Evangelical Theology Study Guide

Exam #1 Review – Evangelical Theology Questions: 1.

What is Olson’s point about a “mosaic” (vs. strictly systematic or historical); “Christian belief” (vs. theology, religion) and preferring the “both/and” or “mediating” over the “either/or” approach? * Olson uses the word mosaic in order to reflect his less quarrelsome “both-and” “mediating theology. ” * He wants to show us how the broad consensus of Christian beliefs really fit like a mosaic into a comprehensible whole if we step back and look at the big picture. There’s also a reason for “Christian belief” in the title instead of “systematic theology”. Though he takes a systematic approach, Olson wants to reach the popular reader or intro-level student.

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He tries to avoid some of the theology jargon, which can imply content strictly for professional clergy or academic types.

2. Etymology of the word “theology” as clue to its meaning. Give a good “working definition” for what we mean by systematic theology or Essentials of Evangelical Theology. * Theology means: a. Theos= god b.

logos= word, word about study of, discourse c. heo+logos= study of God & God stuff 3. What are some ideas for why we are choosing to study theology “systematically” instead of say, Bible “book-by-book” or historical theology or some other way? * It’s just good to remember that while a systematic approach might help for instruction, it is not the approach that’s inspired but rather the simple, original texts just as they were written. * One advantage could be that systematic approaches help maintain balance in recalling and teaching the “whole counsel of God” instead of just harping on your favorite texts and interpretations. So, is there a “divinely-inspired” method of study or a “scriptural way” to study theology? * What is an advantage of a “systematic” study of anything? * You make sure you get a balanced coverage of the entire subject without leaving out parts you don’t like or get confused by.

4. “finitum non capax infiniti”: Latin phrase= “the finite is not capable of the infinite. ” Explain what this ancient dictum might have to do with studying theology? * ANY approach to theology needs a healthy dose of the principle of “finitum non capax infiniti”: Latin phrase which means “the finite is not capable of the infinite. That is, our humility before God and His Word takes precedence over any method we might prefer. Let God be God.

Let the words in the text convict you. Then, let theology show you how those texts might do that. 5. What was Anselm’s definition of theology? * “Faith seeking understanding” [credo ut intelligam] No need to memorize the Latin words, but you should be able to recognize these words when you see them 6. Who is considered the very first “systematic theologian”? * Augustine 7.

What is the task of the “end” of theological study? * To know God, not to just know theology or know “about God. “—Thomas a Kempis 8.

List and explain Emil Brunner’s “three tasks of theology”. * Polemical —what is Christian belief and what is not? what is heretical? * Exegetical —how are the texts of scripture to be interpreted; what is the message God intends in this text? * Catechetical —what content should we teach and how should we go about teaching our children and new converts: our “catechumens”? 9. Typically what is the first area to consider with any introductory theology study? * All sources that are considered authoritative for the theology you are studying.

* Bibliology: n. Biblical literature, doctrine, or theology 10.

So, what are the sources of Christian authority? That is, if God is to be our authority, has God revealed Himself? And how has God done this revealing or self-disclosure? * General Revelation (or natural theology) or that is, “through what He has made” * Special or supernatural revelation or through what He has spoken. 11. So, through whom has God spoken in the past? * Angels * Patriarchs * Prophets * Apostles & “inspired” writers * God’s Son, Jesus Christ How has/does God speak? * Personally and propositionally.

This is a “polarity” that we sense in our attempt to understand Special Revelation.

What sometimes gets elevated about scripture? * Some elevate human reason, church tradition, and spiritual experience as other ways in which God has spoken or is still speaking today, & equate these as just as authoritative as the “God-breathed” words of the Bible. How do we resolve this tension? * Perhaps one way to hold on to both understandings is to point out that we could not know about God’s great acts of self-disclosure within history without the Scriptures which provide the divinely-communicated interpretation of what God did and why He did it. 12. How does Rom. , Psa.

