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Introduction to theology

Introduction to theology

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Introduction to theology

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  1. Introduction to theology

  2. What is systematic theology? • Karl Rahner: Theology is the science of faith. It is the conscious and methodical explanation and explication of the divine revelation received and grasped in faith” • Wayne Grudmen: ‘Systematic theology is any study that answers the question, "What does the whole Bible teach us today?" about any given topic. This definition indicates that systematic theology involves collecting and understanding all the relevant passages in the Bible on various topics and then summarizing their teachings clearly so that we know what to believe about each topic.’ • Stanley Grenz: “Systematic theology is the reflection on and the ordered articulation of faith • Veli –Matti Karkkainen: “Systematic theology is an integrative discipline, which continuously searches for a coherent, balanced understanding of Christian truth and faith in light of God’s revelation and in the context of the history of theology and contemporary world and cultures”

  3. Doing Theology: VmK’s two modes of theology Embedded theology Deliberative theology Interpretation Correlation Assessment • “Faith seeking understanding,“ St. Anslem • All Christians are theologians


  5. In thinking theologically we: • Raise questions • Think critically • Hazards of unexamined belief • Humility

  6. KARL BARTH’S WARNING TO US Karl Barth’s quote with reference to the prophet Amos: ‘I hate, I despise your lectures and seminars, your sermons, addresses and Bible studies…When you display your hermeneutic, dogmatic, ethical and pastoral bits of wisdom before one another and before me, I have no pleasure in them…Take away from me your.thick books and…your dissertations,…your theological magazines, monthlies and quarterlies.”

  7. Branches of theology • Biblical Theology • Historical Theology • Pastoral and Practical Theology • Ethics • Philosophical Theology • Apologetics • Systematic Theology

  8. Sources of theology

  9. Sources of theology • Scripture/Revelation • Tradition • Reason • Experience • Will return to this later • Wesleyan Quadrilateral

  10. Sources of theology (cont.) • Scripture: (Theology’s Norming Norm) • Heritage • Culture • Stanley Grenz notes three sources of theology : • (Placher, 21-33; Grenz, 16-20)

  11. A closer Look at the four sources

  12. Scripture • Theology’s norming norm • Ultimate source for theology

  13. tradition • Traditio - to ‘pass down’ • Roman Catholic pre-Vatican II View • Protestant Reformation View • Contemporary Situation

  14. Note the following quote from Karl Barth: “It is not a good sign for Protestants, or for the depth of their view, if they do not feel the difficulties that afflict the Scripture principle as compared to the church principle of Roman Catholics. It is not a good sign if they can present or hear the Roman Catholic doctrine without a certain homesickness for its unheard-of soberness and certainty.” • Check context for this quote • Karl Barth, The GöttingenDogmatics, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), p. 204.

  15. Jeremy begbie on scripture, tradition and improvisation • The Holy Spirit improvises on Scripture • The Holy Spirit works through tradition • Improvisers work within the respected givens of improvisation • If we work within strictly rehearsed music, things can become staid and rigid • The Holy Spirit is the great improviser • He improvises in situations that the apostles never knew Jeremy Begbie

  16. REason • Main question: What is the role and extent of reason as a source for Christian theology? • Two general approaches: • Tertullian: “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem or the Academy with the Church” • Augustine: All truth is God’s truth

  17. Sources: experience • Personal, first-hand experience • Alistair McGrath notes two approaches to the relation of experience to theology: • Experience as a foundational resource for theology • Theology provides the interpretative framework with which human experience may be interpreted • Augustine • Martin Luther

  18. George lindbeck: the cultural-linguistic perspective • “a religion can be viewed as a kind of cultural and/or linguistic framework or medium that shapes the entirety of life and thought.” – George Lindbeck • Helen Keller

  19. Theological context • Modernity • Barthianian Challenge • Ecumenism • Pluralisms • Postmodernity • Placher notes the following interplay of factors in today’s theological climate: • (Placher, 3)

  20. Fuller Seminary Apostle’s Creed I believe in God, the Father almighty,  creator of heaven and earth.  I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,  born of the Virgin Mary,  suffered under Pontius Pilate,  was crucified, died, and was buried;  he descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again;  he ascended into heaven,  he is seated at the right hand of the Father,  and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.  I believe in the Holy Spirit,  the holy catholic church,  the communion of saints,  the forgiveness of sins,  the resurrection of the body,  and the life everlasting. AMEN. • Systematic Theology I • Revelation • God • Creation • Humanity (anthropology) • Fall and Sin (hamartiology) • Systematic Theology II • Jesus Christ (Christology) • Holy Spirit (Pneumatology) • Salvation (soteriology) • Systematic Theology III • Church (ecclesiology) • Last Things (eschatology)

  21. Goal of theology • Doxological- To glorify God • Think theologically • Live accordingly • “Theology connects faith and practice” • There is no area of life that is not touched by theology, because there is no area of life that is not touched by God • Interdisciplinary