Introduction to Theology

peanuts-theologyIntroduction to Theology:
This a Thirteen part series taken from the free “theWORD” bible program and covering the following topics:

Bibliology (Bible)
Theology Proper
Christology (Jesus Christ)
Pneumatology (Holy Spirit)
Angelology (Angels)
Demonology (Demons)
Anthropology (Man)
Soteriology (Salvation)
Ecclesiology (Church)
Eschatology (Last Things)

The Meaning of Theology
Theology is a study of Christian doctrine and faith. The Queen of sciences, Theology is an attempt towards a systematic exposition of and presentation of Christian doctrine.

The Need of Theology
For a clear understanding of faith
As a rational and articulate defense of faith (1Pe. 3:15)
For a systematic presentation of God’s revealed truths (2Ti. 2:15)
As a guard against heresy and false teachings (Mat. 22:29; Gal. 1:6-9; 2Ti. 4:2-4)
For spiritual growth and maturity as Christians (Eph. 4:14).

Divisions of Theology
Biblical (Exegetical) Theology: Often studied as Old Testament Theology and New Testament Theology based on an exegesis of the Bible.
Historical Theology: Study of the origin and development of theological perspectives in the context of their historical background.
Systematic Theology: Systems of theology or systematic arrangement of a presentation of doctrines.
Practical Theology: Application of Theology. Disciplines: Homiletics, Pastoral Theology, Christian Education, Worship (Liturgies), Evangelism, Church Polity (Forms of Church Organization and Government).

Different Theologies
1. Roman Catholic Theology – Authority of the Bible (includes Apocrypha) and the Pope’s authoritative pronouncements ex cathedra (from the chair); saving grace communicated through the 7 sacraments; and Mary is merciful mediator between man and Christ.

2. Lutheran Theology – The 3 fundamental doctrines are sola scriptura (Scripture alone), sola gratia (grace alone), and sola fide (faith alone). Scripture alone is authoritative and salvation comes only by grace through faith. The Spirit uses an infant baptism to produce faith in them and bring them to salvation.

3. Reformed Theology – built around the central theme of the sovereignty of God. Sola scriptura, the sole authority of Scripture in matters of doctrine. Total depravity of all men, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistable grace, Perseverance of saints.

4. Arminian Theology – tries to preserve justice (fairness) of God. God’s sovereignty along with human responsibility and freedom. Conditional election (predestination on basis of foreknowledge).

5. Wesleyan Theology – is essentially Arminian but has a stronger sense of the reality of sin and of dependence on divine grace. The ultimate standard for faith and practice is the Bible. Four means by which truth is mediated: Scripture, reason, tradition, and experience. Salvation is a 3-step process of grace: prevenient grace, justifying grace, and sanctifying grace. Prevenient grace keeps one from straying very far, and enables one to respond to the gospel. Justifying grace produces salvation in those who respond positively. Entire sanctification or perfection in love is the Holy Sprit’s second work of grace.

6. Liberal Theology – Immanency of God. Unitarianism. Fallibility of Bible. Denial of Fall, original sin, and substitutionary nature of the Atonement. Christ will not personally return.

7. Existential Theology – ‘Demythologizing’ of Scripture – interprets everything supernatural as mythical. A statement about God is basically a statement about man. The Trinity is a myth. The historical Jesus is not very much known. Salvation is self-realization.

8. Neo-orthodox Theology – Hermeneutical. God cannot be known through proofs but only through encounter in revelation. Natural revelation, if it exists, is ineffective towards salvation. Revelation is personal not propositional. The Bible is human and fallible and is reliable only to the extent that God reveals himself through encounters with Scripture. Historicity of Scripture is unimportant.

9. Liberation Theology – Theology is not dogmatic but liberative. God is immanent and mutable, the God of the oppressed. Jesus was a messiah of political involvement. The Bible is not concerned with eternal truths but with specific history (often unreliable). The Exodus account proclaims liberation. Salvation is social change.

10. Feminist Theology – 3 Models: Rejectionists – reject Bible as patriarchal; Evangelical – The Bible teaches mutual submission and roles of women and men are complementary; Reformist (Liberation) – Discards Bible and Christian tradition as patriarchal and desires to overcome it through ‘proper’ exegesis.

11. Pentecostal Theology – Emphasis on the infallibility and finality of Scripture, salvation by grace, the baptism of the Holy Spirit with evidence of speaking in tongues, restoration of the five-fold ministry in the Church, the gifts of the Spirit, baptism by immersion, holiness, prayer and fasting, evangelism of the world, spiritual warfare, and return of Christ.

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