19, Gen. 1, 2 Tim. 3, Heb. 1 back up this assertion about sources? * Psa. 19:1,2; Rom.

1:19,20. (The assumption here is that human intuition will come to this conclusion from observing the natural world. ) * Romans 1:19-21— “[W]hat may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made SO THAT ALL HUMANITY IS WITHOUT EXCUSE. * Genesis 1: * 2 Tim.

3: * Hebrews 1: 13. Identify the 4 points of the so-called Wesleyan Quadrilateral. What’s the difference from Warfield’s list? 14. What is an equivalent term for General Revelation? * Natural Theology What are some limitations to General Revelation? How are they limiting? 15. Talk about the Protestant understanding behind the famous Latin phrase “sola scriptura”? * Another Latin phrase “norma Normans non normata” means “the norm of norms which cannot be normed” to explain what is meant by “sola scriptura”.

We refer to a standard which controls but which itself is not controlled by anything else * Means “scripture alone”.

As a result we say that “sola scriptura” – “the rule that rules” or “norma normative” 16. Who decides what is Scripture? * The authoritative record which have been generally recognized for centures as divinely inspired is called the Canon of Scripture. Needs more info. 17. What was Marcion’s mistake regarding the New Testament? * The claim that there were only 11 inspired New Testament books * None of the Old Testament books came from the Christian God.

New Bible sometimes called the Muratorian Canon 18. What is the Athanasian Canon? * 1st widely recognized list of 27 canonical books of the New Testament. 19. What is the stunning, reliable corroboration that what we have today in our Bible is the actual accounts from the first century? * Close time proximity between eyewitness accounts and actual written record of what eyewitnesses saw * Sheer number of eyewitness accounts 20. Strongest criterion for inclusion in the canon? * Originally witnessed, general acceptance as being written by an apostle 21.

Which exact documents do evangelical Christians consider to be directly inspired? * The original autographs which are not extant today 22.

What are two of the oldest and most complete codices? * Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, both from early 4th century. But both are copies and still not original autographs 23. How early are the oldest fragments of the New Testament that we have? * 125 CE – John Rylands Papyrus 52 of John 18 24. What is the ultimate canon for Christ’s church? * The “Word made flesh” or Jesus Christ 25. What are other common sense critera for acceptance into the canon? Holy-Spirit Guided * Internal Witness * Ancient Church 26.

Distinguish between revelation and inspiration: * Revelation (apocalypsis) divine self-unfolding * When we speak of “special revelation” we humbly recognize that God chose to reveal Himself THROUGH us, that is, the word of God is mediated through lowly, fallen human creatures. * Inspiration (theopneustos or God-breathed) use of human personality in declaring the divine message 27. How do we typically discuss the issue of divine inspiration? * In the context of special revelation or scripture. 28.

Three approaches to grasping what we mean when we say certain words have been “inspired of God” : * Two of which are considered to be unorthodox and unacceptable: * Illumination theory (denies supernatural element; relies on human reason alone; relegates Bible to ‘great spiritual classic’ material on par with Hindu’s Upanishads, Muslim’s Koran, Buddhist’s Mahayan Sutras) * Mechanical dictation theory (Holy Spirit dictated each word with no human mental determination, strictly the human ear and hands as only functional input in the process; relegates human element to robotic determinism and risks bibliolatry) * Plenary verbal – all the books (plenary) and every word (verbal) in those books was/is inspired by God. * Plenary means “full, complete, entire, all”: So, ALL the content of all the books of the Bible are inspired.

This responds to the modernist, liberal notions that some of the NT books were written much later under pseudonyms using names of the original apostles. * Verbal (for this term) means “every word”: This one is sometimes used by “inerrantists” to discourage emphasis on the human authors being inspired of God. But, those who prefer the word “infallible” like to say that any and every word written by these inspired authors cannot fail to be “profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction. ” 2 Ti. 3:16,17 29.

