In How to Think Theologically, Howard Stone and James Duke argue that theology works with a distinct template and epistemology or theory of knowledge, as do history, sociology and physics. Each theologian will have a distinctive template, but they all rely on Scripture, tradition, reason and experience to a greater of lesser extent (Stone and Duke 43). Martin Luther stated that his theology was based on Scripture and faith experience, for example, but he also accepted the traditions of the Catholic Church councils that defined the Trinity and the nature of Christ. Indeed, tradition has played "almost as prominent a role in Protestantism as in Roman Catholicism," and all churches have developed their own distinctive traditions of poetry, art, hymns and prayers over the centuries (Stone and Duke 49). Even non-Christian traditions can be an important point of comparison, such as the description of God offered in the…… [Read More]
Sacraments are traditional rites that are recognized as having a particular significance or importance. There are seven sacraments and baptism is on of them, it is the first of the three sacraments of initiation. Baptism involves the use of water symbolically and leads to the admission of a person into a community of believers. Baptism is based on John the Baptist practice where he baptized people including Christ. Baptism now incorporates the idea of creation of unity between believers and Jesus
It is often referred to as the door of the church since it is the first of the seven sacraments. This sacrament is necessary since Christ had ordered his disciples to preach his gospel and baptize those who accept the message. It was clear that baptism was very necessary when it came to salvation. It does not mean that only the formally baptized can be saved; there are…… [Read More]
26). Adherents of apophatic theology subscribe to the belief that instead of intellect, it is far more productive to acquire mystical knowledge as this reflects an awareness of God's innumerable ways of manifesting himself. Describing the central differences between apophatic theology and estern religious philosophy, Lossky states that it involves replacing the Holy Trinity -- the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit -- with the more universal (non-estern) virtues of Goodness, isdom, Life, and Love. It is believed that replacing the Trinity with these virtues effectively reconciles the Trinitarian theology associated with estern religion with the mysticism of Eastern theology.
In addition to the importance of total ignorance as a central prerequisite to communion with God, apophatic theology relies on the individual engaging in a strict routine of pure contemplation and divine inquiry. To this end, adherents should pare down their existence to a simpler, direct engagement with God. It…… [Read More]
Then, and now, Americans are risking losing their moral character by "greeting only their own people."
America needs a theology of immigration that begins with the Bible and ends with public policy. In their policy proposals, Sider and Snippers suggest as one of the top goals to "extend the same rights and protections to vulnerable immigrants and refugees as citizens," (242). This would appear to be the more authentic evangelical immigration policy than the anti-immigrant stance often voiced by the right wing in America. Christians should "be united in sharing God's love and care for all gerim" that is, all immigrants, documented or not (Sider and Snippers 242). The Jews of the Biblical era know, and modern Jews know well the importance of a theology of immigration as it says in the Pentateuch, "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt," (Exodus 22:21). The Jews…… [Read More]
In this way, Segundo's geatest stength in this text is also its weakest, when examined with full analytical scutiny. In his own definition and defense of libeation theology, he focuses only on one specific text and set of aguments against the ideology; by discounting Ratzinge's "Instuction" as a fundamental misintepetation of the theology and its oigins and elationship to Catholic doctine and dogma, Segundo pecludes the notion of engaging in a meaningful debate with the Chuch o its offices egading the theology of libeation. That is, athe than acknowledging that thee might indeed be discepancies between contempoay Chuch doctine and the beliefs held by libeation theologists, Segundo effectively dismisses Ratzinge's "Instuction" as inheently wong. He is caeful to lay out his easons fo this assetion, to be sue, including a eexamination of cetain texts and passages, but the esult is a dismissal athe than a debate.
This could vey well…… [Read More]
Carlo, I.A. "Toward An Evangelical Global Theology Amidst World Christianity." Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Bakke Graduate University, Seattle, WA, 2009.
Once the reader moves beyond the messy, shallow writing in Carlo's "Toward An Evangelical Global Theology Amidst World Christianity," a few gems of research emerge. The problem is how hard it is to find those specks of value in this terribly written doctoral dissertation. The muddled and oblique writing aside, there is little of postgraduate substance in "Toward An Evangelical Global Theology Amidst World Christianity." The dissertation is full of faults, and it is difficult to distill what the writer is trying to say. The dissertation reads like a high school research report peppered with occasional doctoral tidbits.
Thankfully, the end of the first page offers an outline of what the writer intends to discuss. The author sets forth to describe the meaning and definition of theology; the place of…… [Read More]
Pascal's projected apologia for Christian belief, for which the text of the Pensees offers some glimpse, would ultimately have reflected his sincere conversion (of sorts) to the gloomy Jansenist theology which hovers over his works generally. Ultimately rejected by the Roman Catholic church as heretical, Jansenism emphasized the fallen and corrupt nature of man in an Augustianian way, while at the same time suggesting that only God's grace can permit human action to rise above this fallenness. Pensees 133 notes that the fallenness is compounded by a willful refusal to see the facts: "unable to cure death" man instead seeks "diversion." At Pensees 24 he describes "man's condition" with a suitably Augustinian bleakness as consisting of "inconstancy, boredom, anxiety": the last two can surely be related to human life when viewed alongside the prospect of a future and eternal life. But the "inconstancy" seems to be Pascal's own way…… [Read More]
This is where, as a Christian, the role of Jesus is important. Not only do I believe that all humans need to be in a relationship with Christ, I also believe they have the capability to either choose to be in that relationship or to reject Christ (John 3:16).
