 4

 

 

14.

Nov 20

no class

 

 

 

3.

Sept 4

Sept 6

 

 

8.

Oct 9

Oct 11

 

 

15.

Nov 27

Nov 29

 

 

 

4.

Sept 11

Sept 13

 

 

9.

Oct 16

no class

 

 

16.

Dec 4

Dec 6

 

 

 

5.

Sept 18

Sept 20

 

 

10.

Oct 23

Oct 25

 

 

17.

no class

Dec 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11.

Oct 30

Nov 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12.

Nov 6

Nov 8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcements

New Policy Regarding Class Attendance — September 27, 2007

The course syllabus states, “Regular class attendance is assumed. Borderline issues in terms of the final grade will be based upon class attendance.” Yet, after six weeks of class, a number of students have not attend class regularly, and of those that miss class, very few have attempted to communicate with me and explain their absence. This course is designed as a learning community, where we do the reading and do the theological reflection and come to class prepared to participate and contribute to one another’s learning. This has been implicit in the way that I have conducted the course, but it appears that it needs to be stated explicitly. There are now 18 class sessions remaining, and beginning on Tuesday a new attendance policy will be in place. It is as follows (read very carefully).

 

Unexcused Absences

  If you have not had any unexcused absences so far, you are allowed two unexcused absences from here on.

  If you have one or two unexcused absences so far, you are allowed just one more unexcused absence.

• If you have three or more unexcused absences so far, (which amounts to over 25%), you are not allowed any more unexcused absences.

  If you are absent, you are . . .

  to contact me and explain the absence; otherwise it will be assumed to be unexcused.

  responsible for getting any handouts and completing the assignment

NOTE... For every unexcused absence beyond your allotment, your final grade will be reduced a full letter.

 

Recent Changes to the Schedule — August 30, 2007

  Homework. For a couple of reasons, not least the fact that the Newbigin book will not be available next week, I have made a few modifications to the course schedule. First, the reading for Tuesday (Sept 4) has been modified. Instead of spending just one class on Wright’s chapter, Authority, I have decided to spend to class periods on it.

Examinations. In addition, I have decided to move the due date for Journal 1 and for Exam 1 back a week, from Sept 13 to Sept 20. That will give us a little more time together to work through some aspects related to the Christian Story.

 

Part 1 — The Christian Story

2.2. Tuesday • August 28, 2007                                                         Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic:

The Theological Centerpiece of Christianity

 

Preparation
for Reading:

Before you read the passage from Acts, spend some time reflecting upon the Christian gospel, the Christian story. How would you tell it? What would you include? Why?

 

Reading:

Bible, Acts 1:1–2:47, with a focus upon 2:14–47

  Read Acts 1:1–2:47, which will provide a larger context within which to reflect upon 2:1–47, then reread, study, and reflect upon 2:14–47, which is Peter’s first sermon, in which he tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth, what he has done and who he is in relation to Israel’s God.

 

Theological

Reflection:

Reflect upon how Peter tells the Christian story

• Who are the main characters, what are the main plot developments?

• Are there parts that don’t make sense?

• Is there anything unexpected?

• Is anything missing?

• How would you summarize it?

How does Peter’s telling of the Christian story compare to your own?

• What similarities and differences do you see?

• Pick one difference and reflect upon it?

 

 

2.3. Thursday • August 30, 2007                                                        Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic:

Stories are Serious Business I — On Critical Realism

 

Reading:

Knowledge, 31–46 (16), which can be found in your Course Reader.

 

Introducing

the Reading:

The reading for Thursday is a chapter from a book by N. T. Wright, The New Testament and the People of God, entitled “Knowledge: Problems and Varieties.” This the second chapter of the book and so Wright makes reference to things he has already discussed, so let me provide you with a little background for your reading. In the first chapter, Wright argues that a proper understanding of the New Testament involves not one but three disciplines: literature, history and theology, which are disciplines that have often been pitted against each other. Since the period of the Enlightenment (17th and 18th centuries), biblical scholars, who adopt a historical approach to the Bible, are generally distinguished from theologians, who adopt a theological approach to the Bible. That is, for the last few hundred years, biblical scholars and theologians have increasingly carried on their work independently from one another. This compartmentalization of biblical studies and theology, owes itself to the Enlightenment which introduced a split between objective ways of knowing and subjective ways of knowing, a split between knowledge and faith. One of Wright’s stated goals is to reverse the Enlightenment and its false dichotomies between subjective and objective ways of knowing and between knowledge and faith. Thus, Wright develops an epistemology (that is, a theory of how we know what we know), that attempts to overcome this false dichotomy. Wright argues that all human knowledge is involves both objective and subjective ways of knowing, and so he develops a theory to explain this, which he calls critical realism. Wright’s critical realism is quite close to the epistemological principle we have discussed in class, namely, the nature of an object determines the means by which it can be known (OR, the nature of an object determines the means by which we study it).

     In developing his critical realist epistemology, Wright also talks about stories and worldviews. Now, while I want you to have a basic understand of Wright means by critical realism (so that, for instances, you could explain and interact with the final paragraph on page 35), what I really want you to focus upon for Thursday is Wright’s discussion of stories and worldviews and the relationship between the two (pp. 38–44), because this discussion provides a framework and some important perspectives that we will use to reflect upon and discuss the Christian Story.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Pick two or three quotes out of your reading, and critically reflect upon them in your journal.

Stories and Worldviews

  What does Wright mean by story? . . . by worldview?

  How does Wright understand the relationship between story and worldview?

  How do stories and worldviews function? What do they do?

  What are some examples of stories (in your family, in society at large, etc.) that “embody and hence reinforce” a worldview and “thus provide a vital framework for experiencing the world” (39).

