On Sunday we looked at our theology of Scripture - its nature, its authority, and its role in the Christian life. We started by observing that we're really still in the realm of 'Pneumatology', i.e. our theology of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit who inspired the Scriptures, and it is the Spirit that makes the Word come alive in our hearts.
We also observed that it is utterly remarkable that God - the indescribable One - has described himself. Creaturely language cannot adequately describe the Creator, and yet the Creator has put his words in our mouths! Such things are too wonderful for us. And he has by the Spirit revealed the written Word, which points to the living Word, so as to bring his people to himself.
We looked at how Jesus approached the Bible - how he viewed it as final, authoritative, and sufficient, how to put it to memory and cherished it, using it as a tool in the hand for his purposes. In the notes you'll also find an examination of how Peter and Paul approached the Scriptures, as well as a brief discussion about how we ought to receive the Bible. I.e. Protestants have a canon of 66 books - why is that? Why do other traditions have more? What ought we to make of the so-called 'Apocrypha'? Etc.
Find notes below, as well as a couple of videos from different parts of the world, showing us perhaps what we have lost as a people so familiar with the Word - that is, wonder and thankfulness!
We met on Sunday night for our tenth Foundations session - we've looked at a lot so far, from the doctrine of the Trinity, to the ministry of Christ. This time, we were starting a five-part series on 'soteriology' - our theology of salvation! What an amazing subject. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound...
In this, our first session, we we were looking at the very fact that God has chosen to be a Saviour God - he didn't have to, no one forced him. He was under no compulsion. He graciously, sovereignly decided to save us. This is otherwise known as the doctrine of Election. Now, in the words of Karl Barth (a famous theologian of the 20th Century), election has cast a dark shadow for many. It has stoked controversy and outrage. But - as we established on Sunday - this needn't be the case.
Election is at the heart of all theology - God has freely chosen to be a Creator God, a known God, a worshipped God, etc. Election is at the heart of the Triune life of God - the Father chose the Son from all eternity to work out his purposes by the Spirit. Election is at the heart of the Gospel - God chose the historical Israel, and God has chosen his Bride. We dishonour God when we ignore election, or when we treat it as some insignificant off-cut. After all, when the authors of Scripture discuss it, it's not as a 'matter of controversy but as a theme for worship'! [J.I. Packer]
Find below a few things. First, the notes from Sunday's session - expanded to include more details and several appendices. Second, the medley of worship that we opened our session with. And third, the modern adaptation of Francis Thompson's Hound of Heaven, which we finished with.
We've just finished the fifth Foundations at Freedom Church - but for our 'second years', we're nearly at the very end of the Foundations course. In fact, on Sunday 9th Dec, we'll be meeting for our last ever session.
Last time, we looked at the Christian's life this side of eternity - looking at discipleship, and the various aspects of the Christian walk.
In this penultimate session, our focus is on the Church's life this side of eternity - how do we relate to the political world? What is the Christian's relationship with the world around us, and with governments and power? How do we bring Scripture to bear upon such a massively important subject?
Though we did not actually meet for S24 due to scheduling complications, I've worked hard to provide you with the notes in advance of this Sunday's meeting. You can find them at the link below. Again, this is a huge subject, often called 'Public Theology'. There are many inter-weaving topics, related to history and political philosophy. But as always, the message is still about Christ the King - the one for whom we turn the world upside down [Acts 17:6] ...
Second year TTS students - click here for the S24 notes! If you can't remember your password, please do get in touch.
Thanks to everyone who attended last night's TTS Foundations session at Freedom Church! We were finishing our introductory series on the doctrine of God. This time, the 'big one' - the doctrine of the Trinity.
For many it's like theology's quantum physics; for the super clever, but not-for-me. However, as we established last night, we cannot afford to neglect the Trinity. Not because we need all our intellectual ducks in a row - but because it's what God's people have confessed since the beginning, all Christian doctrine is Trinity-shaped, and it's the jewel in the crown of Biblical theology. The Trinity is God's most intimate revelation about himself.
For all eternity, there has only ever been one God - the LORD God of Israel. He has eternally existed as three totally distinct persons, each sharing the same divine being and one united will. Kings and prophets have longed to know what we know. What a privilege!
Find full notes below, as well as two videos - one is Piper's 'sermon jam' on the Trinity, the other is "All Praise to Him", a Trinitarian doxology, both of which we played last night.
After needing to postpone our last Foundations session, we met yesterday for two sessions distilled into one! Our subject was Scripture - how ought we to approach it? How ought we to receive it? How ought we to use it?
We only covered the first of those questions. What is the nature of Scripture? What does it mean for it be necessary, authoritative, perspicuous, and sufficient? What does sola Scriptura mean, and what is God's heart in revealing himself at all?
We landed on a few major themes.
Find full notes below, as well as two videos - one of an underground Church receiving translations of the Bible, and another of a PNG tribe receiving theirs. Note their joy, be humbled, and be reminded of Neh 8.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S18/19 notes! If you can't remember your password, please do get in touch.
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.