My view of the church is that the church is a group of people who have responded to God's gift of salvation and are growing their relationships with God. Ideally, the church should resemble Christ in work, study, and life. However, I also recognize that the church is made up of human beings, with all of the frailties and weaknesses that plague other human beings. The fact that they are members of a church does not take them outside of the realm of sinners, which is reflected in the condition of my current church, which does not always seem to be…… [Read More]
Theology -- Christian Doctrine
Christian Doctrine of the Church from the perspective of a believer hinges on several basic concepts. The concept of Church, the nature of the Church revealed through metaphors, the Church's beginning, government, functions and ordinances are all basic elements of Church Doctrine. Researching these concepts, one can see some commonalities and some widely differing beliefs among Christian sects.
Summary of Christian Doctrine of the Church from the Perspective of a eliever
The Meaning of the Greek Word "Ekklesia"
The term "ekklesia" is Greek for "to call out," historically referring to "the assembly of citizens in a self-governed state" who were summoned from other places such as their homes to convene (roadus 2012, 358). In the secular historical context, this term means only the assembly itself and not the people who take part in it (Saucy 1972, 12). Therefore, this secular historical interpretation does not rise to…… [Read More]
My issue had been accepting the Old Testament as the true word of God unadulterated by human inaccuracy, political and historical agendas, and the misconstruction of centuries of translation.
My concerns on this front were answered by two elements from the readings. First, as I mentioned before, I found the correspondence of the prophecies of Christ in the Old Testament and the fulfillment of those prophecies in the New Testament to be very powerful proof of the connection between the two books, and I knew that if I accepted the New Testament as the revelation of God, I must accept the Old Testament as well to be consistent within my own faith. The fact that other prophecies were also borne out by history, like the prophecies concerning Cyrus and Josiah, and the prophecies concerning Babylon, only furthered my conviction of the divine source of the Bible.
I was also deeply…… [Read More]
Buddhism grew out of the Hindu religion alongside Jainism. These two religions (Buddhism and Jainism) are extremely similar in that they both accept all people and reject authority and the caste system, but Buddhism differs greatly from Jainism in that Buddists are taught to follow a path through the middle of "worldliness and extreme asceticism." (Hopfe, and oodward 127) The creator of the Buddhist religion is attributed to a man named Siddhartha, who live between the years 560-480 B.C.E. (Hopfe, and oodward 127) Siddhartha was a rich prince who was prophesized to become a Buddha (or Enlightened One), if certain events came to be during his lifetime (Hopfe, and oodward 128). By the time his thirtieth birthday had arrived, Siddhartha had witnessed the events needed to convince him to leave his earthly and princely life behind and pursue a life dedicated to solving human suffering (Hopfe, and oodward 129).…… [Read More]
Describe a positive image involving sexuality and its source (where or how did you get this idea?)
My first positive image involving sexuality was the direct result of the confidences of a close friend. I still remember the feeling of awe and wonder that her description aroused in me even though I was really experiencing the sensation vicariously. We must have been no more than around eleven or twelve years old and like all girls at that stage in life were prone to talking about boys, love, and sex, though we really had little understanding of either the relationships involved or its physical manifestations. Frankly speaking, until that particular conversation, the images we had of sex and sexuality were more in the realm of the forbidden and therefore sinful though like all other human beings, we were very aware of the changes in our physical body, and our…… [Read More]
Theology -- Interpretation of Text
The Bible reveals the laws of the Old Testament and Jesus' belief in and fulfillment of those laws. David broke the Old Testament laws against Adultery and unlawful Killing. hen Nathan told him the story of the rich man taking the poor man's lamb, David thought he was upholding the law against stealing; however, he was really speaking about David breaking the laws against Adultery and unlawful Killing. In the New Testament, Jesus upholds those Old Testament laws and fulfills them.
Reviewing the entire Bible, we can see there are many themes introduced in the Old Testament that Jesus also addresses in the New Testament because he was true to the law set forth in the Old Testament and was also the fulfillment of that law. One example is the Adultery and unlawful Killing committed by David in the Old Testament and Jesus' reference to…… [Read More]
The Theological Message of Genesis Chapter 1
The ultimate purpose of God in His work of creation is to display His glory in its fullness and to fill the earth with it (Krell 2005). All other doctrines and beliefs in opposition to this message and its implications are thereby repudiated and rejected. God deals only with absolutes. What are some of these theories and how do they differ?
This is the belief or doctrine that either God does not exist (Harlow 2004, Krell 2005, Power of Hope 2010, Hyers 2011). Genesis 1:1 does not only repudiate this belief. It assumes on the existence of God. The first verse, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth," identifies Him as the creator of all things. At the same time, it relates the origin of the world. It states that God existed before everything was created and created…… [Read More]
edemption is a fundamental feature of Christ, a sign that God is dedicated to a continual expression of love for humanity and the world. Thus, redemption is a necessary counterpart and component of Creation. edemption is also an integral part of the covenant between God and humanity, expressed through the being of Christ. Moreover, the redemptive aspect of Christ proves that love -- the primary factor or quality of redemption -- is "greater than sin," (Ionnes Paulus 1979, 4).
The redemptive activity of Christ reveals both the justice and love of the triune God. As a "superabundance of justice," redemption balances the effects of original sin and transcends death (Ionnes Paulus 1980, 2). A revelation of God's love, redemption is mercy in action. edemption is also love in action, and "man cannot live without love," (Ionnes Paulus 1979, 4). Therefore, the redemptive activity of Christ is necessarily an act…… [Read More]
The Pastoral Epistles mention good works, as the concept of blending faith plus good works becomes embedded in Christianity ("Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles" n.d.). The concept of faith is re-framed from one of personal commitment to one of belief in core Christian dogma, a "a body of propositions," ("Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles" n.d.). Terms that were uncommon in earlier writings like "epiphany" appear in the Deutero-Pauline texts, too. Most importantly, though, the Pastoral Epistles are important because they provide guidance to potential Church leaders who would be leading the flocks toward Christ.
