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Theology 101. The Person and Works of Almighty God. Theism. A Supernatural Power One God, personal or impersonal A Personal God who is “ transcendent ” (lying beyond the limits of existence) and “ immanent ” (unchangeable in essence, attributes, consciousness and will)

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theology 101

Theology 101

The Person and Works of Almighty God

  • A Supernatural Power
  • One God, personal or impersonal
  • A Personal God who is “transcendent” (lying beyond the limits of existence) and “immanent” (unchangeable in essence, attributes, consciousness and will)
  • One personal God, revealing Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
what is god
What is God?

“God is spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable, in His being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth”

arguments for the existence of god
Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Cosmological: “Everything begun must have an adequate cause”
  • Teleological: “Order and useful arrangement in a system imply intelligence and purpose in the organizing cause. The universe is characterized by order and useful arrangement; therefore, the universe has an intelligent and free cause”
arguments for the existence of god1
Arguments for the Existence of God
  • Ontological: “This idea of God, held universally by all people, is infinitely greater than man himself”
  • Moral: “Every person has a sense of obligation, of what is right and wrong, together with an undeniable feeling of responsibility to do what is right and a sense of self-condemnation when he commits what is evil”
arguments for the existence of god2
Arguments for the Existence of God

5. Congruity: “To believe in a personal, self-0sufficient, and self-revealing God is in harmony with our moral and mental nature; history and natural law have an explanation; and the universal belief in a supreme being with its accompanying religious experiences can be accounted for”

  • The Science of God and His works
systematic theology
Systematic Theology
  • The systematizing of the findings of the science of God and His works
  • “Having rejected the Bible as the infallible and inerrant Word of God and having accepted the view that everything is in a flux, the liberal theologian holds that it is unsafe to formulate any fixed views about God and theological truth” (Theissen, pg. 1)
“Evangelical scholarship, however, believes that there are some things in the world that are stable and fixed”
  • The heavenly bodies such as planets, stars, moons
  • The laws of nature
  • The science of mathematics
the difference between theology ethics and psychology
The Difference Between Theology, Ethics and Psychology
  • Psychology deals with behavior, the “How” and “Why” of human behavior
  • Ethics deals with the “Right” and “Wrong” of human conduct, the moral quality of behavior
  • Christian ethics includes our duties toward God, and the motive is that of affection for and willing submission to God
Theology includes the doctrines of
    • Trinity
    • Creation
    • Providence
    • The Fall of man
    • The Incarnation
    • Redemption
    • Eschatology
“Religion” is used in a general sense for any adoration or service of God, a god, or gods. It includes




A system of faith

“To be religious is to be aware, or conscious of, the existence of s supreme being and to live in light of the demands of that supreme being”