 

 

 

Terminology

 

critical realism

epistemology

empiricism

positivism

phenomenalism

objective knowledge

subjective knowledge

the Enlightenment

dichotomy, dichotomous

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources

Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection? by N. T. Wright

The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion, May 2007: 

1 hour 18 minutes (mp3 (18mb) | streaming video | video download (200 mb))

• This is a recent talk given by Wright on the resurrection of Jesus, about which he has written much. In fact, later in the semester we will take Wright’s argument for the historicity of the resurrection, part of which is also presented in this talk (available as audio or video). The reason why I have offered it here is that in this talk Wright gets into the question of different types of knowledge, namely, subjective vs. objective, belief vs. faith, or what Wright prefers, public vs. private, and so provides a nice supplement to your reading. You can see how Wright works out his critical realism with a particular issue that has literary, historical, and theological dimensions. What did Christians mean when they claimed that Jesus had been raised? And, what type of claim is this; that is, is it a theological, historical, and or scientific claim? You will also get hints of Wright’s understanding of the Christian Story, which we will address over the next two weeks.

 

 

3.4. Tuesday • September 4, 2007                                                     Homework IndexLecture Index

Topic:

Stories are Serious Business II — On Worldviews and Theology

 

Reading:

Authority, 121–31 (12), which can be found in your Course Reader.

 

Introducing

the Reading:

In this chapter, Wright returns to the issue of worldviews. He begins by discussing worldviews in more detail, focusing not only on the element of story but upon the four elements that Wright argues embody worldviews, namely, story, question, symbol, and praxis (121–26). Wright then turns to the question of theology, defining what he means by theology and describing how he thinks theology relates to worldviews (126–131). In short, Wright is attempting to demonstrate that theology is a legitimate ology, that is, theology can provide genuine knowledge about invisible realities that go beyond what some would disparagingly call mere belief. When you hit page 128, pay careful attention to what Wright is attempting to defend with respect to language about god and revelation. What does Wright think is at stake? In other words, what gets lost in terms of theology as a genuine ology if a critical-realist epistemology, with its acknowledgement and acceptance of both objective and subjective ways of knowing, is rejected?

  By the way, I am quite aware of the fact that for many, if not all of you, these readings from Wright will be difficult as they are filled with language and concepts that are unfamiliar and as they presuppose a certain background, which you probably have not had. Nevertheless, I would encourage you to muddle through and really try to understand as much as you can, not only will that prepare you for the class but the sorts of things that Wright is talking about are quite important and have a implications that extend well beyond what we will cover in this class. In other words, Wright’s critical realism has a lot to say about a variety of disciplines, and has implications for how we deal with issues in the public arena. By enrolling at Friends, you have committed yourself to a liberal arts education, one of the goals of which is to develop your ability to think critically and to see how learning in one field or subject relates to learning in another field or subject. Thus, while I knew Wright would be challenging, I think that what he has to say is worth struggling with a bit. So put your time in and understand what you can, and then come to class ready to contribute what you’ve acquired, including the questions Wright has raised for you.

  Also, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before (and perhaps it does not even need to be mentioned), but you may find it helpful to read through the suggestions for theological reflection below before you start your readings so that you will have an idea of the sort of thing to focus upon.

 

 

Theological Reflection:

What are the four elements of a worldview?

How do each of these function to embody and support a particular worldview?

 

I have included a number of quotes that you might wish to reflect upon. You could look at them individually, maybe focusing upon just one or two. Or, given that they are all related to the same issue, you might reflect upon the flow of Wright’s argument.

 

• “Theology is thus integrated closely with worldviews at every point. But what is theology talking about? Is it simply meta-language, a fanciful way of attempting to invest reality with a significance not always perceived? Or does it refer to real entities beyond space-time reality? At this point, we must invoke critical-realism” (128.2).*

* BTW, when I give a page number with a decimal point the number after the decimal point represents what full paragraph the quote occurs in. So this quote occurs on page 128 in the second full paragraph. If a “0” occurs after the decimal point, it means that the quote occurs in the paragraph is at the top of the page, which has continued from the previous page. 

 

 

  “Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud persuaded a whole generation to be skeptical of revelation, and to see it not as pointing beyond itself to a divine reality but as point back to other aspects of human individual and/or corporate existence and identity” (128.5).

 

  “Recognition of god-language as fundamentally metaphorical does not mean that it does not have a referent, and that some at least of the metaphors may not actually possess a particular appropriateness to this referent. In fact, metaphors are themselves mini-stories suggesting ways of looking at a reality which cannot be reduced to the terms of the metaphor itself” (129.3–130.0).

 

  “The possibility of god-talk having a referent does not mean, of course, that any and all talk about god, or God, is thereby legitimated as true. It is put, in principle, on the same footing as language about anything else. Once the possibility of a referent is recognized, the conversation can be opened up fruitfully. . . . Critical realism can thus affirm the right of theological language to be regarded as an appropriate dimension of discourse about reality.”

 

Vocabulary and Concepts:

theology

revelation

meta-language

story, question, symbol, praxis

eschatology

 

 

 

3.5. Thursday • September 6, 2007                                                   Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Stories are Serious Business III — On Worldviews and Christian Theology

 

 

Reading

Authority, 131–44 (14), which can be found in your Course Reader.

• By the way, this will be our last session taken from Wright’s book The New Testament and the People of God, and I am well aware that these chapters have been challenging, and so I want us to spend some time consolidating, drawing together, and summarizing Wright’s primary contributions. To facilitate this process, I would like each of you to bring at least one question with you to class that you would like clarification on, and we will see what we can do to answer one another’s questions. If it refers to a particular quote or section from Wright, please include the page number so that we can look at the question in context.

 

 

Introducing

the Reading

The reading for today covers the last half of Wright’s chapter on Theology, Authority, and the New Testament. In the first half of the chapter, Wright talks about the relationship between worldviews and theology, claiming that worldviews are essentially theological, even secular and atheistic worldviews. Wright then went into detail on how stories, questions, symbols, and praxis relate to worldview, how each of these in their own way and together embody and provided support for a given worldview. Wright also made a case for treating information received via revelation as genuine knowledge and not automatically resigned to subjective opinion or belief. Given God’s nature as one who cannot be discovered independent of God’s own acts of self-disclosure, if one wishes to know God, then one must submit to the revelation that God has actually given.

     In today’s reading, Wright turns from his discussion of theology in general and takes up the issue of Christian theology in particular (131–137), and this is the section that I really want you to concentrate on. Here Wright lays out the Christian worldview by providing a brief account of the Christian story, questions, symbols, and praxis, and then how basic beliefs and consequential beliefs fit into all of this. Notice the following structure of this section.

