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 our last Foundations session, we finished our two-part series on 'Pneumatology' - i.e. our theology of the Holy Spirit. Our focus this time was on the Word / Spirit balance. How has that balance been struck throughout Church histories? What about those who believe the spiritual gifts have ceased, and the Word must remain the focal point? What about those who believe the Spirit must be given free reign in the Church?
We addressed each of these questions and more in this session. It's a complex subject, one that requires us to be attentive to the details. On the one hand, the New Testament does describe spiritual gifts, and much of the modern Church takes it for granted that these are still operative today. On the other hand, the New Testament also emphasises the centrality and sufficiency of the Word - it must be given the supremacy, as it is itself a gift of the Spirit.
Find a full set of notes below!
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.
Following our last Foundations session, in which we examined our theology of Scripture, we last night paused our study of 2 Timothy to pick up some left-over threads.
In particular, we asked two questions:
First, how ought we to receive Scripture? Answer: by the Spirit, through the Church. God's people are shaped by the Gospel Word, and are indeed a people of the Word. The Church is the pillar and bulwark of the truth [1 Tim 3:15]. It's no surprise, then, that through the Spirit we have received the Canon of Scripture. This is a complex topic, with a complex history, but last night we looked at why we have 66 books, and why we in the Protestant tradition believe these (and only these) to be God-breathed.
Second, how ought we to use Scripture? Answer: prayerfully, with God's people, and with care for the primary sense. We started to explore some of this in practice, but we'll no doubt unpack this more in future weeks.
Find full notes below!
(NOTE: we weren't able to discuss even half of what I had prepared last night, which is obviously fine - but there are plenty of other subjects covered in the notes, if you're interested. E.g. how would we respond to the Roman Catholic charge that the canon presents a challenge to Sola Scriptura? What's the relationship between Scripture and the Church? Can we disagree with the creeds, for example? All this and more.)
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.