How does Luke 1:1, 2 appear to negate “mechanical dictation” theory? * Luke used sources 30. What is the “Inerrancy Debate”? * intramural debate in evangelical & fundamentalist circles about the use of the words inerrant vs infallible Distinguish “inerrant” from infallible” and understand the context of the debate –

Issue: How scripture is inspired, not whether or not it is inspired by God * Both sides agree – Bible is not a manmade book, it is from God * Inerrantist – authorial intent is irrelevant, God wouldn’t allow anything to be written in the Bible that was an incorrect assertion about science or history * Infalliablist – scriptures are profitable for doctrine (or teaching), reproof, correction, training in righteousness, with intention of gaining proficiency in and equipping for every good work 31. What is Olson’s unitive view on inspiration of scripture? * Divine words AND human words View scripture in a sacramental way – scripture is a vehicle for God’s grace 32. What are the three attributes of God typically listed together in the Bible? * Mercy – God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress. * Grace – God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment. * Patience (longsuffering) – God’s goodness in withholding of punishment toward those who sin over a period of time.

When God declared his name to Moses, he proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. ” Exo. 34:6 David says in Psalm 103:8, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. ” 33.

Characteristics of God Matching: 12 Characteristics: Incommunicable Attributes – (incapable of being imparted or shared with human beings) * Independence – God does not need us or the rest of creation for anything, yet we and the rest of creation can glorify him and bring him joy.

* Unchangeableness (Immutability) – God is unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises. Yet God does act and feel emotions, and he acts and feels differently in response to different situations. * Eternity – God has no beginning, end, or succession of moments in his own being, and he sees all time equally vividly, yet God sees events in time and acts in time. Omnipresence (Just as God is unlimited or infinite with respect to time, so God is unlimited with respect to space) – God does not have size or spatial dimensions and is present at every point of space with his whole being, yet God acts differently in different places.

* Unity – God is not divided into parts, yet we see different attributes of God emphasized at different times.

Communicable Attributes – (“Being” Attributes, Mental Attributes, Moral Attributes, Divine Purpose Attributes, “Summary” Attributes) “Being Attributes” * Spirituality – That which is the mysterious, ineffable, non-physical essence of God’s being. * Invisibility – God’s total essence, all of his spiritual being, will never be able to be seen by us, yet God still shows himself to us through visible, created things. Mental Attributes Knowledge (Omniscience) – God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act. * Wisdom – God always chooses the best goals and the best means to those goals. * Truthfulness (Faithfulness) – he is the true God, and that all his knowledge and words are both true and the final standard of truth.

Moral Attributes * Goodness – God is the final standard of good, and that all that God is and does is worthy of approval. * Love – God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others. * Mercy (Grace, Patience) – God’s mercy means God’s goodness toward those in misery and distress. God’s grace means God’s goodness toward those who deserve only punishment.

God’s patience means God’s goodness in withholding of punishment toward those who sin over a period of time. * Holiness – he is separated from sin and devoted to seeking his own honor.

* Peace (Order) – in God’s being and in his actions He is separate from all confusion and disorder, yet he is continually active in innumerable well-ordered, fully controlled, simultaneous actions. * Righteousness (Justice) – God always acts in accordance with what is right and is himself the final standard of what is right. All his ways are just. * Jealously – God is exclusive and uncompromising in his demand for human allegiance and so he continually seeks to protect his own honor. * Wrath – he intensely hates all sin.

Divine Purpose Attributes * Will – attribute of God whereby he approves and determines to bring about every action necessary for the existence and activity of himself and all creation. * Freedom – attribute of God whereby he does whatever he pleases. * Omnipotence (Power, Sovereignty) God is able to do all his holy will. 34. What is the apophatic view to talking about the divine attributes? Apophatic View – (opposite of Cataphatic approach) * Recognize inadequacies and limitations of human language * Affirmation of God through human language/understanding – God is more, greater, beyond human description * All humans can say about God is what God is not By definition God transcends human understanding * “Via negativa” – only way to begin to describe God is through negation 35. What is anthropomorphism? * Anthropomorphism – way of attributing/projecting human characteristics to non-human entity * Example: Bible describes God’s hand, arm, face, eyes etc. , also affirms that God is spirit ;amp; invisible 36. What is the basis/underpinning for the rest of theological teaching? * Doctrine of who God is 37.

