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Archive for April 7th, 2011

GO TO SESSION ONE

Session 2 of a series, posted every Thursday for the next few weeks.

SESSION TWO: HOW SHOULD WE STUDY THEOLOGY?

(ISSUES OF SOURCE AND AUTHORITY)

I.                    If we are to study God, where should we begin from?

a.       This is a question of the source of our theology

a.      What is our reference point?  In other words, where do we look to in developing our theology?

b.      This also has to do with the issue of authority

1.      This will be further developed in the Section on Biblical Authority

II.                 Do we look within us for theological truths?

a.      This is subjectivism: Truth is determined by what’s dictated by the person

b.      Forms of subjectivism: Feelings, some forms of arguments from intuition, looking within, etc.

c.      Response

1.      The problem of Sin

a.       Sin effects an individual’s understanding of God: “There is no one righteous, not even one one who understands, no one who seeks God.” (Romans 3:10)

i.      Therefore, since no one understands, this poses a problem of man being the origin of theological truth..

2.      The problem of Relativism

a.       What one person believes or feels is different than another person

3.      There is no basis to critique other’s theology if truth is based upon each individual

4.      This is relegating theology to autobiography

a.       EXAMPLE: Jesus Seminar Dominic Crossan’s Jesus looks like him, etc

b.      Truth on the basis of individual opinion alone is unreliable

5.      Theological truths are then nothing more than preferences

a.       The value of the doctrine of Incarnation or the doctrine of errancy of Scripture is the same as liking or not liking strawberry ice cream

b.      Theological system are now nothing more than fashion statement

6.      SUMMARY: Subjectivism is not a sufficient foundation for theology.  We must look beyond the subjective.

III.               Do we look at what the majority thinks?

a.       Having more individuals will not avoid the problems of subjectivism

a.      As seen above, individuals are unreliable for the foundation of truth in theology- Adding more individuals will not be the solution but making it worst.

b.      The Biblical case against theology by majority rule

a.      We have biblical example of why the majority is not necessarily the source of truth and wisdom:

1.      See Exodus 32:1-10

b.      We must also remember that people want their ears itch

1.      Remember: “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (2Timothy 4:3)

IV.              We should Study Systematic Theology from God Directly: The Word of God

a.       The Bible is the Word of God, and He reveals himself in it

a.      The only way we can know of God is what He has revealed to us


GO TO SESSION THREE

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