Introducing Christian Doctrine by Millard Erickson

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by tinytim, Jan 18, 2008.

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  1. tinytim

    tinytim
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    Hello all...
    This thread is being co-sponsored by TCGreek, reformedbeliever, and myself.

    Let me give you a little background.
    As most of you know, I am ABC-USA, and part of the WVBC (West Virginia Baptist Convention) In the WVBC we have the School of Christian Studies... The School of Christian Studies (SCS)was set up yrs ago as a way to train ministers that would not be able to go to Seminary.
    It is a 3 yr program in which the student will attend classes, both 6 week classes, and one day classes. The class schedule is on a 3 yr rotating basis...
    It now has a Pastoral degree, Lay degree, teacher degree, and youth degree.

    After having dropped out of college, and then marriage, children, etc... God called me to preach... I wanted to further my education but because of the financial situation plus having a family, going away was out of the question. I did take some classes through Andersonville, but they were fluff classes to me.. I had learned that stuff in Sunday School...

    So, I have been taking classes through SCS on and off now for about 5 yrs... I am almost finished, I just have to have a few more of the one day classes, and I can graduate this October at the annual meeting of our state convention...

    This will give my ordination state and national accredidation.
    Plus, Palmer Theological Seminary (Formerly Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary) has partnered with WVBC to provide seminary training, and M.Div degrees... Click here for more information
    Starting in 2009, I plan on taking their extension classes for my M.div.

    OK, having said all of that, here is what is going on:

    Right now the class, Theology 1 is being taught through the SCS.
    It will be taught for 6 weeks.. (It started last week, and will go through Feb 14) We will then take a week off, and then start Theology 2.
    The classes are usually held once a week (Thursdays).. but because of scheduling conflicts, we will have our class tonight (Friday)

    I am auditing both classes because, 1, I love the study, and 2, I have a few members in my church that are taking the classes for the first time, and I wanted them to be comfortable.

    Theology 1, and Theology 2 are both using the book, "Introducing Christian Doctrine" by Millard J. Erickson.

    Each week, we are discussing another section in the book...
    Last week, we discussed what theology was, and revelation... How we received the Bible... Tonight we will be discussing God...

    The Nature of God
    • The Doctrine of God
    • The Greatness of God
    • The Goodness of God
    • God's Three in Oneness: The Trinity
    The Work of God
    • God's Plan
    • God's originating Work: Creation
    • God's continuing Work: Providence
    • Evil and God's World
    • God's special Agents: Angels
    Last week in another thread this book was mentioned, and TCGreek, Reformedbeliever, and I thought it would be a good thing to start a thread in which we talk about the book, theology, etc... and correspond with the classes I am auditing...
    IOWS, this week we will discuss God, next week starting Thursday, we will discuss humanity... etc...

    I have also obtained permission from the instructor to share this thread with the other students in class... so we will be having visitors... so play nice!!!

    Let's have a intelligent, rational discussion on theology.

    Since Reformedbeliever and TCGreek are calvinistic, and I am not... I thought it would be interesting for the other students to see intelligent humans discussing theology from different systems of thought... without arguing.

    Everyone is invited to participate. I just ask that you play nice, and discuss the subjects rationally, and intelligently.

    Reformed, TC, and I are going to disagree over things.. but that is OK... That is what theology is about.. That is how we learn... But while we disagree, we will still be civil.

    (I think Dr Bob, will be joining us also)

    Erickson is Calvinistic, so his book is written from that POV.

    Oh, one more thing... Although we come at this book from differing POVs, we will not be trying to win people over to our side, this is more of an educational thread.
     
    #1 tinytim, Jan 18, 2008
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  2. tinytim

    tinytim
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    So looking at the subject of God... what do you find most mysterious about God?

    What are your favorite attributes of God?

    Or if you want, we can back up to last week, and discuss what theology is, or how we received the Bible...

    What is Revelation, Inspiration, and preservation in accordance with the word of God?
     
    #2 tinytim, Jan 18, 2008
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  3. menageriekeeper

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    That the One who is the beginning and the end created us anyway.
     
  4. The Archangel

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    I keep wondering why He would save someone like me. Like John Newton, I can say I am not what I ought to be...but, by the grace of God, I am not what I once was (nor am I what I would have been without Christ), and, again, by the grace of God, I am what I am--a sinner redeemed by God waiting to be rid of "this body of death."

    It is still a mystery to me why He'd die for the likes of me.

    The Archangel
     
  5. reformedbeliever

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    1. What I find most mysterious about God is probably His atemporalness. He is eternal. When we get into discussions about time and God's relation to time, many will agree or disagree, many learned men try to put God in a box...... myself included. What we have to realize is that God is creator, and as Creator, He is not bound by time, since time is a part of His creation. This will become more important as we continue our study of God and His attributes. There are so many creative tensions and mysteries of God, that it is hard to confine it to one "most mysterious."

    2. Again, it is hard to have a favorite. All of God's attributes are just mind blowing. His atemporalness or omnitemporalness is one that we have lightly touched upon, and so I'll list it as my favorite. His omniscience runs in line with His omnitemporalness, but because God is all knowing, He has nothing to learn that time will be a teacher. His omnipresence deals within and without time also, since He is present in all time. His omnibeneveloence or omnigoodness is another attribute that we will have to look at. It seems there are times that evil is good. God's omnipotence is not in doubt, as by definition, if anything is more powerful than God, then He is not God. This would go along with all His attributes. Either He is completely full of all His attributes, or He is not God.

