Archive | April, 2012

Three Types of Christian Scholarship

1. Exegetes (research) – Level one studies

original research; learning; data; facts

These are the people who are continually doing research. They work primarily with first-hand resources. In biblical studies, they are concerned with original language, backgrounds, historical criticism, and textual issues. They are often (though not always) very timid to take theological stands due to their awareness of the complexities of the issues involved. Because of this, they are sometimes accused of “academic agnosticism.” They are very precise thinkers and normally find it difficult to teach because they are always qualifying everything.  More often than not they limit their studies to very particular areas.

They find all the pieces of the puzzle.

Examples in Evangelicalism:

  • Dan Wallace
  • Tremper Longman
  • D.A. Carson
  • Thomas Schreiner
  • Darrell Bock
  • John H. Walton
  • Peter T. O’Brien
  • I. Howard Marshall
  • Gordon Wenham
  • Craig L. Blomberg

Viewpoint: TREES

  • Why they might dislike theologians: “They often lack precise information and are sloppy with the facts.”
  • Why they need theologians: To process data and come to conclusions from a broader understanding.
  • Possible problems with exegetes: Truth often dies the death of a thousand qualifications. They can lack common sense. Their precise studies can blind them to the obvious.

2. Theologian/Philosopher (think) – Level two studies

systematize; reflect; theories

Theologians are the thinkers. They are not so much concerned about researching and discovering original data, but with the bigger pictures of determining what the data means and exploring original ideas. They spend their time reflecting on issues and coming to conclusions about truth. They systematize data so that creeds can be reasoned, established, and defended. They are much broader in their thinking and studies, having to be familiar with many areas of scholarship in order to provide a systematic understanding of the complete truth. They are concerned with biblical studies, history, apologetics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, logic, and the like.

They put the puzzle together.

Examples in Evangelicalism: Continue Reading →

Theology Unplugged: Problem Passages, 6 – Can God both love and hate someone at the same time?

Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they discuss if it is possible for God to both love and hate a person at the same time.

Gospel-Centered, Too

(Lisa Robinson)

As a follow up to my last post in which I described the qualities of a gospel-centered man (which I believe is the quality of gospel-centered people – male and female), I was reminded of this video.  It’s nice to know I am not the only one.  Hopefully, this will be some encouragement to single ladies (and men too!) as you wait.


Major Theology App Update Now Live

The Theology App has hit the apple app store with its first major update. Here are some of the new features:

* The app is now completely mobile. You have the option to either stream or download every lecture. In addition to video, we’ve added an audio option. Going on a long trip? Not going to have wireless access? Just download a bunch of lectures ahead of time and then you can remove them from your device as you complete the classes. Download as many sessions as your device can handle. 60 hours of theological training now available anytime/anywhere.

* The app now gives you total orientation control. Want to see the powerpoint slides in Portrait view? No problem. How about Landscape view? No problem. Turn your device however you like on any screen in The Theology App and the app will adjust to your preference.

* The Theology App is now a universal app! Buy it once and install it on an iPhone and iPad. The app is now a full-screen iPad app. The next update will take the iPad experience to even a greater level. The slides and workbooks have never looked better on the large iPad screen.

* You now have the ability to take any screen of the app to fullscreen. Looking at the Postmodern Epistemology slides and want to go fullscreen, no problem.

* The app now allows you to listen to theology while the phone is asleep. Put on a lecture from Trinitarianism, place your phone in your pocket, and go running while learning about the greatness of your God. Double-click on the home button and the iPod controls become The Theology App controls! We think that’s pretty cool.

If you don’t have The Theology App please Click Here. A seminary’s worth of theological training for only $6.99!

p.s. Do you know someone who would really geek out on this app? Don’t forget you can gift apps to other people. Click to purchase the app and you will see a button entitled “Gift App” to give the gift of theology to someone you love.

p.p.s. For you with Android phones and the Kindle Fire we have not forgotten about you. We hope to have a full featured version of the app available within the next 6 months or less.

Why I Do Not Want a “Good” Man

(Lisa Robinson)

I recently just ended a 5 month dating relationship.  I really had high hopes for this one, especially considering that he is a great guy and we still remain friends.  In fact, as foundational differences began rising to the surface, the one thing I kept going back to was that he was a good man.  And I think this resonates with so many ladies, doesn’t it?  For I have heard this many times.  We want a good man.

When you think about what is meant by this statement, it is really about how a man treats a woman and what he brings to the table.  He is considered good because of qualities he possesses such as kindness, respect, generosity, and appreciation.  He might be considered good if he is family-oriented and has the capacity to provide for a future family because he is responsible and has decent employment.

But in thinking about what is and should be at the core of a Christian centered relationship particularly focused on marriage possibility, it strikes me that since Christianity is grounded in the gospel, so too should the parties involved be gospel-centered people.  So I’ve concluded that I do not want a good man but rather a gospel-centered man.  The gospel-centered man will of course exhibit qualities of goodness, so he will not be a bad man.  But the core of who he is centered in who God is and what he has provided.  Also, this is no reflection on the gentleman, so don’t go there.

The gospel-centered man will recognize that he is a sinner, that he was born an enemy to God.   He will understand that it is not good behavior that warrants acceptance from God, but belief in His Son.  He will know that any attribute of goodness he possesses has been received by the Father because of this belief, that being made in the image of God and recognizing the truth of who He is provides this reflection on him. Continue Reading →

Theology Unplugged: Problem Passages, Part 5 – God Killing Men, Women & Babies? The Canaanite Genocide

Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they discuss God killing not only men, but women and babies in the Canaanite Genocide.