Bielby, J. (2009). Pseudonymity, Deception and Intention in the Deutero-Pauline Epistles. etrieved online: http://knol.google.com/k/jared-bielby/pseudonymity-deception-and-intention-in/6k2fryxbmasp/19#
Brannan, W. (2006). Pastoral epistles: preparation for exegesis.
"Deutero-Pauline and Pastoral Epistles." (n.d.). etrieved online: http://gbgm-umc.org/umw/corinthians/deutero.stm
"Deutero-Pauline Letters." (n.d.). etrieved online: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:U7WourCi9QQJ:web.lyon.edu/webdata/groups/rph/rph120/deutero.pdf+Deutero-Pauline&hl=en&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESge73J-rLJefu8Jus9htPZWyt90KJa_UQ-L7C9NlNAIj8C0yFmdwGSZEvnYW5pnD3P6peIwmsnTnhio9JZeaiZZpaPmtPVgcqjNxfngNx5spMdrChUgP302iXX5rPH-F6za6W-&sig=AHIEtbS0DzWgG9TBIiAdLhpGFe-aJUGCKw&pli=1
Guthrie, D. (2002). The Pastoral Epistles. Leicester and Grand apids: Intervarsity.
Just, F. (2009). The Deutero-Pauline Letters. etrieved online: http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Paul-Disputed.htm
Just,…… [Read More]
Blog 1: Who needs theology; an invitation to study God
The book - Who needs Theology? An Invitation to Study God -- is an important undertaking by Roger Olson and Stanley Grenz, the former a career academic and the latter a member of the clergy, which hits at the root of the issue i.e. The role of the clergy as an intermediary between God and the believer. Christendom, it is fair to say, has engaged in this debate for over 500 years. "Who needs theology" is therefore an important read for not just budding theologians or academics in faith but for every believer who is unwilling to outsource the interpretation of faith to schooled clergymen.
The writers lay out the whole range of theological spectrum from lay theology/folk lore to established dogma and doctrine of the Christian Church. The consequent compartmentalization in the book makes for a neat and…… [Read More]
The 1970s saw the emergence of liberation as an important force within Christianity. The liberation had three major expressions that include; Black theology, Latin American liberation theology and feminist theology. Studies shows that all three respond to oppression, for instance, Latin American liberation theologians argue that the poverty stricken people are exploited and oppressed by capitalist nations. Black liberation theologians also argue that their people are suffering from oppression at the hands of racists whites. Conversely, Feminist liberation theologians on the other hand emphasis upon the liberation of women in a male-dominated society. In summary, this paper will discuss the three expressions of liberation theology that is; Black theology, Latin American liberation theology and feminist theology within the context of each, as well as, critiquing reflecting on the positive and negative of each.
Liberation theology tries to infer the holy writ through the plight of the disadvantaged or…… [Read More]
Transcendence and immanence define the way persons relate to each other (Willsey, 2003). Transcendence do with the fact that one person is not another person while immanence do with closeness of relationship. Grenz and Olsen believe that transcendence and immanence are expressions of how God relates to His creation. Their book; God and the World in a Transitional Age (1992), is said to give their interpretation of how religious theology developed in a modern age along with how they saw the divine transcendence and immanence from evangelical viewpoint. In their opinion, they argue that Christian theology for many years have always sought a balance between the biblical truths of the divine transcendence and immanence (Grenz and Olson, 1992, p. 295). Grenz and Olsen understanding of revelation is that God is within humanity and his plans towards mankind are discovered upon seeking His Gospel (Grenz & Olson, 1992, p.…… [Read More]
However, seeing how the Bible tells us to not enter into these decisions with haste helps to restore some confidence that the individuals handing down the discipline are, in fact, doing so in the must true way they can. They are following the word of God by not giving in to the pressures of secular culture to come down with a swift and powerful decision.
The River in Egypt is in debate. The river that marks one of the boundaries for the land promised in the Covenant of Abraham may or may not be the Nile. Because the Nile is such a popular and readily recognizable river, many simply assume that this is in fact the river being referred to as the boundary. Ryrie brings up a very good point that the word used in the text originally indicates a continuously flowing river, which the Nile is, but…… [Read More]
1. How has your view of theology changed over the past 8 modules/weeks?
It is true that the term “theology” seems too academic for the ordinary person. I believed that ordinary people like me studied the Bible but not theology. Over the past eight weeks, I have learned that every time we do study the Bible, we are doing theology. Theology is not “stuffy, distant ideas that have nothing to do with you, with your practical, everyday life,” (Etzel & Small, 2016, p. 2). Rather, theology is a deeper understanding of the word of God.
I was impressed to see how much theology I had already learned just in my Bible studies. However, I soon learned that theology was not just about Biblical theology. There was also philosophical theology, systematic theology, and historical theology. Throughout these eight modules, I learned to engage on each of these different theological levels of…… [Read More]
Theology for and the Process of Planting a New Church
Many years ago, America was known as a "Christian nation." However, in modern society, our nation is in a religious era in which individuals create their own belief and value systems instead of listening to God's teachings.
The amount of churchgoers in America today is rapidly decreasing as churches fail and close every day. Church planting is the process of planting new churches prepared to succeed and revitalizing established churches that need to be helped.
Why Plant Churches?
According to Peter Wagner in "Church Planting for a Greater Harvest" (Wagner, et al., 1990), a key means of growing the church is planting new churches.
The single most effective evangelistic methodology under heaven is planting new churches."
