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!
Many thanks to all those who attended last night's one-off TTS Scripture session. It was lovely to see so many faces, some familiar, some new!
Our remit was to establish everyday principles for better Bible reading - the fancy word for that is 'Biblical exegesis'. A quotation from Eugene Peterson's book, Living the Message, provided our foundation:
Exegesis as an act of love - as stemming from our delighting in (and savouring) the Word made flesh. From here, we briefly observed how Scripture describes itself, before establishing some of the challenges facing us both before and during Biblical study.
Using what is perhaps the most familiar Bible verse of all - John 3:16 - we did some exegesis for ourselves, getting 'hands on' with John's Gospel, all the while detailing seven exegetical principles:
Some of these might be obvious, some less so. Ultimately, however, we want to handle the Bible well primarily because, with the Psalmist, we would say, "How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts..." [Ps 84:1ff].
You can download the notes below. There's much more in them than I was able to deliver last night. I've included, for example, a list of helpful resources which will hopefully prove helpful. I've also embedded here a few videos cited in the notes, to give you a 'head-start'!
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.
Thanks to everyone who attended last night's TTS Foundations session! We were continuing our study of the doctrine of God - looking at his personality (his goodness, kindness, love, etc.), his sovereignty (his government and wisdom), as well as his attributes (his greatness and majesty).
Ultimately, all we can do is say with the Psalmist:
"I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!" [Ps 34:1-3]
We can't be cajoled or compelled - we must each see this for ourselves. God loves us, and pours out his kindness upon us, but he's also majestic in splendour. He is forever old, and forever new; all-wise, all-powerful, all-knowing. What a God we worship!
Find notes for yesterday's session below, as well as the song we played - "Immortal, Invisible" by Tommy Walker.
Welcome to the Theology That Sings blog. Here you'll find news of upcoming events, as well as notes and notices.