What do we mean when we say the word Trinity is expressive but not explicit in scripture? * The word “trinity” is not explicitly used in scripture, but it does express/describe a clear doctrine Scripture expresses or describes a concept or doctrine which is clearly taught in the Bible but which is NOT explicitly named * As Pannenberg has put it: “[The doctrine of The Trinity] simply states explicitly what is implicit already in God’s revelation in Jesus Christ.

” * Example: Matthew 28:19 baptismal formula: * Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” 38. What is the earliest and most explicit creedal affirmation of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity? * Nicene Creed 39. What is the filioque controversy? * It involved adding the words “And the Son” into the creed by the western Roman Catholic church. Eventually led to the division from the Eastern Orthodox Church 40. How are all people of the Trinity described in Scripture? * As speaking * As having a will * As acting out of and being the essence of love * That there can be this unfathomable unity within plurality or plurality within unity is part of the mysterious paradox of the Trinity Each person of the Trinity is also: * Called God * Called Creator * Described as being everywhere * All knowing * Eternal 41.

What are some of the clearest places where the Trinity is mentioned and associated with other great Christian doctrines? * Baptism (Mt 28:19) * Church (2 Cor 13:14) *

Salvation (1 Pet 1:2) 42. What are we cautioned to do when studying God? Avoid the temptation of celestial math and obscure abstraction as though God were a Mensa riddle to figure out and the ones in the know are the most holy or righteous 43. What is perhaps the most common approach in understanding or trying to explain the Trinity? * By analogy – “God is like” Why is analogy such a big deal in trying to get our minds around the Trinity * It helps us understand something we really can’t by comparing it to something we can understand 44. What is one of the most famous analogous pictorial representation of the Trinity? * An equilateral triangle with the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit at the three points with “is not” along the three lines drawn between the three points.

In the middle of the triangle the word “God” is written with additional lines from each point drawn inward toward “God” and with the word “is” written along each of these lines 45. What are the primary categories of the Trinity analogies? * Physical/Natural: * Dimensions: time, space, matter * Time: past, present future * Sun: matter, light, heat * Psychological: * Augustine’s analogy with the human mind: memory, will, intellect * Karl Barth’s revelational analogy: Revealer, Revelation, and Revealedness * God in 3 roles: statesman, family man, outdoorsman * Social: (helps us understand communal interpersonal aspects of who God is.

Caution – plurality w/o unity, tri-theism * Gregory of Nyssa: renewed emphasis in contemporary thought * Perichoresis: interpenetration as associated with the social analogy for the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit are said to interpenetrate so that while the distinguishable they are each involved in some way or another in the other 46. What are said to be the merits and dangers of the Psychological and Social analogies? * Psychological: * Merit: the intrapersonal intimacy of self-disclosure brings depth of understanding * Dangers: * Over-emphasizing God’s oneness= modalism * Too individualistic overstating divine transcendence that neglects immanence in the saving work of Son and Holy Spirit * Social: Merit: the interpersonal desire to love and be loved fulfills a God-implanted, inborn human need * Dangers: * Over-emphasizing God’s threeness= tri-theism * Plurality w/o unity; overstate in detached or disconnected way, the immanent work of each that neglects the transcendent unity of the whole 47. Trinitarian theology of relationality- * Seems to be more than analogy in scripture since it captures the Biblically described nature of God as a “Being-in-relation”.

* We humans are called “by love” and we are called by the fact that we are creatures made in God’s image. * We love others more as we are more caught up into relation with this magnificent “BEING-in-relation”. Owing to the sheer number of relational descriptions of God in scripture there appears to be solid ground for this approach or something like it. 48. The essence of God IS relationship- * Precedes that the notion that God indeed seeks out his creatures for relationship.