With more than six billion people alive on the earth, the need for building new churches is huge. According to recent statistics, approximately 4…… [Read More]
Moving to a Liberation Theology
The traditional doctrines of Salvation and the Holy Spirit can be viewed differently when approached from the perspective of Liberation Theology. The theological position of the liberation theology is that social justice and the liberation from oppression is the key to executing the philosophy and teachings of Christ on Earth. According to Juan Luis Segundo in The Liberation of Theology, the central premise of Christianity is liberation: God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Trinity must all be understood in the light of liberation. As Segundo states, “Adam communicated sin and death to all human beings. Christ communicated justice and life to all….[Christ’s] communication of life and justification outdid Adam’s communication of sin and death.”[footnoteRef:2] In other words, Christ liberated mankind from the wages of sin, and those who call themselves Christians should engage in demonstrating this liberation by advocating for social justice and…… [Read More]
Theological Comparing and Contrasting
1 Barth and Cone: Convergence and Divergence
According to James Cone, “Christian theology is a theology of liberation”[footnoteRef:2]—though the liberation that is referred to in this sense is not necessarily the liberation of the soul from sin but rather the liberation of the community from oppression, whether it be social, political or economical. In other words, Cone’s theology of liberation is rooted in a worldly sense of the Christian mission—a sense of social justice being delivered to the here and now. The oppressed are those who should be freed, and the Gospels are meant specifically for these people. This is the essence of theology for Cone. [2: James Cone, A Black Theology of Liberation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2010), 1.]
For Karl Barth, theology is the science and doctrine of God and in Christian theology, the term “The-anthropology” is employed by Barth in order to convey an…… [Read More]
Foundation for Faith Review
A Foundation for Faith: An Introductory Study of Systematic Theology with References to the Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689 by Stanford E. Murrell, Th.D., is a massive work consisting of 6 parts. Part I focuses on theology proper—i.e., the study of God, which examines the definition, method, and source of theology and looks at the arguments for the existence of God. The arguments include the ontological, cosmological, teleological, moral and historical arguments. In response to these arguments, Murrell gives the anti-theistic—i.e., anti-Christian—arguments, which include atheism, polytheism, materialism, and pantheism. Murrell discusses at length the arguments against materialism and identifies the promises of God in response to these rebuttals. The argument against materialism is tersely summarized thus: “Logically, life must come from life. No spontaneous generation has ever been proven.”[footnoteRef:2] The promises of God in opposition to pantheism, which Murrell explains is an illogical belief because personality cannot…… [Read More]
The field of Biblical Theology is different from that of Systematic Theology with regards to its principle of establishment: that is, the former is historical and not logical. It commences with understanding the Scripture's historical dimension: that the Book of Genesis and the Book of Leviticus are different; or, in general, the Old and New Testaments are different. Biblical Theology attempts at understanding the message in the Bible according to how it slowly unfolds, as more and more of God and his purpose with regards to man is revealed (Murray & Rea, 2002; Vos, 2003). Biblical Theology is characterized by realizing the diversity in Scriptural texts as well as their underlying unity as God's revelation to mankind.
Biblical theology attempts at understanding the viewpoint from which authors of the Scriptures have written their texts and interpreted previous holy texts. Further, it attempts at seeking a matrix of suppositions and…… [Read More]
Historically, Biblical theology and philosophy had so many things in common and thus complemented each other. Philosophers and theologians even considered themselves mortal enemies in certain cases. Most Christianity doctrines have critical implications or pre-suppositions on philosophy. The discussion begins with the relationship between philosophy and Christianity. It then defined Biblical Theology based on three Christian doctrines that influence philosophy. They include the trinity, the atonement and the incarnation. The paper excludes other doctrines such as those about God’s attributes and providence because they are not unique to Christianity. Also, unlike the doctrine of Christ’s Real Presence in the Eucharist and the origin of sin, the three doctrines have long been discussed and used in relation to philosophy over many decades ago (Amanze, 2012).
The debate on Christian traditions and the relationship between philosophy and Biblical theology continues to rage. An influential apologist and Christian theologian in the early…… [Read More]
Ultimately, it is inconceivable why any God, much less a loving God, would ever conceive of a universe in which His creatures had no will of their own or were not free to accept His offer of love or to reject it. Salvation, therefore, cannot be predestined and must be a function of human choice or election, precisely because love without choice is not "love" at all.
Armstrong, Karen. 1993. A History of God. London: Heinemann.
Bennet, David. 2004. Predestined for Free ill. Online. Available from the Internet, www.freewill-predestination.com/,accessed18 March 2009. accessed 18 March 2009. http://www.freewill-predestination.com/,accessed18 March 2009. accessed 18 March 2009. accessed 18 March 2009.
Capoccia, Tony. 2009. Bible Questions and Answers Part 19. Online. Available from the Internet, http://www.biblebb.com/files/macqa/1301-Q-11.htm. accessed18 March 2009.
Deem, Richard. 2008. Predestination vs. Free ill - Is it One or the Other? Online. Available from the Internet, http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/predestination.html,accessed18 March 2009.
Dennett, Daniel,…… [Read More]
Book Chapter: A Theology of Communion for the Contemporary Catholic Parish
The study of ecclesiology is the study of how the Christian church, the ever-expanding body of believers, has evolved over time to respond to new political and social realities. Ecclesiology also takes into account the way organizational structures, hierarchies, and roles within the church have changed and reflect the nuances of a cultural milieu or historical epoch. In addition to all that, the study of ecclesiology also comprises the church’s relationship with surrounding community organizations. How the church forms strategic alliances with secular political, social, and economic institutions is also part of the complex array of issues that impact ecclesiology. Although some aspects of the church must remain stable over time to reflect scripture, church polity and organization remains one of the most dynamic aspects of Christianity and the role it plays in the world.
