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!
At the end of March, the 'second years' (those who have completed the Foundations course) met at Gill Brown's house for the first time in many months. It was lovely to be together again. Many thanks to Gill for her wonderful hospitality. It was truly a 'Rivendell moment'!
After we had completed the Foundations course we had a number of options: we could study more advanced systematic theology; we could examine particular scriptural themes, or we could stop meeting altogether. Instead, it was decided that what God's people need is the application of sound, Christ-centred theology. These big, majestic truths of Scripture must be met with a concern for Christlikeness. The puritans called this 'casuistry'; the ancient Christians called it 'virtue'.
Some might think this is somehow inferior to systematic theology. To the contrary, this is its fulfilment. After all, the end of all theology (and the end of a theologian's career!) is the so-called 'beatific vision' - that moment when we will see him face-to-face, as Moses did, like a friend. We will have no need of mediatory language or theory. We will know him perfectly. But much more than this - Scripture tells us that we will not just perceive his likeness, we will be perfectly conformed TO his likeness. Christlikeness is the goal of all things, just as Christ himself is the end of all things.
The Virtues sessions are concerned with cultivating Christlikeness - indeed, the apostle Peter tells us that we have been chosen as his people "in order that we might proclaim the virtues of him who called us" [1 Pet 2:9].
In this, our first session, we started by telling two big stories about what it means to be human and to flourish - one comes from Greek philosophy, the other from Scripture. We saw how the early Christians were aware of the first story, but consciously adapted it, reversing it and correcting it in the wake of Christ's resurrection. The Greeks spoke of virtue as the path to human flourishing, the end of all things. The authors of Scripture, however, spoke of Christ as the end of all things, through whom all things will be made new, and we now united in him - being conformed to his image, partaking in his virtue, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Second year TTS students - click here for the notes for Virtues S1! If you can't remember your password, please do get in touch.
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.
From Genesis to Revelation, there's one unbroken story - and it's all about Jesus.
Last night we met for our first session of 2018, looking at the doctrine of the Incarnation. You guys were very patient (!) as I sought to lead us through the magnificent theatre of God's drama - from walking with us in the garden, to the "it couldn't be" moments when the Son of God seemingly appeared to the OT patriarchs & prophets, through to his promise to Isaiah, "I AM COMING" [Isa 66].
Then we turned to the NT - and we saw not only how Jesus constantly alluded to this prophetic expectation, but he played the role of God himself, giving himself titles and offices proper only of the LORD God of Israel.
What can we conclude?
That God is God, and God is Christlike.
That the God-Man is our Champion.
And that there's one story - Immanuel, God with us.
Find notes below as well as a copy of the song I played.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S8 notes!
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.