“The Christian religion is restricted to Biblical Christianity, the true religion which is set forth in the Holy Scriptures. It is the awareness of the true God and our responsibility to him”(Theissen, Systematic Theology, p. 2).
  • Theology: The facts concerning God and His relationship to the universe leads to theology
  • Theology is how we organize our thoughts concerning God and the universe
  • Religion: The expression in attitudes and actions and the effects these thoughts have produced in mankind
theology and philosophy
Theology and Philosophy
  • Theology and Philosophy differ in their approach to and method of attaining their objectives
  • They both seek a comprehensive world and life view
  • Theology begins with the belief in the existence of God, and that he is the cause of all things---except sin.
theology and philosophy1
Theology and Philosophy
  • Philosophy begins with some other given thing and the idea that it is sufficient to explain the existence of all other things
    • No theory of origins
    • No doctrines of providence, sin, salvation, or the final consummation of things on this earth
    • We cannot come to know God through philosophy
“We do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom…the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (I Cor. 1:21)
the necessity of theology
The Necessity of Theology
  • The nature of the human intellect and the practical concerns of life require some sort of theological belief
    • The organizing instinct of the intellect
    • The human intellect seeks for unification and systematization of knowledge
    • The mind is not satisfied to discover certain facts about God, or man and the universe, but seeks to know the relations between persons and things and to organize them into a system
the character of unbelief
The Character of Unbelief
  • “The dangers that threaten the church come not from science, but from philosophy” (Theissen, p. 4)
  • Atheism: “disbelief in the existence of God
  • Agnosticism: One who believes that any ultimate reality (God) is unknown and probably unknowable
the character of unbelief1
The Character of Unbelief
  • Pantheism: a belief that equates God with the forces and laws of the universe; the worship of all gods of different creeds, cults, or peoples indifferently---the toleration of worship of all gods
  • Unitarianism: a belief that the deity exists only in one person; a member of a denomination that stresses individual freedom of belief, the free use of reason in religion, a united world community and liberal social action
memory verses
Memory Verses
  • Ephesians 4:14 “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ”
“We need to have an organized system of thought so as to make a consistent defense of our faith. If we do not, we will be at the mercy of those who have such a system. The Bible gives a consistent world-view and provides answers to the great problems which have faced the philosophers for generations” (Theissen, p. 4)
the character of scripture
The Character of Scripture
  • “The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the scientist, a body of unorganized or only partly organized facts”
    • The death of Christ (Leviticus 1-7)
    • The sufferings, death, and exaltation of Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53)
    • The Return of Christ (Zechariah 14; Revelation 19-22)
    • The Person of Christ (John 1:1-18; Phil. 2:5-11; Col. 1:15-20)
the character of scripture1
The Character of Scripture
  • The Bible as the Word of God (Ps. 19; 119)
  • The Omnipresence and Omniscience of God (Ps. 139)
  • The restoration of Israel to its temple worship and land (Ezek. 40-48)
  • The present and future status of Israel as a nation (Rom. 9-11)
  • The Holy Spirit (John 14-16)
  • The problem of suffering (Job; I Peter)
the development of an intelligent christian character
The Development of an Intelligent Christian Character
  • Erroneous views:
    • There is little or no connection between a person’s belief and character
    • Theology has a deadening effect on the spiritual life
    • “Merely intellectual acceptance of a set of doctrines is insufficient to produce spiritual results, and unfortunately, many people have nothing but an intellectual loyalty to the truth. But true belief, involving the intellect, the emotions and the will, does have an effect on character and conduct”
“We act according to what we really believe, not according to what we pretend to believe”
  • “Only as we know what we believe will we be able to withstand the attacks of the evil one and move forward in the victory provided for us in Christ”
I Tim. 4:2 “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience, and instruction
  • Titus 1:9 “Holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers…”
the possibility of theology
The Possibility of Theology
  • “The possibility of theology grows out of two things: the revelation of God and ten endowments of man. The revelation of God takes on two forms: general and special. The endowments of man are of two kinds: mental and spiritual”
the revelation of god
The Revelation of God
  • God could never be known if he had not revealed himself
  • “Revelation is that act of God whereby he discloses himself or communicates truth to the mind, whereby the makes manifest to his creatures that which could not be known in any other way”(Theissen, p. 7)
    • A single, instantaneous act in time
    • or over an extended period of time
the general revelation of god
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

  • Naturalists who reject the idea of God see nature as self-sufficient and self-explaining
  • Pantheists see God as the ‘power of energy effecting all the changes in the phenomenal world’
  • Deists see God only in nature, as the ‘all-sufficient revelation of God’ and no special revelation is necessary
the general revelation of god1
The General Revelation of God
  • Scripture stating the revelation of God in nature:
    • Romans 1:19…
    • Job 12:7-9
    • Ps. 8:1-3
    • Ps. 19:1
    • Isaiah 40:12-14; 26
    • Acts 14:15-17
the general revelation of god2
The General Revelation of God
  • “What the deists held were nothing but abstract truths derived, not from nature, but from the other religions, especially from Christianity.
  • The deistic view has been largely superseded by the belief that we have no revelation of God in nature”
the general revelation of god3
The General Revelation of God
  • “The revelation of God in nature reveals that there is a God and that he has such attributes as power, glory, divinity, and goodness. But there are limitations of the revelation of God in nature. Although leaving man without excuse, this revelation alone is insufficient for salvation; it is intended, however, to incite man to search for a fuller revelation of God and his plan of salvation, and it constitutes a general call of God to man to turn to him” (Theissen, p. 8)
the general revelation of god4
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

2. History

  • Ps. 75:6 “For not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert comes exaltation; but God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another”
  • Acts 17:26 “God has made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though he is not far from each of us”
the general revelation of god5
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

2. History

  • Israel
  • Egypt
  • Babylon
  • Medo-Persia
  • Greece
  • Rome
the general revelation of god6
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

2. History

  • “It is surely remarkable that at a time when the whole world had sunk into the despondency of polytheism and pantheism, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and their descendants should come to know God as a personal, infinite, holy, and self-revealing God, as the creator, preserver, and the governor of the universe (Joshua 24:2)
the general revelation of god7
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

2. History

  • They conceived of man as created in the image of God
  • Fallen, sinful, condemned
  • Needing redemption through sacrifice
  • Deliverance through the death of a Messiah
  • Resulting in salvation for the nations
  • Coming again to reign in righteousness & peace
the general revelation of god8
The General Revelation of God

1. Nature

2. History

3. Conscience

  • Conscience judges whether a proposed course of action or an attitude is in harmony with our moral standard or not and urges us to do that which is in harmony with it and to refrain from that which is contrary to it.
the general revelation of god9
The General Revelation of God
  • It is the presence in mankind of this sense of right and wrong, of this discriminative and impulsive something, that constitutes the revelation of God. It is not self-imposed.
  • It is the reflection of God in the soul
  • There is an absolute law of right and wrong in the universe