As MacDougall (2015)…… [Read More]
(Paul, 2005) In fact, the AAPC survey found that African-Americans, devout evangelicals, people without a college degree, the elderly and people age 18 to 29 are most likely to fear that a professional counselor won't take their religious beliefs into serious consideration when treating them. (Paul, 2005)
People come to Christian counselors for two reasons," commented Randolph Sanders, executive director of the Christian Association for Psychological Studies, an association of Christians in mental health and behavioral sciences. "One is faith perspective; they want a therapist who resonates with their worldview. The second is moral ethics; they want a counselor who understands what guides their decisions." (Paul, 2005)
Christian counseling, more than secular counseling, has the ability to present a starkly positive viewpoint. In fact, the origins of Christian counseling were planted in the clergy, whom parishioners historically consulted about emotional and spiritual well-being and health.
According to Paul, The progenitors…… [Read More]
John's Gospel is a strongly theological work. The basis for the Christology of John's Gospel is the Word. Also, John gives deep theological insights through the stories of the Samaritan woman at the well, the man born blind and the rising of Lazarus from the dead. John's account of the Passion is also deeply theological and quite different from the accounts of the other gospels. Finally, John uses many motifs to highlight the divinity of Christ. It is clear that John's gospel is not merely an historical account of Jesus' life on earth; rather it is a skillful examination of the theology of Christ and Christianity.
The Christology of John's gospel based on the prologue.
The basis for the Christology of John's Gospel is found immediately in the prologue's first sentence: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (King James…… [Read More]
Faith and reason: Can one Live without the other?
Habitually, faith and reason have respectively been looked at as being the sources of justification for religious faith. For the reason that both can supposedly serve this same epistemic purpose, it has been a question of much interest to theorists and theologians how the two are linked and as a result how the rational agent should treat claims resulting from either basis. Some theologians have held that there can be no struggle between faith and reason -- that reason correctly employed and faith correctly assumed will never create opposing or opposing claims -- whereas others have supported that faith and reason can be in honest disagreement over certain propositions or events (O'Collins, 2003). The Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian explains, "y its nature, faith appeals to reason because it reveals to man the truth of his destiny…… [Read More]
Theology: The Epistle of Jude
The Epistle of Jude: Theology
The Epistle of Jude, like that of 2 Peter, focuses on the issue of false teachers and apostasy. Jude warns Christians against falling to apostasy, or heeding to the teachings of false teachers within the church. Any such doing, the author teaches, is deemed to attract judgment and condemnation from God. This text analyzes the core themes in the Epistle of Jude.
The Epistle of Jude
The church at the time was facing two fundamental issues -- false teachers and apostasy. Members were claiming to be Christians, but were at the same time practicing aspects of Judaism, and were not ready to openly declare their faith, owing to the persecution and suffering that Christians were forced to go through by the oman Empire (Jobes, 2011). In verse 1: 3, Jude refers to these apostates as those who had departed from…… [Read More]
Theology: What James Says About Faith and Love
What James Says about Faith and Love: Theology
The Working of Faith and Love according to James
The Gospels teach that one is granted the gift of eternal life as long as they believe in Jesus Christ (John 3: 16; 6: 47; 5: 24). In other words, belief in Christ (faith) is the only requirement for a Christian to inherit God's heavenly kingdom. James 2, however, puts forth a different perspective -- that we are not justified by faith alone; rather, our faith has to be accompanied by deeds, and good deeds are driven by love (Wilkin, 2002).
In James 2: 14, James questions, "what does it profit brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" The context of James is focused on judgment -- the author mentions in chapter 2 that people will…… [Read More]
Theology: evelation and John
evelation and John: Theology
A lot of debate and controversy surrounds the proper interpretation of the Book of evelation. There are four main interpretations of the apocalyptic work, with the four differing on the question of whether the events in evelation have already been fulfilled, and whether the symbols relate to any historical events (Pate, 2009). We discuss three of these interpretations:
The Idealist View
the book of evelation does not relate to any historical events; it only symbolizes the ongoing struggle between evil and good (Kreider, 2004)
Symbols not tied to specific events, but point to themes in the history of the church - the battles represent the spiritual warfare manifested in wars and the persecution of Christians; the catastrophes represent God's displeasure with man's sinful nature and a manifestation of how God emerges victorious in the end; the trumpets represent natural disasters occurring as…… [Read More]
Theology: The Epistle of James
The Epistle of James: Theology
Compile profiles of James the Just and his churches
James the just is first mentioned in Matt 13: 55, where he is described as the oldest of Christ's younger brothers. The gospels mention that throughout Christ's ministry, James and his three brothers did not give Jesus, their half-brother, the respect He deserved (John 7: 3-5). They thought that Jesus was mad (Mark 3: 2). This saddened Jesus, who declared in Mark 6: 4 that a prophet is never welcome in his own house and among his relatives.
The next time we see James is after Jesus' resurrection in the Book of Acts, then he and his brothers convinced that Christ indeed was the Messiah (Acts 1: 14). He is part of the group of believers praying in the upper room in Acts 1: 14 (Aust, 2003). Jesus' appearance…… [Read More]
Theology: An Analysis of the Book Of Hebrews
An Analysis of the Book of Hebrews: Theology
The book of Hebrews is one of the most controversial books in the New Testament. The controversy derives largely from the fact that the book's author is yet to be identified. This text presents the various arguments that have been put forth about the book's authorship, intended audience, destination, and date.
