2Why do Theology? THEOLOGY IS THE “STUDY OF GOD” THE ONLY GOD THERE IS, IS THE ONE – “WHO IS”Yahweh is His given “name”It means, “I AM, who I AM” or “I Am” or “ The One Who IS”DOROTHY SAYERS – “THEOLOGY IS THE MISTRESS- SCIENCE”Theology is the study of What Is
3Dorothy Sayers, “The Lost Tools of Learning” “This reminds me of the grammar of Theology. I shall add it to the curriculum, because theology is the mistress-science without which the whole educational structure will necessarily lack its final synthesis. Those who disagree about this will remain content to leave their pupil's education still full of loose ends. This will matter rather less than it might, since by the time that the tools of learning have been forged the student will be able to tackle theology for himself, and will probably insist upon doing so and making sense of it.”
4Why do Theology? THEOLOGY IS THE “STUDY OF GOD” THE ONLY GOD THERE IS, IS THE ONE – “WHO IS”Yahweh is His given “name”It means, “I AM, who I AM” or “I Am” or “ The One Who IS”DOROTHY SAYERS – “THEOLOGY IS THE MISTRISS- SCIENCE”Theology is the study of What Is
5Approaches to Theology Biblical theology: the discipline that attempts to summarize and restate the teaching of a biblical text or of a biblical author without imposing any modern categories of thought on the text. Rather, the goal is to understand the “theology” of a biblical book or author in its original historical context.
6Approaches to Theology Systematic theology: The attempt to summarize religious truth or the belief system of a religious group (such as Christianity) through an organized system of thought carried out within a particular cultural and intellectual context (see method of theology). A common systematic order in Christian theology begins with God and God’s self-revelation, followed by creation and the predicament of sin, God’s saving work in and through Jesus Christ, the Spirit as the agent in personal salvation, the church as the redeemed community of God’s people, and finally the goal of God’s program as leading to the end of the age, Christ’s return and eternity.
7Approaches to Theology Historical theology: The division of the theological discipline that seeks to understand and delineate how the church interpreted Scripture and developed doctrine throughout its history, from the time of the apostles to the present day. The twofold function of historical theology is to show the origin and development of beliefs held in the present day and to help contemporary theologians identify theological errors of the past that should be avoided in the present.
8Some Concerns Postmodernism Pluralism Agnosticism Loss of Critical ThoughtDivisionsSinApathy
10Approaches to Understanding the Bible An assumption: The Bible is our sole authority for faith and practice and therefore is the Primary Source for our structures of Theology. To then be able to do so, one must know how to understand the Bible.More than just readingWords are just sounds and symbols until you apply meaning
11Approaches to Understanding the Bible A General Structure:Observation2/3 of the timeAsks, “What do I see?”Interpretation1/6 of the timeAsks, “What does it mean?”ApplicationAsks, “What do I do?”
13Approaches to Understanding the Bible Some Specifics:The first step to a proper hermeneutic* is that you must actually read the BibleThe second step is to read it againWhen you have questionsRead it againFind connections to other texts – intertextualityFind like passages – parallelismsBuild an understanding - theology
14Reading the Bible Read as an overview Read as a study Read as devotion This is 30,000 ft; the forestRead Colossians in one sittingRead Ecclesiastes in one sittingRead as a studyThis is 30 feet; the treesUse all the tools of studyRead other writings on thisRead as devotionRemember, this is God’s Word(s)
15Ways to read Thoughtfully Repeatedly Patiently Selectively Prayerfully ImaginativelyMeditativelyPurposefullyAcquisitivelyTelescopicallyRegularly
16Six Things to Look for Things that are emphasized Things that are Repeated. Things that are Repeated.Things that are related.Things that are alikeThings that are unalikeThings that are true to life
18Six Things to Look for Things that are emphasized Things that are Repeated. Things that are Repeated.Things that are related.Things that are alikeThings that are unalikeThings that are true to life
191 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth with all the saints who are throughout Achaia:2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer;7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.
23GenreA term that refers to different types or varieties of literature or media. In the interpretation of texts, particularly the Bible, most exegetes agree that identifying the genre of the text to be interpreted is crucial and that the text must be understood in light of the common conventions that typified that genre at the time of its writing. Thus, poetry is not to be interpreted in the same manner as historical narrative, nor is prophecy properly read in the same manner as an epistle (letter).Yet, this is a Multi-categorical Discussion
24GenreEven though poetry is not interpreted the same way as an epistle, they are both within the genre of “Bible”We must not confuse regular interpretation with Biblical InterpretationWe are not less responsible with the Bible, rather moreThe Bible is more than a book (2 Peter 1:19-21)
25Genre Musical Literary Informative Visual Biblical General Biblical LawHistorical/NarrativePropheticPoetic/Prose/WisdomGospelEpistleApocalypticParable
285 Keys to Interpretation ContentThe raw material, the text – this is the seam from Observation to InterpretationContextContext, Context, Context – this is the mantra of meaningTextual, Historical, Cultural, Theological contextsComparisonComparing Scripture to ScriptureCultureWhat world gave the information – how do we translate?Consultation – Do not stand alone
315 Substitutes for Application We Substitute interpretation for applicationWe substitute superficial obedience for substantive life-changeWe substitute rationalization for repentanceWe substitute emotional experience for volitional decisionWe substitute communication for transformation
324 Steps of application Know Relate Meditate (Psalm 1) Practice The TextYourselfRelateMeditate (Psalm 1)Practice