 

The Christian Worldview

1.  Story

2.  Questions

• Who are we?

• Where are we?

• What is wrong?

• What is the solution?

3.  Symbols

4.  Praxis

 

The Christian Worldview gives rise to

1.  Basic Beliefs

2.  Consequent Beliefs

 

 

Theological Reflection

How would you answer the following questions:

• Who are we?

• Where are we?

• What is wrong with the world?

• What is the solution?

 

Quotations for Reflection . . .

  “What then might a specifically Christian theology be? More, I take it, than simply an account of what Christians have believed in the past, or believe in the present, though those takes will always be part of the whole. That whole includes a necessarily normative element. It will attempt not just to describe but to commend a way of looking at, speaking about, and engaging with the god in whom Christians believe, and with the world that this god has created. It will carry the implication that this is not only what is believed but what ought to be believed. To the relativist’s response, that this will seem very arrogant, Christian theology will reply that it can do no other. If it is not a claim about the whole of reality, seen and unseen, it is nothing. It is not a set of private aesthetic judgments upon reality, with a ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ clause attached. Even the relativist, after all, believes that relativism is universally true, and sometimes seeks to propagate that belief with missionary zeal. Christian theology only does what all other worldviews and their ancillary belief-systems do: it claims to be talking about reality as a whole.” (131.3).

• As you reflect upon this quotation, you may want to consider the difference between the words descriptive and prescriptive (or normative).

 

• “A good deal of Christian theology consists of the attempt to tell this story as clearly as possible, and to allow it to subvert other ways of telling the story of the world, including those which offer themselves as would-be Christian tellings but which, upon close examination, fall short in some way or other” (132.1).

  As you reflect upon this question, you may want to consider the following. What is the relationship between the Christian story and the story of American nationalism (in whatever ways you would characterize each of these stories)? Are these stories the same, compatible, or incompatible? Why or why not?

 

• “From all of this it should by now be clear that, like all worldviews, the Christian worldview is not simply a matter of a private language, a secret or arcane mystery which is of interest only to those who themselves profess the Christian faith. All worldviews, the Christian one included, are in principle public statements. They all tell stories which attempt to challenge and perhaps to subvert other worldview-stories. All of them provide a set of answers to basic questions, which can be called up as required from the subconscious, and discussed. All commit their hearers to a way of being-in-the-world or being-for-the-world.” (132.1).

 

 

Concepts and

Terminology

basic belief

consequent belief

 

 

4.6. Tuesday • September 11, 2007                                                  Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Biblical Gospel

 

 

Reading

Gospel, 14–19 (6), which can be found in your Course Reader.

 

 

Introducing

the Reading

Over the past few weeks, we have been interacting with Wright’s understanding of worldview, the basic features of a worldview that embody that worldview and also allow us to analyze that worldview (namely, story, question, symbol, and praxis), how theology relates to worldviews, etc. In particular, we have focused upon story, and along the way we have gotten glimpses of Wright’s understanding of the Christian story, its principal characters, motifs, and theme and its central plot (See, for example, the paragraph on page 132 that begins “First, Christian theology tells a story . . .”).

     In today’s reading, we have another example of Wright’s presentation of the Christian story. You will want to read it a few times through to get a sense of how the various elements fit together.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Wright organizes his presentation of the Christian story, what he calls the biblical gospel, under three headings:

a. God’s Rescue Operation

b. God’s New People

c. God’s Kingdom

 

  How would you summarize each of these portions of Wright’s presentation?

  How would you summarize all of them into a single paragraph?

  Based upon this piece, how would Wright answer the following questions:

1.  Who are we? (which includes, why are we here; what’s our purpose in life?)

2.  Where are we?

3.  What’s the problem (or problems)?

4.  What’s the solution (or solutions)?

 

   (Now, to answer these four questions, it is not fair to jump to Wright’s answers on page 132, besides this is a slightly different story than the one he presents in basic outline on 132, it certainly has some different emphases.)

 

I am particularly interested in how you interact with (3) and (4). As my question implies, there may be more than one answer to these questions? There may be more than one problem and solution. If so, which solution goes with which problem?

               

 

 

Concepts and

Terminology

atonement

justification

redemption

reconstituted humanity

inaugurated eschatology » essentially this means that God’s kingdom, which was expected to be established at the end of the age, has already entered into human history. The end awaits completion but has already been inaugurated by Jesus.

Just for your information, not to memorize

raison d’entre » reason for being

semper reformanda » always Reformed/reforming

semper catholica » always Catholic

 

 

 

 

4.7. Thursday • September 13, 2007                                                 Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Christian Story I — Old Testament

 

 

Reading

A Walk through the Bible, 3–42 (40)

 

 

Introducing

the Reading

James Edward Lesslie Newbigin, the author of A Walk through the Bible, was born in 1909 and died in 1998. He was a theologian and a missionary who spent many years in India. In fact, from 1965 to 1974, he served as a bishop in India. He then returned to England where he lectured, pastored, and wrote. John Burn characterizes Newbigin this way:

His whole life as a missionary abroad and at home was given to commending Jesus Christ to others and presenting him as the unique and universal saviour and presenting the Bible as public truth. (This quote is taken from a taken from a talk given by Burn, which can be found here.)

 

I ran across the following description on Wikipedia, which I thought was interesting because it reminds one of some of the things we have been covering in Wright.

He is remembered especially for the period of his life when he had returned to England from his long missionary service and travels and tried to communicate the need for the church to take the Gospel anew to the post-Christian Western culture, which he believed had unwisely accepted the notions of objectivity and neutrality developed during the Enlightenment. It was during this time that he wrote two of his most important works, Foolishness to the Greeks and The Gospel in Pluralist Society.

 

We will be spending a couple of class sessions looking at Newbigin’s little book, A Walk through the Bible, which essentially tells the story of the Bible in seven small chapters. For Thursday, I am going to have you read his introduction and the chapters covering the Old Testament. The reading is fairly straightforward as he retells the Christian story, and so most of what I want you to focus upon is how he tells the story.