Analysis of the Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the most controversial writings in the Bible. It is unique, convincing and elaborate in the way it speaks about priesthood and the superiority of Christ. It presents Christ as the High Priest that God sent to get mankind closer to Him. The controversy surrounding the book, however, stems from the fact that it does not conclusively state who the author is. Most scholars have thus come to accept…… [Read More]
Theology: James, Hebrews and Peter
James, Hebrews and Peter: Theology
The issue of persecution is quite prevalent in the books of Hebrews, James and 1 & 2 Peter. The writers center their teachings on the idea that Christians should be ready to endure persecution, just as Christ their savior did. This text examines how the issue of persecution is handled by the three writers, and what Peter says about false teachers and building healthy churches.
Persecution in Hebrews, James and 1 Peter
Persecution comes out as a core concern for Christ and his believers in both the Old and the New Testament. The books of James, Hebrews, and 1 Peter center on the theme of suffering and persecution, with the central message being that just like Christ suffered, Christians must face suffering in their daily living (Heb 11: 4; 1 Peter 2: 21) (Jobes, 2011). They must be willing to…… [Read More]
Theology: The aptism Debate
Peter's encouragement sermon on the Day of Pentecost -- "repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you shall receive the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) has been the source of raging debate, marred by conflicting views on i) whether Peter was referring to spirit or water baptism; and ii) whether through the phrase 'be baptized…the forgiveness of sins', Peter was identifying baptism as a requirement for salvation[footnoteRef:1]. In other words, should Peter's exhortation be interpreted at face value, or should it be understood some other way? This text purposes to interact with the opposing views on these issues, examine their theological and syntactic viability, and then conclude with an interpretation that aligns with both the immediate and the larger contexts of the verse in question. [1: 1 ruce Compton, "Water aptism and the…… [Read More]
Why should Christian theology be contextual? Explore this by referring to four important issues such as culture, liberation theology, feminist theology, and queer theology.
Christian theology should be contextual because religious expression is dependent on culture. Historical and cultural context have continually impacted the development of Christian theology. Biblical allegories and the gospels are contextual in that they refer to the life and times of Christ, with additional references to Hebraic culture and values. Paul's subsequent neoplatonic stamp on Christianity likewise must be appreciated within its cultural and historical context. The artifice of papal doctrine is in the preposterous assumption that Christian theology is somehow absolute. In fact, theology shifts according to the semiotics of culture and the language used to cloak the Christian vision in terms understandable to the audience.
Christian theology has essential, core elements, which do not lend themselves to contextualization. For example, fundamental issues like…… [Read More]
Moltmann and Pannenberg - Theology of Hope
Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LOD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
A theological shift that took place in the 1960s involved an attempt to understand Christianity based on a deep focus on the awareness of Jesus' impending return and what it would mean for mankind and a hope for the future. As mankind has become increasingly unhappy with society's ills -- crime, evil, violence, hatred, and death -- a hope has developed that is rooted in peace and justice. There are many theologians who have contributed to this body of thought. Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg are two such central figures who share many similar perspectives about the theology of hope. This paper looks at them in more detail, as well as some differences…… [Read More]
Liberation Theology as an Analytical Reflection on Praxis, and Where Theology and Humankind Embrace
One among the most important Christian theological developments within the past 100 years is liberation theology. The doctrine's advocates regard it as a novel means to 'do theology', rather than a subfield of theology. The method aims to view the universe with regard to being involved with disadvantaged and subjugated individuals. It also endeavors to discover, within the Bible, analytical instruments as well as the energizing force to bring about drastic change to that universe (Anderson 1979, 4). The direct sources may be traced back to the 60s' developments in Latin America's Roman Catholicism, together with blatant social and economic disparities and widespread local feelings of bias.
This dissertation will look at the above objectives by reviewing the following points: The paper's foremost section will study theology's contextual character and liberation theology's introduction in response to…… [Read More]
Pope Francis and Theology of Book Of Amos
On 27 November 2013, Pope Francis made a declaration denouncing a new idolatry for money pointed out that present way of running the economy resembles the ancient idolatry way of worshiping golden calf in the old testament According to Pope, the present world economy lacks truly human purpose, and the worldwide crisis is affecting economy and finance leading to imbalance and lack of concern for human.
Pope also shows a concern for income equality revealing how elderly homeless people die of exposure to cold and the stock markets in most countries loses two points. According to Pope, income inequality is becoming unbearable to the extent that while some people are throwing food away, some people are starving. Pope believes that the free market capitalism has led to the economy of inequality and exclusion, and it is time for policymakers to change the…… [Read More]
One such sin would be to not accept the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit as seen by Guthrie flowed through Jesus Christ. For one to not accept the Holy Spirit, then one would not be able to accept Jesus and not be a Christian, not be apart of God's salvation.
For Christian life, discipleship, and ministry, hopeful signs appear. The struggle present itself in that research in the theological realm follows the lines drawn out by Scripture, and avoids the extremes and excesses, in various directions, that have reared their heads throughout the history of Christian thought. With the start of the new millennium, systematic theology faces struggles and opportunities. Yet these are not merely issues of academic interest. Some of these developments are good, some are not.
In conclusion to answer the question "Who are the people of God?" In biblical terms forces the systematic theologian to wrestle with…… [Read More]
theology is not a 'thing'
Practical theology focuses on the 'doingness' of people, or practitioners of Christianity, rather than simple existence. It implies a day-by-day active obedience and operation of Christian living. It means taking the abstract breadth of theology and applying it in real life, or rather fusing both abstraction and action in one whole so that thinking joins actions to practice true and all-encompassing religion.
