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Introductory Theology

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...seeing Jesus as the fulfillment of all!

General Description of Introductory Theology

The Ancient Catechetical Instruction of the Christian Church was composed of four general parts:  1.  The Apostles' Creed (a summary of Christian Doctrine); 2.  The Ten Commandments (a summary of Christian Ethics); 3.  The Lord's Prayer (instruction in the devotional life); and, 4.  The Sacraments.  From that time to the age of the Reformation, this fundamental pattern was not altered.  The careful student will notice that the great Catechisms of the Reformation (see the Catechisms of Heidelberg, Westminster [Larger and Shorter], etc.), even while elaborating the contents of the ancient catechesis, retain the basic structure.  And, what has served God's people so well, and been so well tested, through the ages, there is little reason to change.

It is the purpose of this course to move through those same four elements, laying a solid and comprehensive foundation of Christian doctrine and practice, so that we might know God and God's Christ, understand and embrace God's way of salvation in the Gospel, learn to love God in His worship and our neighbor as ourselves, and participate competently in the life of the Church.

Organizational Notes:

This course is going to be divided into a series of lessons, and each lesson will have its own page (links below).  This present page is the "Class Page", and will serve as an index, presenting the lessons in their appropriate order.

Every lesson will have some reading, and students can engage in discussion in the "Comments" section of the page.

Some of the lessons will include video lectures as well.

About the Readings:

Readings will come from two sources:

1.  Marcus Friedrich Wendelin's Christian Theology.  Wendelin (1584-1652) was a Reformed Theologian and educator.  He served as Rector at Zerbst from 1610 to 1652.  His Christian Theology is clear and concise, opening the internal logic of Biblical Teaching.  Powerful!

2.  Other authors, creeds, confessions, and catechisms.  From time to time, material of this sort will be included in the "Comments" section.

About the Lectures:

Some lessons will include lectures.  In the lectures, there will be a focus on the Exegetical Foundations of the doctrinal topics, with a preference given to Old Testament texts (demonstrating the theological unity and Christological focus of both Testaments).  It is anticipated that there will be approximately 80 Lectures in all.  Lectures will usually be delivered live, every other week, on Tuesdays (7pm EST).  []

The lectures will also be recorded, placed on the appropriate lesson page, and indexed on this page below.


Prefatory Material

I.  Reading and Discussion:  "Who Was Marcus Friedrich Wendelin? and Why Translate His Christian Theology?"

II.  Reading and Discussion:  "Title Page"

III.  Reading and Discussion:  "Dedication, Part 1"

IV.  Reading and Discussion:  "Dedication, Part 2"

V.  Reading and Discussion:  "Dedication, Part 3"

VI.  Reading and Discussion:  "Preface to the Reader"

VII.  Reading, Lectures (1 & 2), and Discussion:  "Diagram of the Entire System of Theology", "The Vestibule of Systematic Theology (1)", and "Theological Prolegomena (2)"


Theology Proper

I.  Reading and Discussion:  "God's Nature and Properties Outline"

II.  Reading and Discussion:  "The Nature of God"

III.  Reading and Discussion:  "Primary Attributes of God, Part 1"

IV.  Reading and Discussion:  "Primary Attributes of God, Part 2"

V.  Reading and Discussion:  "Secondary Attributes of God, Part 1"

Support the "Introductory Theology" Class

Philippians 4:17:  Not because I desire a gift:  but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.