 

 

Theological Reflection

In the first part of the first chapter, “A unique account,” Newbigin introduces his telling of the biblical narrative, the Christian story. Pay particular attention to how he introduces it because it will help you focus your attention on the motifs and themes he emphasizes in his retelling. That is, if someone is going to condense the biblical narrative from Genesis to Revelation in 60 to 70 pages, they are going to need to make some decision as to what to include and not include, which involves an interpretation of what is and is not essential to the telling of the Christian story. This is what I want you to try to discover as you read his account, and his introduction will point you in the right direction.

     So when reading the introduction ask yourself this question, “What does Newbigin highlight?” And then, as you read the subsequent chapters, see how this emphasis plays out.

 

Newbigin begins his walk through the Bible on page 6 with “In the beginning . . . “ From this point onward, my suggestion would be to summarize in just a few sentences or a small paragraph the story that Newbigin tells. Your summary should highlight

• Who are the main characters, and what do they do in this part of the story?

• What are the main events that take place?

• What are the recurring motifs or themes that are being developed?

 

As you do this, I want you to reflect upon how Newbigin might answer the worldview questions to which we were introduced by Wright?

• What is wrong?

• What is the solution?

 

One of the questions that often gets asked both inside and outside the church is: Why did God choose Israel? Why are the Jews the chosen people of God? It is an interesting, and for our purposes, important question. So . . .

• How do you think that Newbigin might answer this question?

• How do you think Wright might answer this question? (See especially Wright on “The Biblical Gospel that we read for last Tuesday.)

 

 

 

 

5.8. Tuesday • September 18, 2007                                                  Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Christian Story II — New Testament

 

 

Reading

A Walk through the Bible, 45–85 (41)

 

 

Introducing

the Reading

Now we move from the Old Testament into the New Testament. If you didn’t read the introduction to the previous reading then do so now.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Basically, you are going to do the same thing with these chapters that you did in the last assignment. My suggestion would be to summarize in just a few sentences or a small paragraph the story that Newbigin tells. Your summary should highlight

• Who are the main characters, and what do they do in this part of the story?

• What are the main events that take place?

• What are the recurring motifs or themes that are being developed?

 

As you do this, I want you to reflect upon how Newbigin might answer the worldview questions to which we were introduced by Wright?

• What is wrong?

• What is the solution?

 

Both Wright and Newbigin see Jesus as fulfilling Israel’s vocation, so how does Newbigin see this working? You might find reflecting upon the following to be helpful in working through this.

  Wright writes, “The significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection can only be grasped if we realize that Jesus was taking on himself God’s purposes for Israel” (“Biblical Gospel,” 14). So what are God’s purposes for Israel; what has he called them to be and do? How then does Jesus, what he is and does, reflect him taking on himself God’s purposes for Israel?

 

 

 

5.9. Thursday • September 20, 2007                                                                                           

Examination 1:

 

Essay Portion. The essay portion of the exam is a take home, which is available here.

Content Portion. Content questions will come from the Who Wants to Be a Theologian games that are available in the Lectures section below.

 

Reflection Journal 1:

The first installment of your reflection journal is due. Consult the course syllabus for information regarding what I am looking for from your journals in terms of content and format. I will be focusing upon your ability to represent the positions of others (what I call emphathetic listening) and your ability to engage in critical, theological reflection. As I have said, I will be looking at the journal as a whole but will be focusing upon three entries/sections, which you have identified and which you feel represents your best theological reflection thus far.

 

 

6.10. Tuesday • September 25, 2007                                                Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Bible: Its Inspiration and Authority I

 

 

Theological Reflection

We are going to spend a few class sessions on questions that relate to the nature of the Bible as inspired scripture. Therefore, I would like you to reflect in your journal upon the topic, “What the Bible Means to Me.” Included in your reflection your views of the Bible in terms of what sort of adjectives you would used to describe it, your relationship to the Bible, etc.

 

 

 

6.11. Thursday • September 27, 2007                                              Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Bible: Its Inspiration and Authority II

 

 

Handout

Parallel Accounts (or A Synopsis) of . . .

• The Baptism of Jesus — Matthew, Mark, Luke

• The Walking upon the Sea — Matthew, Mark, John

 

NOTE . . . If you were not in class to receive the handout, you may pick one up from my box in the Friends Mailroom, on the first floor of Davis. My box number is H9.

 

 

Assignment

In class, you were given a handout that had the gospel accounts of Jesus’ baptism and of Jesus’ walking upon the sea. In each instance, the accounts differ from one another in both minor and major ways. What I would like you to do is to come up with your own account of each event. That is, say you were going to write a gospel and you were using the four gospels as your source to come up with a single, coherent account of the gospels’ witnesses to Jesus, when you came to these particular episodes what would you choose to include or exclude.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Once you have completed the above assignment, reflect upon the process. Why did you make the choices you made? In addition, reflection upon the following question. Given both the similarities and differences in these gospel accounts (and these examples could be multiplied), what does this say about the Bible’s inspiration. Is the Bible inspired? If so, in what way? What sort of theory of inspiration best accounts for the data that we have?

 

 

 

7.12. Tuesday • October 2, 2007                                                        Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Bible: Its Inspiration and Authority III

 

 

Reading

John Goldingay, “What Are the Characteristics of Evangelical Study of the Old Testament”

 

NOTE . . . This article (or lecture) is not in your reader but was handed out in class on Thursday. If you were not in class to receive the handout, you may pick one up from my box in the Friends Mailroom, on the first floor of Davis. My box number is H9. This article can also be downloaded as a PDF here.

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

John Goldingay is an Old Testament professor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Like N. T. Wright, Goldingay is both English and an ordained Anglican priest. He arrived at Fuller from the U.K. in 1998 or 1999 (as it so happens my wife Rebekah was his office assistant for a short time). What you are reading is his inaugural lecture. The main purpose in reading this lecture is because it addresses some of the issues we have been talking about in class regarding the inspiration of the Bible.