'Life in the world'
What eling (2005) calls 'Systematic theology' is the equivalent of idealistic philosophy: it is transcendental and detached from life. However, life can never be 'systematic'. Knowledge -- genuine knowledge is always linked with striving and struggle i.e. A 'living-in-the-world'. Practical theology, then, is a relationship with the world instead of a relationship apart from it.
The people of our time
Practical theology not only is used to alleviate human suffering but also adapts itself to particular context and time.…… [Read More]
tensions ambivalence. Yet Christian ignore Paul's theology pressed letters. Discuss The rationale essay critically explore, evaluate discuss questions: ho St. Paul-hat Paul write letters churches individuals ministry? hat cultural, social, political religious contexts readings received Paul's writings? How contemporary church reads interprets Paul's writings 21st century evangelism, mission, ministry, Christian character formation ethical teachings.
Theology of Paul
Saint Paul (originally named Saul of Tarsus) was one of the most influential individuals in the Christian world and a person who is largely responsible for how society perceives Christianity. Even with the fact that he was not one of the original Twelve Apostles, his involvement in taking Jesus' words further increased his role as an imposing Christian figure. Paul's letters to individuals and churches were meant to provide these bodies with more information concerning Christianity. The Apostle likely considered that it was essential for the world to gain a complex understanding of…… [Read More]
Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty
Major Schools of Thought and Actors
In Transforming Practice: Pastoral Theology in an Age of Uncertainty, Elaine L. Graham addresses Traditional, Postmodern, Empirical, Liberation and Feminist perspectives on Theology and ultimately on Pastoral Theology. In order to address these perspectives, Graham traces the historical development of each, current theological realities, and prospective "horizons." The result is an extensive review of the Pastoral Theolog (y)(ies) of the Church and its faith communit (y)(ies), viewed very strongly through the feminist pastoral perspective.
As presented by Graham, the Traditional perspective is built on Scripture that is rife with patriarchy and an overarching patriarchal hierarchy. hile providing conventionally binding values and norms, the Traditional perspective is decidedly male-centered: traditionally-based pastoral theology tended to focus on the traits of a good male pastor and was essentially restricted to the pastoral ministry of ordained males.…… [Read More]
As Jeffrey Stout has it, following James' "Will-to-Believe," "We need not agree on all matters of moral importance to agree on many, and where our judgments happen to coincide we need not reach them for the same reasons." (Fackre, 2003)
Fackre states that there are five pluralist views as follows:
View 1: Common Core. At the center of all the great religions of humankind is found a common core of divine (however conceived) doing, disclosing and delivering. Each faith approaches it through its own heroes, expresses it in its own language, celebrates it in its own rituals, formulates it in its own rules of behavior, and passes it on in its own communal forms. While the rhetoric of each religion may claim that its way, truth and life are for all, these absolutist professions are, in fact, "love talk," the metaphors of commitment, not the metaphysics of reality. Jesus is,…… [Read More]
To combat subjectivity, he called for interpretation to be subject to church authority, which was the voice of reason. Reardon (1981) echoes this interpretation: "Hooker sets out to refute the puritan contention that in religion holy scripture affords the sole and absolute authority and rule" (p. 280). Hooker shows that the narrow principle of sola scriptura "disregards the larger context of the divine law in creation within which even the scriptural revelation must be placed if we are to understand its proper scope and purpose" (Reardon, 1981, p. 280). Not far from the Reformers, they upheld the idea that the directly inspired written word contains supernatural revelation. There is perhaps less emphasis on preaching and proclamation in the Anglicans than in the Reformers.
hat is the status of the creeds and traditions? In Anglicanism, the Nicene, the Athanasius, and the Apostle's creeds are stressed as true because they are taken…… [Read More]
evangelical theology terms assertion Grenz Olson. Your essay explore God's transcendence immanence relation evangelical theology.
The Bible presents God as both transcendent and immanent. Let us take a look at what both of these concepts incorporate. In a symbolic Biblical sense, the name Yahveh expresses the transcendent nature of God while Immanuel refers to God's immanence. Yahveh was considered by the Jewish people so holy a name, that they would even avoid pronouncing it. They sought to protect God's name from what they feared would become an irreverent familiarity and so the name was reduced to the four consonants YHVH. Literally, the word is translated as "the one who will be." The interpretation given to God's transcendence is that God is unlike his creation, that he stands above and beyond everything as the only one who is truly transcendent, thus holly.
Immanuel or "God is with us" is used in…… [Read More]
faith, theology, belief, and spirituality?
hen considering the difference between belief, faith, theology, and spirituality, it is helpful to consider these terms in their commonly expressed linguistic forms, as they occur in our daily lives. In other words, in ordinary parlance, how does one usually use the words of belief, faith, theology, and spirituality? By examining such common usage, often one may find clues as to the subtle or not so subtle differences between the terms.
Take, for example, the notion of belief. I might say that I believe in evolution, that I believe that human beings evolved from primates. In other words, one can believe in a supposition that may or may not be correct that has nothing to do with conventional religious structures and institutions, or even, if one accepts fundamentalist interpretations of Genesis, goes against such religious suppositions. I might also say that I believe that my…… [Read More]
Human Qualities of the Theologian
The task of the theologian is that of utter responsibility and the necessity of having a connection to his church and the world outside of it. It is definitely not a task for the faint of heart. Among the many intricate and often overlapping tasks of a theologian is the necessity of fostering a sense of understanding with faith and theology. "Christians want to understand what they believe, what they can hope for, and what they ought to love" (Migliore, 2004). Thus, while Christianity is able to have trust and obedience in the hope and love of God, theology has to struggle with some of the more difficult issues connected to this journey, via reflection, inquiry and the pursuit of truth (Migliore, 2004). Thus, the theologian must pursue truth and keep asking questions while instilling his work and his journey with a certain amount of…… [Read More]
Therefore, the research conduced on the word of God can be a useful means through which a priest can become a better preacher by adapting his sermons in such a manner as to insure that he does not exclude certain parts of his community and addressing only the ones that believe or the ones than need to be shown the path of God.
