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Introduction to Theological Method

Any chart, course notes, or handouts I create flow from a normative dispensational, moderate Calvinist, Chaferian, classical/cumulative apologetic position.  And though I make no apologies for my theological position, I do appreciate and learn from others who hold differing views; learning is pleasurable.  My pursuit of Systematic Theology is critical to biblical thinking because it helps protect my exegesis, considers the whole of Scripture, and serves as the vital basis for a worldview that interacts with multifarious ideas in Western thought and culture. 

Though you are welcome to download any document on this page, please do not change, add, or modify if you intend to use my name as its source (you are welcome to correct any grammatical or spelling mistakes)  FYI:  Some charts are in Clarisworks.  Thus, you must have Clarisworks to properly view them.

If you are not familiar with Systematic Theology then I would recommend purchasing Charles C. Ryrie's Basic Theology, Paul Enns, Moody Handbook of Theology, and Robert P. Lightner's,Handbook on Evangelical Theology.  If you desire more substantive works, consider purchasing Lewis S. Chafer's Systematic Theology (my favorite), Norman Geisler's Systematic Theology (apologetic emphasis),  Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology, Charles Hodge'sSystematic Theology (Reformed; postmillennial) and Millard Erickson's Systematic Theology (Baptist).   Reference tools I would encourage you to purchase include ISBE, i.e., TheInternational Standard Bible Encyclopedia; 4 vol. set); the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter Elwell; H. Wayne House, Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine.  Check out http://www.cbd.com/ for great prices.

"He that has doctrinal knowledge and speculation only, without affection, never is engaged in the business of religion." ~  Jonathan Edwards

Want to study theology? 

If you are interested in studying theology, Biblical exposition, and homiletics (the science and art of preaching), attend the College of Biblical Studies:  http://www.cbshouston.edu/. CBS is fully and regionally accredited. If you desire to pursue graduate work in theology, then seriously consider Dallas Theological Seminary. They now offer a M.A. and a Th.M at the Houston, Texas extension. Contact http://www.dts.edu/ for details.   

Want to study philosophy? 

If you are interested in preparing yourself for philosophy, come to Stephen F. Austin State University. Our philosophers are outstanding scholars, teachers, artists, and mentors! http://sfasu.edu. I can't say enough about the philosophy program we offer here! 

Houston Baptist University offers an outstanding graduate degree in cultural apologetics (my favorite area of thought), philosophical apologetics, and philosophy with some of my all-time favorite thinkers (e.g.., Nancy Pearcey; Phil Tallon; Mary Jo Sharp; Russell Hemati; Louis Markos). http://hbu.edu. Check out their Christian School of Thought. 

Finally, students often ask me who are some of my favorite systematic theologians:  In alphabetical order they include John Calvin, Lewis S. Chafer, Jonathan Edwards, Millard Erickson, Norman Geisler, Charles Hodge, Robert P. Lightner, J. Dwight Pentecost,  Charles C. Ryrie, Francis A. Schaeffer, John F. Walvoord, and B.B. Warfield.  I would by any and all of their works.  To be sure, Dr. Chafer's Systematic Theology has had the greatest influence on my life theologically.  But Drs. Lightner, Pentecost, and Walvoord themselves have impacted my biblical worldview.  I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend Dallas Theological Seminary and see these systematic theologians be used by God in my life.  How I appreciate their faithfulness to the Lord, years of labor in God's Word, and going beyond the "call of duty" to equip students like me to "proclaim the Bible as it is to people as they are." 

“There is nothing with which every man is so afraid as getting to know how enormously much he is capable of doing and becoming.” 
~  Søren Kierkegaard

Lecture 1a: Pursue a balanced theology

This is a handout drawn from over a decade of observing students of Scripture and other religious folk handle, discuss, or interact with theology. It is in PDF.

Lecture 7: Why do we believe what we believe?
 The justification of beliefs. 
Lecture 7e How to Discern Truth in the Midst of Cultural Dissonance & Delusion
 This essay offers a seven-fold criteria for evaluating truth-claims and worldviews.
Lecture 8: Sources of Theology
 This chart is in PDF.
Lecture 14a: Canonicity by Daniel Enright
 This presentation was developed by one of my academic interns, Daniel P. Enright. 
Review for Final Exam

 This is a final exam review in MS Word. You will need to bring scantron 882E and a number 2 pencil.

Supplement # 2: Are you a product of indoctrination
 This is a powerpoint regarding Christian believer indoctrination vs. being a believer who is a lover of truth. 
Supplement # 4: The Relationship between Philosophy & Revelation
The following is an excerpt from Charles Hodge's Systematic Theology regarding the relationship between philosophy and revelation. 
Supplement # 5: Plato's Metaphysics & Epistemology
You will need to know this chart.
Supplement # 16: 12 Steps to Help Fulfill God's Calling in Your Life
This handout not only offers 12 steps to help one fulfill God's calling in one's life, but also addresses four critical areas, namely, divine design, divine enablement, personal integrity, & inculcation of virtue, which will need to flourish & harmonize with one another while avoiding certain diversions, distractions, problems, & vices in moment-by-moment living. In sum, the greater the harmony between these areas, all of which should flow from out of one's identity in Jesus Christ, the more likely one will know and experience a very fulfilled life as a Christian.
Supplement # 17: What is the Role of Reason in Theological Thinking?

Here I've adapted Dr. Charles Hodge's critique of rationalism and his insights of reason in theological thiinking from his Systematic Theology, voilume 1. A 11 x 17 paper will be required if one seeks to download this handout. 

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