      As I said Thursday in class, we are always going back to our fundamental epistemological axiom, namely, the nature of an object determines the means by which it can be known; the nature of an object determines the means by which it can be studied. Moreover, I suggested that part of the nature of any object is its intended function or purpose. Thus, when we are attempting to come up with a description of the Bible that is in keeping with its nature, we must carefully consider its intended purpose. I have suggested that Isaiah 55:10–11; 2 Timothy 3:16–17, and Psalm 119:105, provide us with some indication of the purposes of God’s word and scripture. In short, I have been wondering allowed with you whether descriptions of the Bible as inerrant are helpful. First of all, given what we have seen with respect to differences in the gospel narratives, does the idea of the Bible as inerrant (without error of any kind) or the view that God inspired the very words of each account (verbal plenary inspiration) really fit the data that we have in scripture itself. Secondly, does inerrancy, which insists upon not simply the theological accuracy but the historical, geographical, and scientific accuracy of the Bible attempt to describe the Bible in ways that are not in keeping with its primary purpose or purposes? So, I have at least raised the possibility that inerrancy and other related views of the Bible, do not really get at the nature of the Bible as inspired.

     Now having questioned certain views of the Bible, I want us to focus upon what can be said positively about the Bible as inspired, and Goldingay will be one of our dialog partners in this endeavor. Of course, his lecture is focused upon the Old Testament, but as you will see what he has to say is applicable to the Bible as a whole. Goldingay also has a lot of other important things to say, which are worth hearing. In particular, pay attention to his views regarding the God of the Old Testament in comparison with the God of the New Testament.

 

 

Theological Reflection

You may find it helpful to summarize Goldingay’s five main points . . .

1.  Evangelical study of the Old Testament works within the framework of the gospel

2.  Evangelical study assumes that the whole Old Testament issued from acts of communication between God and people

3.  Evangelical study of the Old Testament will feel free to be independent of human tradition

4.  Evangelical study of the Old Testament is interested in the actual text of scripture and in the history it refers to.

5.  Evangelical study of the Old Testament is done by faith.

 

What words does Goldingay use to describe the Bible (and/or the Old Testament)? And what are the meanings of those words?

 

Where does Goldingay locate the authority of the Old Testament and/or the Bible as a whole? Another way to ask this question is, what does Goldingay thinks it means for the Bible to be the word of God? That is, complete the following, Goldingay would say that the Bible is the word of God because __________ , __________ , __________ , etc. Fill in the blanks (there is more than one answer to this though I don’t know how many exactly.”

 

 

 

7.13. Thursday • October 4, 2007                                                      Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Theology and Theological Reflection

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Forward, 11–14

  Introduction, 15–28

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

We are now beginning Jinkins book and will spend most of the rest of the semester working through it.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Suggestion for theological reflection:

  According to Jinkins, what is theological reflection? What does it involve? How does one go about doing it? How does it relate to what you have been doing in your theological reflection journals?

 

 

 

8.14. Tuesday • October 9, 2007                                                        Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Theology as an -ology

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 1: What’s the Use of Theology?, 29–41 (13)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

In this chapter, Jinkins takes up the question of the use and value of theology, and the chapter’s title is very significant because Jinkins does not simply address the ways in which theology might be considered useful, he also offers a critique of our tendency to determine the value of something based upon its usefulness and its measurability. As you read Jinkins, I hope that you will hear echoes of some of what Wright had to say for Jinkins, like Wright, want to demonstrate that theology is a legitimate -ology, that is, theology has a real object (God) and that we can have genuine knowledge of that object (not mere opinion or beliefs in the negative sense). Thus, Jinkins offers a critique of the Enlightenment’s dualism between objective ways of knowing and subjective ways of knowing by focusing upon the problems with materialism (the material world is all there is or at least all that can be really known) and empiricism (given materialism, we can only know things through observation and reason).

     I also hope that you will hear expressed in Jinkins our principal epistemological principle, namely, the nature of an object determines the means by which it can be known. In fact as you read, you might note where and how Jinkins makes an appeal to this principle. He does not use these words but some of the things he says assume this underlying principle. Note for example the following quote on page 35–36:

“It is this trap (i.e., the trap of measurability) that theology guards against in its dogged determination to remain open-ended to existence, to the reality that demands to be met on its own terms. Christian theology shapes its discipline around the possibility that something new happened in the midst of the old, and this something new demands of us new ways of thinking because it refuses to be captured within our prior categories.”

In other words, just because knowledge of God — which comes through revelation and not through empirical observation — does not fit the categories of knowledge derived from naturalism, materialism, and/or empiricism, it does not follow that we cannot have genuine objective knowledge of God, that we can only have our subjective beliefs about God, as some would claim. In other words, some would claim that theology isn’t really an ology because even if its object is real, even if God is real, God cannot be known empirically and so whatever we might want to say about God cannot be knowledge. What Jinkins (and Wright) argue is that this is in fact a very unscientific way of thinking because it does not allow the nature of the object to determine the means by which it can be known. Materialism is a worldview that presupposes that only the material world can be demonstrably known because it is the only part of life that is empirically verifiable. This, however, is an a priori assumption, that is, an assumption that is independent and prior to observation or experience. (Learn this word and its antonym a posteriori; they are very useful words and concepts; see your Theological Dictionary). In other words, materialism has not gone about doing research and then concluded that things like God are unknowable but as a matter of principle declare that God is unknowable because the world of the eternal is beyond empirical observation.

     Now Jinkins and Wright would probably say that it is okay to engage in certain types of investigation with such an a priori assumption. That is, if you are wanting to make some calculations about the moon’s gravitational pull, then it would seem appropriate to not include God in the calculation. And in fact, science is able to explain a lot of things that used to be attributed to a god or gods purely on the assumption that the natural world is all that there is. So Jinkins and Wright are not against natural explanations because the nature of gravity certainly seems to be explained without recourse to God but entirely through appeal to what we know about the matter and forces that exist within the natural world. So naturalistic explanations are fine; but when one takes a step further and argues that naturalistic explanations are all that are allowed one has moved from naturalistic to naturalism. Basically, someone has taken a genuine form of knowledge, knowledge of the natural/physical world, and said that only this type of knowledge counts as knowledge. Here, Jinkins and Wright would say that this is unscientific because it does not allow for different types of objects; it assumes all objects have the same nature (physical). In short, the nature of an object is not allowed to determine the means by which it can be known. If it is not subject to empirical observations and naturalistic explanations, then it is essentially not real. Well, that’s more than I intended to say about that.

