Well, I hope you all had a lovely summer break - did you go anywhere nice? On Sunday we met for the first session of the new term, starting a new two-part series on 'Pneumatology'. (I.e. our theology of the Holy Spirit.)
Gregory of Nazianzus, a fourth-century Church father, said about the early Church's discovery of Pneumatology: "We see light breaking upon us gradually..." Due to false teaching about the nature of Christ, it took the Church a little while to wrestle with the full deity and personhood of the Spirit. But God is faithful to his Bride, and we spent the first part of our time together on Sunday telling this story.
We then moved on to look at how the Holy Spirit is described in Scripture. We saw how he is presented as integral to our salvation, to creation, and to the life of the Church - but there is one big theme throughout, and it's that of the Spirit's relationship with the Word. His delight is to serve the Father in exalting the Son, the living Word. His joy is Jesus being made to look beautiful, in Jesus being magnified and praised. It is impossible, after all, to confess 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Spirit! [1 Cor 12:3]
Find a full set of notes below.
A great start to the new year! Thanks to all those who attended our sixth Foundations sessions last night. We were continuing (and finishing) our study of God as Creator.
Having asked how and why God created all things in the last session, we turned our attention to ourselves. What does it mean to be human? It's the question at the centre of all other questions - from sexuality and politics, to ethics and morality, to parenting and education, to technology and art, everything we do begs this same question. What are we? Who are we? What were we made for?
Noverim te, noverim me - "I would know you, God, for I would know myself"
Those were Augustine's words. We cannot hope to know ourselves as creatures without first having looked at God our Creator. We saw how the story of humanity can be told in three 'chapters':  Prelapsarian Man (i.e. what we were like before we fell);  Postlapsarian Man (i.e. what happened to us because of the Fall), and  New Creation Man.
The last chapter in the story of humanity is the best of all! Christ the Second Adam, the True Man, became human for us! Whereas once there was a broken image, now there is the Image of the Invisible God; whereas once there was rebellion, now there is a True King; whereas once there was sabotage, now there is an Obedient Son; where once we were covenant breakers, now we have Christ, the 'Yes' and 'Amen'!
You can find a full set of notes below.
We met last night for our last session of 2019, beginning our study of God as Creator.
We asked 'How?' - how has God created? Looking at Ps 65, we saw that God's creation is as much a present-tense activity as it is a past-tense one, and he creates as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (We also spoke a little bit about how Christians have approached Genesis and responded to the challenge of Darwinian evolution.)
We asked 'Why?' - why has God created anything? Put simply, creation is a decree of grace. None of us asked to be born, and yet here we are. God freely chose to be a Creator God, and freely chose us to exist as his creatures. All of creation is an act of unmerited, undeserved grace, all through and for the Son! (Col 1:15-20)
We asked 'What?' - what has God created? In the New Year we'll look at human nature, and at our being made in his image. But last night we looked at his having created invisible things (e.g. angels and demons), as well as the whole universe, and animal life. How ought we, as Christians, to approach these things?
Find below a copy of the notes, as well as the hymn that was played - This Is My Father's World, by Wilder Adkins.
We had a great time last night, beginning our study of Pneumatology - our theology of the Holy Spirit.
We began with a refresher on the doctrine of the Trinity, and then quoted Gregory of Nazianzus, describing God's faithfulness in revealing to his people the full truth about the Spirit over time. (In Gregory's words: "You see lights breaking upon us gradually...")
We then explored this history - how heresies about Jesus gave birth to heresies about the HS, leading to the Church honing its understanding about both. We then explored the full Scriptural witness to the Holy Spirit's person and ministry. In short? We cannot delight IN the Spirit, whilst neglecting the delight OF the Spirit - namely, the Word of God, both living and written.
Full notes available below, as well as two songs played during our time together.
Second year TTS students - click here for the S16 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.