Another important role played by theology for the priest is the knowledge that this exercise provides in better understanding the word of God in the way that it becomes accessible to all the community, regardless of background. More precisely, the Holy Book although speaks of generally applicable truths, has a lot of interpretations. The study of theology allows the priest to be in deep contact to these interpretations and be aware of the teachings and adapt its sermons. Also, it is important for the preacher to understand…… [Read More]
Next, researchers corroborated the results of the study with other relevant facts on the subject. To achieve this objective, they would look at a number of different pieces to confirm the underlying effect. A good example of this is when researchers would study the classic piece of literature on human psychology, Man Search for Meaning. In the book, the author (Viktor Frankel) says, "There is nothing in the world, I venture to say, that would so effectively help one to survive even the worst conditions as the knowledge that there is a meaning in one's life" (Davis, 2003) This is significant, because Frankel is saying that humankind can survive some of the most horrific conditions, if they are given a reason to endure. As a result, one could effectively argue that the research and the subsequent examination of the different pieces of literature confirm the effect that religion…… [Read More]
Covert participant anthropological observations of AA and NA meetings indicate that in practice the use of theological components of the program is even more explicit than the 12 steps might indicate. During the meeting the members hold "each other's hands, and lead the membership into a recitation of the Lord's Prayer. Affixed to the Lord's Prayer is an AA ending: 'Keep coming back; it works'" (Alexander & ollins, 1984, p.7). Anthropologists and critics alike have commented upon the 'cult-like' nature of AA and NA: new adherents are encouraged to leave their jobs and cut family ties to facilitate their path to sobriety; there is a ritualistic aspect to the group's meetings; a demand for purity on the part of the membership; and required adherence to all of the group's rules (Alexander & ollins, 1984, p.8). The emphasis on the need to confess and tell one's stories, the need to prioritize…… [Read More]
Belief that Christ is present in the Eucharist is rooted explicitly in Scripture, while the devotion known as Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was not practiced until the early 14th century (McBrien). hile the belief in Christ presence will forever remain a part of the deposit of faith as a Tradition, the tradition of Benediction may disappear without consequence (McBrien).
The Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation teaches that Scripture and Tradition form one sacred deposit of revelation and that Tradition encompasses the "whole life, witness, teaching and worship of the church," thus Tradition is a living, dynamic reality that "develops in the church with the help of the Holy Spirit" (McBrien).
According to Catholic theologians, Tradition is never independent of Scripture, therefore is something is not found in Scripture, then it is not in Tradition, even if it is a legitimate tradition of the Church (McBrien).
Catechism of…… [Read More]
The seeking of salvation is an admission of ignorance while authority-based communication is an assertion of knowledge. The two are incompatible.
Instead, communication has to be understanding-based. All communication should recognize the suffering of the human beings and have the aim of discovering the nature of that suffering, to understand that suffering. Christians have heard it in the Prayer of Saint Francis, which reads: "..grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand..."
Even secular thinkers understand this concept, as demonstrated by popular Personal Development guru Stephen Covey's principle of "Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood."
In understanding-based communication, disagreements would no longer express judgment and authority, but trust and compassion. Trust that the other person has your best interests at heart and compassion for the other person who shares your suffering. Although doctrine and theology will inevitably…… [Read More]
Environment and Globalization
Christine Burke calls for a Christina response to the issue of environment and globalization in her essay entitled Globalization and Ecology. She sets forth her estimation of the steps that the Christian world needs to take to change the current affects of globalization on the earth and the societies that inhabit it. Burke calls for "active participation'42 by the Christian community in understanding, "ecological awareness'42 to shape that action, and a "new participation'42 by "creative leadership'42 to engage in action. The goal she stresses is to move from the "individualistic mindset'42 toward one that is "holistic and inclusive."
The Christian community needs to understand the narrow focus of the global community. It is a focus, according to Burke, which idealizes only income and wealth vs. social responsibility. In turn, individual societies suffer as global corporate interests destroy their ecologies. Because corporations operate in what seems to…… [Read More]
This is why Hall advocates a "disengagement" from that image of American public life. Getting some distance from this aspect of the dominant culture will enable a framework for evangelism that embraces the diversity of God's community. Thus, Christ can truly become the "all in all."
Keifert defines the two main challenges in American culture as being the moral imperative to respect diversity, coupled with the spiritual imperative to nurture the current awakening. That an awakening is taking place is evident in the growing numbers of church members, but it is also important to keep in mind what both atson and Hall say about the problems with large church culture in America. Bigger is not necessarily better. Christians need to move beyond the "supersize me" mentality and embrace a quality over quantity mentality when it comes to their ministries.
From a theological and scriptural perspective, the suggestions offered by atson…… [Read More]
Theological Concerns for Today
There are a couple of different things that come to my mind when I envision the word theology and its meaning. Mostly, I think that this word pertains to very important questions about God. These questions, however, are not just about God. They are also about what is holy and what exactly God's boundaries are. In this respect, I actually consider theology to be rules about God. More specifically, these rules are about what areas of life God pertains to, and what areas of life to which God does not pertain. Thus, I believe that theology pertains to defining the boundaries of God's dominion, and denoting what those limitations are. Another thing I frequently think about upon ruminating about theology is the comparison between theology and religion. I understand that theology is a formal scientific study. Religion, however, is not based on science and is not…… [Read More]