     By the way, the section “The Value of Theology” on pages 38–39 are an excellent summary. If you understand and can explain what Jinkins is saying here then you have understood what Jinkins has been on about in this chapter.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Suggestion for the beginning of theological reflection:

  What is the trap of measurability, and how does it affect people’s perception of theology as a legitimate -ology?

• What is the trap of utility, and how does it affect people’s perception of theology as a legitimate -ology?

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

From this point on in the course, you will be introduced to a lot of new vocabulary, concepts and terminology, and you are going to want to make sure you have a handle on these new terms, what they mean and how they are being used. On page 40, Jinkins talks about this, so you may want to include as part of your theological reflection, some discussion of new terms. That is, you will want to have a sense of what all new terms mean but you may wish to take one or two per session and reflect upon them, what they mean and how Jinkins uses them. Here are some terms to consider from this chapter

  materialism

  naturalism

  utilitarianism

  a priori

  a posteriori

  orthodoxy, orthodox

  heresy, heretical

  polytheism

  the Enlightenment

  reason

  agnosticism

  atheism

  Hellenism

 

 

 

8.15. Thursday • October 11, 2007                                                    Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Theology and Authority — Scripture, Tradition, and Experience

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 2: Methods in the Madness, 42–59 (18)

  Class 3: I Believe in God, 60–76 (17)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

The reading for this session is longer than normal because it consists of two chapters. I have doubled up here because there are other chapters I would like to spend more time on and because we have covered some of these concepts before and so this will not be totally new to you

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

 

 

 

9.16. Tuesday • October 16, 2007                                                                                                

 

 

Reflection Journal 2:

The second installment of your reflection journal is due today. Remember to highlight the three sections that you think represents your best theological reflection.

 

Topic

I Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 4: I Believe in God, . . . , 77–93 (17)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

 

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

Thursday • October 18, 2007 . . . . . . FALL BREAK — NO CLASSES

 

 

Have a nice break.

 

 

 

 

 

10.17. Tuesday • October 23, 2007                                                   Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

I Believe in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord — Part I

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 5: I Believe in Jesus Christ, . . . , 94–105 (12)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

I have divided this chapter into two sections because there is a lot of content that is being covered.

     In this chapter, Jinkins says that when we begin to talk about Jesus we, in the words of Barth, have passed into the heart of the Christian confession (94). Therefore, we must be careful how we approach the question, Who is Jesus Christ? In fact, what you will see here in Jinkins’ discussion of the Quest for the Historical Jesus and then of the Church’s Kerygma, his attempt to find the appropriate starting place for our answering this question (recall in Chapter 3 he addresses the whole question of starting places in theology). Along this line then, Jinkins, makes this assertion:

In order to try to answer this question, we must begin in the actuality of the church’s faith. There is no place else to which we can resort to answer theologically this question: “Who is Jesus Christ?” (96, emphasis mine)

Pay attention to this because he makes two assumptions here. First, that to answer the question Who is Jesus Christ? one must first provide a theological answer (not a historical answer), and that is why we begin with the church’s faith.

     Part of what Jinkins will then discuss, particularly in the Quest section is the relationship of history, that is historical investigation, to theology. Notice that at times he uses history to refer to the events of the past but other times to the discipline of investigating the past; these are obviously related meanings of the word history but quite different. For example, many Christians say that the Christian faith is rooted in history, and what they are really trying to say is that the Christian faith is rooted in things that actually happened in space-time. But what is not often understood let alone acknowledged is that historical investigation may not be able to get us back to the historical events; that is, we may not have the sort of evidence we need to make historical judgments about this or that event, this or that person. This is not simply the case with biblical history but with all history, especially ancient history where our evidence is so limited. Thus, according to Jinkins and many theologians, those who attempt to ground Christian faith in the Historical Jesus (that is, the Jesus we can construct through historical methods of investigation) are headed in the wrong direction for two reasons. First, because our evidence for Jesus is quite limited in some respects in terms of historical investigation, but most importantly because historical investigation cannot get at some of the most important things about Jesus, and here I am not talking about the miracles. For example, (1) as a historian, I have the historical evidence to argue quite persuasively that there was a first-century Galilean Jew named Jesus of Nazareth who was executed as an enemy of the Roman state. What I could not do as a historian is argue that his death was for the sins of the world, nor could I deny that his death was for the sins of the world, because this is not a historical statement but a theological one. (2) Moreover, I might even (in Wright’s estimation) be able to argue, as a historian, that three days after Jesus was executed that he was seen by his followers and alive. What I could not do, as a historian, is say that God had raised him from the dead or that Jesus’ coming back to life meant that all authority on heaven and earth had been given to him, again because such a statement is not historical but theological in nature. These are the church’s confessions about Jesus inspired by the Holy Spirit (part of the kerygma), and those sorts of confessions are simply not subject to historical inquiry or judgment. Anyway, pay attention to what Jinkins is attempting to argue in the Quest section (although I would add that I don’t think he does a good job of presenting the Quest of the Historical Jesus. He mainly talks about the first wave of the Quest and says very little constructive about how the Quest is carried out among biblical scholars today. What he does do a good job of showing is how theologians for the most part completely dismiss the Quest on theological/philosophical grounds without having really studied it. This may not be true of Jinkins himself but his presentation does not reflect a nuanced, sophisticated awareness of what is going on currently. Nevertheless, I think his main concern stands, which has to do with where we begin our theological inquiry into Jesus). I might come back and say more about this later.

 

 

Theological Reflection

Jinkins says, “It is our faith in Jesus Christ that defines who we are as Christians. Or perhaps I should say, it is the Jesus Christ of our faith who defines who we are” (96).

  Why does Jinkins qualify his initial statement with the second statement? What is the point he is trying to make with this? I will give you a hint, it has a lot to do with all of our talk about knowledge involving both objective and subjective dimensions, about the relationship of belief to knowledge.

  In reflecting upon this question you might look back to his earlier discussion on pages 61–63, especially where he makes this statement: “This is quite similar to an earlier statement, “The first concern of the creed then is radically subjective, I trust. But the God in whom I trust is not determined by my trust. In fact quite the contrary. The very nature of my truest is shaped and given specific content by the God in whom I trust. And while my perception of God may vary from someone else’s perception of God, nevertheless God is who God is regardless of our partial and fragmentary perception and our individual and eccentric experiences?” (62–63).