    3. Theology is what we are going to be doing. God study. God's Word and it reliability and inerrancy are vital to our study. If God's Word is not our number one authority, we can just hang this study up.

    The three things about God that I have outlined are probably enough to keep us busy for the time being.........lol.
    Thank you again brother Tim for the invitation to this study. I pray that God will use it to enlighten us to more understanding of who He is. I pray that we can do this in a God honoring way. Grace and peace.
     
  6. TCGreek

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    Guys, I live on the WestCoast (where God lives, BTW :laugh: ), so the time difference is before me.

    1. The Eternality of God. Everything around is cause and finite and owes its existence to another. Everything and everyone is dependent, except for God.

    Here's how Erickson puts it in his larger work Christian Theology, 2nd ed.:

    "God life is different from that of every other living being. While all other beings have their life in God, he does not derive his life from any eternal source." (p. 297).

    2. Erickson divides the attributes of God into two divisions: 1. The Attributes of Greatness; and 2. The Attributes of Goodness. And then even these divisions are further divided.

    So under God's attributes of Goodness, the reader would find Love as a main division and then, things live grace and so on, following.

    Because of this division in Erickson, on which our discussion is primarily based, I'll have to say the Love of God.

    3. Let me know if we are going to do that. :thumbs:
     
  7. reformedbeliever

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    Agreed brother. It is only by His grace any of us are saved. All our righteousness are as filty rags.

    I'm so glad to see you on this thread. Your fine exegesis will be needed. I hope you stick around. I hope to see Allan also, as this will give some balance to the Calvinistic and non Calvinistic theology.
     
  8. TCGreek

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    1. I see that we are both fascinated by the Eternality of God.

    2. Having defined theology as the "study or science of God," Erickson lists five things that makes theology helpful: 1. It is biblical. 2. Systematic. 3. Relates to the issues of general culture and learning. 4. It is contemporary. and 5. It is practical. (CT, pp. 22, 23).
     
  9. reformedbeliever

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    Great to "see" you brother. Since i'm in the middle (God's country) I suppose God and myself will have to wait for you guys......... :laugh:
     
  10. Gold Dragon

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    One topic that addresses all these questions at the same time is the amazing mystery of why God chose to use flawed men like the writers of the bible and the characters in the stories they were writing about to communicate the story of God's desire to reach out to mankind.
     
  11. TCGreek

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    I guess we have to enter another debate to decide where God really lives. :laugh:
     
  12. reformedbeliever

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    It is quite mysterious how God uses language to communicate with us. Why didn't He just use Holy Spirit and bypass language? He does have a plan however, and His eternal Word is part of that plan.
    I think this would go great in the discussion of God's revelation to us, if Tim wants to back up to last week.
     
  13. StefanM

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    I see you are using Millard-lite (pun intended)!

    Be thankful you aren't dealing with the Big Millard.
     
  14. MNJacob

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    His name gets me. And we can't really capture it in English. I am.

    As I always have been and always will be.

    Too cool.
     
  15. Allan

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    Well Tim, it looks like you hooked all us fish, now the question is: How you gonna cook us? :laugh:

    I will have to agree thus far with TCG, Reformed, and Arch.

    1. The Eternality of God
    2. Omniscience; not that He knows or doesn't know anythin, but specifically His knowledge in relation to His decrees
    3. His Love
    4. His atemporalness

    Sorry that I am not being original yet, but give me time. All the other mysterious qualities are to verying degrees are qualities in some form or another to the above aspects.
     
    #15 Allan, Jan 18, 2008
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  16. Allan

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    TCG, that is easy!

    Scritpure states that the door of the Lords house is in the North and since I live in South Dakota He lives nearest me. :laugh:
    We don't need context, the seems quite plain.. get it... S. Dakota..plains.. Never mind, :tonofbricks: :laugh:
     
  17. skypair

    skypair
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    tinyt,

    This is a great idea! I hope I can locate the book (I've done this before but rarely do other message boards do this. I love it!). When I have done it before, it has been highly enlightening!

    I also love your "alternate" education. :applause: When I was in the Air Force, coming through OTS (Officer Training School) was looked down upon by "ring-knockers" (AFA grads). But in truth -- we were just as good or better!

    On the other hand, I have been involved in a teen ministry that allowed some of the teens to "graduate" to be Teen Pastors and hold their own small group Bible study meetings and it was a GREAT opportunity for teens who thought God was leading them into ministry! God bless you (regardless of whether I end up on your side or the Calvies :laugh:)

    skypair
     
  18. skypair

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    That He made US in His image! God has a soul, Father -- God has a Spirit, the Holy Ghost -- and God has a body, Son! And He wants to save us soul, body, and spirit (1Thes 5:23). Can there be a greater love than that?

    Obviously God/Father deserves our worship, our obedience, etc. But most of all, He deserves our LOVE!

    skypair
     
  19. skypair

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    No mystery, Archy -- God LOVES YOU! Imagine someone like your wife who says she wants to spend eternity with you -- except in this case, HE REALLY DOES want to spend eternity with you! Imagine the One who said, "It is not good for Adam to be alone" and He is speaking for Himself as well!!

    skypair
     
  20. Amy.G

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    So do you think God created Adam because He was lonely???
     
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