THEOLOGY

INTRODUCTION & HISTORY

June 7 – August 1

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Week 28
June 7 – June 13
Week 32
July 5 – July 11
Week 29
June 14 – June 20
Week 33
July 12 – July 18
Week 30
June 21 – June 27
Week 34
July 19 – July 25
Week 31
June 28 – July 4
Week 35
July 26 – August 1

WEEKS 28-35

June 7 – August 1

INTRODUCTION

The word theology simply means the study of God. The way that we study and know God determines what we believe and how we will interact with Him and the world. It influences and changes the way we live. We want to see God clearly and have an accurate picture so that our lives are a proper response to who He is.

In one of the most iconic stories about Jesus, a raging storm threatened His life and the lives of His followers. When Jesus’ friends cried out to Him for help, He calmly stood, spoke, and quieted the storm. Nature turned on its heels in response to His voice. The disciples reacted to this show of power in a poignant and still relevant way. “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this?’” (Matthew 8:27a). That question is relevant to anyone who has had a true encounter with Jesus. What kind of man is this? This is the question of theology.

Theology is a word that strikes either fear or boredom into the hearts of many. However, pursuing theology is the most relevant thing a Christian can do. When the disciples asked “What kind of man is this?” they were doing theology. The Son of God revealed His power and authority over creation, and the disciples wanted to know its relevance in their lives. Theologian John Frame defines theology as “the application of Scripture, by persons, to every area of life.” Anytime we ask how scripture applies to our lives, we are doing the work of theology.

HISTORY & TRADITIONS

After Jesus’ ministry on earth, the early church had to wrestle with what the life of Jesus meant for them. What did the life of Jesus mean for how they knew God? What did Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection mean for their reading and understanding of scripture? Who was Jesus really? Was He indeed God or just an extraordinary man? Why did He die? How did His death save them? What did His resurrection from the grave mean for their future? How as a church should they relate to Him? How would His kingdom come now that He had ascended to heaven?

A personal pursuit of sound theology will lead us to wrestle with these same and other big questions today. We will join a long heritage of Jesus-followers who have done so. A few hundred years after the life of Jesus on earth, believers wrote the following about Jesus:

We believe… in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; he suffered and was buried; and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

Nicene Creed, revised at Constantinople, AD 381

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