 

What, according to Jinkins, is the value of historical investigation of Jesus and what is the relationship of historical investigation of Jesus to our theological inquiry?

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

The Quest for the Historical Jesus

Kerygma

 

 

10.18. Thursday • October 25, 2007                                                  Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

I Believe in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, Our Lord — Part II

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 5: I Believe in Jesus Christ, . . . , 106–123 (18)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

We are now moving into the second half of Jinkin’s fifth chapter/class. In the first part, Jinkins argued that if we are going to answer the question, Who is Jesus Christ?, we must choose a theological method and starting point, all due to the nature of who this Jesus Christ really is. Jinkins thus concludes that while historical inquiry is an appropriate and important part of the theological enterprise, it cannot be our starting point. Instead, we must begin with the church’s proclamation about who this Jesus is; that is, we must begin with the kerygma. Consequently, the second half of the chapter spends a good deal of time looking at the various christological controversies within the first few centuries of the Christian church, most of which were attempting to come to terms with who Jesus Christ was and is in relation to God.

     By the way, it is important to realize that for Jinkins the church is not limited to the so-called New Testament church, i.e., the church as presented in the New Testament, as though somehow God was no longer through the Holy Spirit indwelling and guiding the Christian movement. That is why Jinkins takes seriously this early history and the creeds and other statements that were produced.

 

 

Theological Reflection

The Christological Controversies

  This is a very dense section, lots of historical characters, lots of technical terminology, lots of different controversies and views about who Jesus is. Given this, I would suggest taking very good notes on this section, maybe organizing the information into a chart or table or some other visual genre to get a handle on what is going on (See the homework section for some suggestions on how to proceed).

  One way of organizing your information would be to do it on the basis of the particular controversies, and then associate particular characters with that controversy.

  While I think it is important to get the details correct (the who and the what), I am also interested in your coming to understand the different views, including why they were held and what was thought to be at stake? For example, are you able to define and describe Docetism, giving some reasons why this was an attractive position for some, identifying the implications of this position are for understanding who Jesus is and the reasons why this was considered heretical?

  One of the things you might consider as you are reading is whether you have come across any of these heresies today. Do you know of anyone (including yourself J) or any groups of people who hold to any of these views of Jesus or at least have some of these elements as a part of their theology?

  So, who is your favorite heretic, and why?

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

christology

 

Gnosticism, Gnostic

 

Docetism, Docetist

 

Ebionitism, Ebionite

 

Irenaeus (c. 130–200)

 

Justin Martyr (c. 100–165)

  Logos Christology

 

Sabellius (early 3rd = 200s)

  Sabellianism

  modalism, modalist monarchianism

 

Paul of Samosata (early 3rd = 200s)

  hypostasis

 

Arius (c. 250–336)

  Arianism

  homoiousion

 

Athanasius (c. 296–373)

  homoousion

 

The Cappadocian Fathers

  Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330–389)

  Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330–395)

  Basil the Great (c. 330–379)

 

Gregory of Nazianzus (c. 330–389)

  atonement = at-one-ment

  what is not assumed is not healed, or

   what remains unassumed is unhealed

The Council of Nicea, 325

  The Nicene Creed

 

The Council of Constantinople, 381

  The Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed

 

Apollinarius (c. 310–390)

  Apollinarianism

 

Antiochenes

  Diodore of Tarsus (d. c. 390)

  Theodore of Mpsuestia (c. 350–428)

  Nestorius (d. c. 451)

  Nestorianism

  two hypostases, one human, one divine

 

The Council of Ephesus, 431

  Theotokos

 

Eutyches (c. 378–454)

  Monophysites

  monophysite christology

 

The Council of Chalcedon, 451

  On the Trinity

  The Chalcedonian Definition,

   (a.k.a.) the Symbol of Chalcedon

  Greek east = one ousia, three hypostases

  Latin west = one substance, three persons

 

Cyril of Alexandria (d. 444)

  On the Incarnation

  hypostatic union

• one person, two substances

  one hypostasis, two ousia

 

 

11.19. Tuesday • October 30, 2007

 

 

Lecture

“What Is Trinitarian Salvation?”

by Dr. Elmer M. Colyer

 

 

Introducing

the Lecture

Dr. Elmer M. Colyer, who is Professor of Historical Theology and the Stanley Professor of Wesley Studies at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, has been invited to Friends to give a series of lectures in Friends’ annual Ministers’ Seminar. In his lectures, Colyer will be addressing these questions:

  What does a Trinitarian Christian faith look like in actual practice?

  What will it really mean for us to embody Trinitarian salvation in our life together in Christian community and ministry?

To answer these questions, Colyer is going to look at John Wesley and the early Methodist movement, which had a thoroughly Trinitarian vision of Christian faith, life, community, and ministry. One of Wesley’s characteristic descriptions of Christian faith and life is that our lives as Christians are together in the Spirit hidden with Christ in God the Father.

     As you can see, Colyer is addressing many of the same questions with much the same language that we have been introduced to by Jinkins, and so these lectures will fit very well with what we are doing in this course, and so I would encourage you to attend as many lectures as possible. As a Friends students you may attend the seminar for free. On the first page of your course reader, I have included a two-page brochure of the event, which will tell you the what, when and where of the lectures that are to be held. Fortunately, one of the lectures, “What Is Trinitarian Salvation?” occurs roughly during our class period and so we will be attending the lecture together as a class.

 

 

Time

10:20 – 11:45 a.m.

  The lecture starts at 10:20 so lets gather at 10:10 and see if we can go in as a group.

 

 

Location

Marriage and Family Therapy facility (MFT)

  MFT is located on the corner of Kellogg Drive and Hiram (basically east of the Casado Center parking lot. Once inside signs will direct you to the

 

 

Theological Reflection

Sometime following the lecture, I would like you to engage in some theological reflection upon what Colyer presented. Here are some suggestions to guide your reflections?

  What was Colyer’s main thesis (that is, what was the main point or points that Colyer was trying to make)? What arguments does Colyer advance in support of his thesis or theses? In short, what is Colyer’s argument, and how does it all fit together?