* It is out of his nature then that we are sought out by God, and this in turn fulfills a God-shaped need in our hearts. * We were made like God, in God’s image, for relationship. 49. Name one “check” that this trinitarian relationality view offers under each person of the “BEING-in-relation” God. * Having a visible, concrete path of obedience, Jesus Christ, provides a check against: I. Triumphalism II.

Spiritual elitism III. Authoritatianism IV. Spiritual experientialism * Having the presence of the H. S.

As the source of my Chrislikeness and transformation in my life checks: I.

Moralism II. Legalism III. Rationalism IV. Bible Deism * Having God, the Father, in view as the proper end of human life on earth provides a check against: I. Idolatry II. magic III.

Domestication of Faith 1. Jen 2. Identify and briefly discuess Emil Brunner’s Three Tasks of Theology * polemical: what’s a christian’s belief? * exegetical: Interpretation of scripture. * catechetical: what do we teach kids and new converts to Christianity? 3. Detail what we mean by Divine Revelation.

What are its limitations? * Proving the existence of God through nature and creation. Limitations: Relying strictly on general revelation leaves us to elevate human reason and the wonder of created order to idol-like status-worship creation rather than the creator. 6. In the Wayne Gruden section of the Jan. 24th PowerPoint from Olson, chapter five, list and briefly identify the so-called “Summary Attributes” of God: Perfection, Blessedness, Beauty, and Glory.

(Slides 29-32) * Perfection: God completely possesses all excellent qualities and lacks no part of any qualities that would be desirable for him. * David says of God, “His way is perfect. ” * Psalm 18:30; cf. Deut. 32:4.

* Blessedness: everything that God does is ultimately good and God delights fully in Himself and in all that reflects his character. * “the blessed and only Sovereign. ” 1 Ti. 6:15 “the glorious gospel of the blessed God. ” 1 Ti. 1:11 * Beauty: God is the sum of all desirable qualities.

* David speaks of the beauty of the LORD in Psalm 27:4: “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. ” * Glory: the created brightness that surrounds God’s revelation of himself. * “doxa”=Greek word for “glory”, from which we derive the English word, doxology * In Psalm 24:10 David asks, “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! ” * Psalm 104:1-2- “O LORD my God, you are very great!

You are clothed with honor and majesty, you who cover yourself with light as with a garment… ” 7.

Write down a few of the key concepts upon which we derive the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. Pick 5 ideas about the Trinity from Scripture, and use Scripture to back it up. Include either a Scripture reference or a paraphrased Scripture quote. This information can be found on slides 7-15 of the January 26th PowerPoint. 1. Father, Son, Holy Spirit = God * God, The Father: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” (Phil.

1:2). * God, The Son: “But of the Son He says, ‘Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever…'” (Hebrews 1:8; See also, John 1:1,14). God, The Holy Spirit: “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back some of the price of the land? …Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God! ‘” (Acts 5:3-4). 2. A Speaking Trinity * The Father: “and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” (Matthew 3:17).

* The Son: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16). * The Holy Spirit: “And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them,” (Acts 13:2). 3.

A Willing Trinity * The Father: “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life,” (John 6:40). * The Son: “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42).

* The Holy Spirit: “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. ” (1 Corinthians 12:11) 4. Unity in Plurality * “Then God said, ‘Let US make man in OUR image, according to OUR likeness…'” (Gen. 1:26). * “Then the Lord [YHWH] rained on Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord [YHWH] out of heaven,” (Gen.

19:24). “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the Lord [YHWH]. “I overthrew you as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah…” (Amos 4:10-11). * Yahweh (1st person) refers to Yahweh (3rd person) 5. The Trinity Loves * Father – John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. ” * Son – Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” * Holy Spirit – Romans 15:30 – “I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.