DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to lay a foundation for Christian thinking, practice, and ministry with respect to Christian beliefs about: revelation, reason and faith; the nature and authority of Scripture; the attributes of God; the triune existence of God; creation and providence; human beings as the image of God; the Fall and sin.
COURSE OBJECTIVES/LEARNING OUTCOMES: Students completing this course will: (1) have a basic knowledge of classical and contemporary understandings of the theological topics listed in the description; (2) appreciate the importance of methodology in doing theology; (3) be aware of the historical development of these doctrines; (4) be challenged and enriched by exposure to cultural articulations of the Faith and Christian traditions other than one’s own; (5) know the struggle of doing theology; and (6) be better equipped to think “Christianly” (with some sophistication) about life and the world.
RELEVANCE FOR MINISTRY: The way one thinks about God, human beings, and sin is foundational for the way one approaches life’s issues and Christian ministry.
COURSE FORMAT: The class meets one evening each week for 3 hours for lecture and discussion.
Roger E. Olson. The Mosaic of Christian Belief: Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity. InterVarsity Press, 2002. ISBN: 978-0830826957 (pp. 11-222) (retail: $32.00; amazon: 18.60)
William C. Placher (ed.). Essentials of Christian Theology. Westminster John Knox Press, 2003. ISBN: 978-0664223953 (pp. 1-182) (retail: $40.00; amazon: $26.40)
Quash, Ben and Michael Ward (eds.). Heresies and How to Avoid Them: Why It Matters What Christians Believe. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2008. ISBN: 978-0801047497 (pp. 1-23, 73-80, 91-101, 122-130) (retail: $16.99; amazon: $11.65)
Tennent, Timothy C. Theology in the Context of World Christianity: How the Global Church Is Influencing the Way We Think about and Discuss Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007. ISBN: 978-0310275114 (pp. 1-104, 249-74) (retail: $24.99 / amazon: $16.44)
Leanne Van Dyk (ed.). A More Profound Alleluia: Theology and Worship in Harmony (Eerdmans, 2005). ISBN: 978-0802828545. (pp. xv-82) (retail: $20.00; amazon: $18.26)
One additional book of the student’s choice from a list provided in the course syllabus: it will emphasize either a topic or a cultural / contextualized approach to theology.
Students are encouraged but not required to purchase the Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Stanley Grenz, et. al., InterVarsity Press, 1999) or the Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms (Donald K. McKim, Westminster John Knox Press, 1996).
ASSIGNMENTS: (1) Weekly written interactions with the assigned reading (300-700 words each)—30% (2) One written evaluation (and very brief oral report to the class) of a book selected from the list on the syllabus (1500 words)—20% (3) a final succinct, biblically and theologically informed position paper indicating how one would engage in dialogue with a member of the LDS church on one of a list of topics (not to exceed 2500 words)—30%; (4) Complete a take-home multiple choice review of the course—20%
RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Systematic Theology “A” (STA).
FINAL EXAMINATION: No