  What are the implications for a trinitarian view of salvation for our worldview (e.g., how we understand the Christian story), for our thinking (e.g., how we conceptualize or think about salvation, about God, about the church, about evangelism, etc.), for our praxis (i.e., the habitual practices we engage in both inside and outside the church), etc.

  Reflect on any similarities and differences between what Colyer presented and what you have encountered in this course, especially with respect to Jinkins.

 

 

 

11.20. Thursday • November 1, 2007                                               Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Being of One Substance with the Father

 

 

Reading

Course Reader

  “Being of One Substance with the Father” by Alan Torrance 49–61 (13)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

 

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

 

 

 

12.21. Tuesday • November 6, 2007                                                 Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Conceived by the Holy Spirit . . . — Part I

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 6: Conceived by the Holy Spirit, . . . , 124–136 (13)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

I have decided to divide this chapter into two parts, both because of length and because there are two primary topics that would be worth spending a whole class on each. In today’s assignment we are going to look at the two sections, “Martin Luther Meets Jesus,” and “The Self-Emptying God.” In these two sections, we are confronted with

 

 

Theological Reflection

1.  Martin Luther’s concept of God underwent a radical transformation. What was his original view of God, and then what did it become? What contributed to this transformation? Has your view of God ever undergone a transformation, radical or otherwise? From what to what? What contributed to this transformation?

2.  Christians have traditionally described God as omnipotent, that is, all powerful. But what does it mean for God to be all powerful? Can God do anything? Why or why not? What does the incarnate life of the Jesus of Nazareth, who is the self-revelation of God, contribute to our understanding of what it means for God to be all powerful?

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

theology of the cross, theologia crucis

theologia gloriae (theology of glory)

mirifica commutatio

kenosis

 

 

 

12.22. Thursday • November 8, 2007                                               Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Conceived by the Holy Spirit . . . — Part II

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 6: Conceived by the Holy Spirit, . . . , 136–153 (18)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

In the second half of this chapter, the focus is upon the various ways in which Jesus’ life and/or death has been understood as a solution to what has gone wrong with the world, that is, the various theories of the atonement. In many respects this is a fairly dense portion of the chapter, and so it will take some time to work through.

 

 

Theological Reflection

As you consider and reflect upon the various theories of the atonement, have in mind the questions that Wright taught us to ask, in particular: What’s wrong? and What’s the solution?. That is, pay careful attention to how the various explanations of what God achieved through Jesus correspond to the various understandings of what has gone wrong with the world and humanity in particular, which is sometimes explicitly stated and sometimes is implicit and so must be deduced from the solution. To use medical terminology, what I want you to be able to see with each theory of the atonement is how the prescribed treatment corresponds to the ailment.

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

atonement, that is, at-one-ment

Theories of the Atonement

  The Ransom Theory (a.k.a., Christus victor)

  The Satisfaction Theory

  The Penal Substitution Theory

  The Moral Exemplary Theory

 

13.23. Tuesday • November 13, 2007                                               Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Conceived by the Holy Spirit . . . — Part II (again)

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 6: Conceived by the Holy Spirit, . . . , 136–153 (18)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

We are going to continue on with this section and focus upon the different theories of the atonement.

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

atonement, that is, at-one-ment

Theories of the Atonement

  The Ransom Theory (a.k.a., Christus victor)

  The Satisfaction Theory

  The Penal Substitution Theory

  The Moral Exemplary Theory

 

 

13.24. Thursday • November 15, 2007                                             Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

The Holy Spirit

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 8: The Holy Spirit, 183–209 (27)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

 

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

 

14.25. Tuesday • November 20, 2007                                                                                          

 

 

Reflection Journal 3:

The third installment of your reflection journal is due today. Remember to highlight the three sections that you think represents your best theological reflection.

 

Topic

One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 9: The Holy Catholic Church, 210–234 (25)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

 

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

 

Thursday • November 22, 2007 . . . . . . THANKSGIVING BREAK — NO CLASSES

 

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

 

 

 

 

 

15.26. Tuesday • November 27, 2007                                               Homework IndexLecture Index

 

 

Topic

Salvation — The Eternal Kind of Life . . . Now

 

 

Reading

Invitation to Theology by Michael Jinkins

  Class 10: The Forgiveness of Sins, 235–247 (13)

 

 

Introducing
the Reading

 

 

 

Theological Reflection

 

 

 

Concepts and Terminology

 

 

 

 

 

Lecture Index

Course Introduction

1.1. August 23, 2007 • PPT  PDF

  Epistemology, Incarnation, and Trinity

 

Part 1 — The Christian Story

2.3. August 30, 2007PPT  PDF

  Stories are Serious Business I — On Critical Realism

  Knowledge: Problems and Varieties,” 31–46 (16)

  Contents — Brief introduction of Wright, the first installation of Who Wants to Be a Theologian, and a series of questions that help us reflect critically about the particular stories we hear and tell.

 

3.4. September 4, 2007PPT  PDF

  Stories are Serious Business II — On Worldviews and Theology

  “Theology, Authority, and the New Testament,” 121–31 (12)

  This includes some quotes from Wright, my introductory mini-lecture on “What is at stake for Wright?,” which includes the discussion about facts vs. opinions, and Who Wants to Be a Theologian.

 

3.5. September 6, 2007PPT  PDF

  Stories are Serious Business III — On Worldviews and Christian Theology

  “Theology, Authority, and the New Testament,” 121–31 (12)

  These files include some quotes from Wright on the nature of facts and also includes his basic worldview questions.

 

4.6. September 11, 2007MP3

• The Biblical Gospel

• In today’s class, we listened to a portion of a talk given by N. T. Wright entitled “God’s Restorative Program,” the complete version of which can be found (along with a number other talks by Wright) at  www.ntwrightpage.com. Just select NTWrightpage » Audio/Video, and you should see it listed. Or just click the mp3 link above.

 

4.7. September 13, 2007PPT PDF

  A Walk through the Bible I — The Old Testament

  Who Wants to be a Theologian,” primarily chapters 2–3

 

4.8. September 18, 2007PPT PDF

  A Walk through the Bible II — The New Testament

  “Who Wants to be a Theologian, chapters 5–8