In June, 2017, we’ll be starting a series on the essential doctrines of the Christian faith. This series is based on the systematic discussion we followed in our 360 Degree Christian Sunday school class. My hope is that this blog series will become the curriculum for future classes.
Here’s the plan:
Introduction – Why learn about doctrine and theology?
Module 1 – The inspiration, canonization and interpretation of scripture.
In Module 1, the plan is to create a firm biblical foundation for the rest of the series. Minimally, we will discuss the following topics:
– The inspiration of scripture – How the Bible came to be written.
– The canonization of scripture – How the books of the Bible came to be “approved.”
– The interpretation of scripture – How the Bible should be read.
– The accuracy of scripture – Why the Bible can and must be trusted.
Module 2 – Essential Doctrines of the Christian Faith
In Module 2 we will review at least these 14 essential doctrines of the Christian faith.
- God’s Unity
- God’s Tri-unity
- Christ’s Virgin Birth
- Human Depravity
- Christ’s Sinlessness
- Christ’s Deity
- Christ’s Humanity
- Necessity of God’s Grace
- Necessity of Faith
- Christ’s Atoning Death
- Christ’s Bodily Resurrection
- Christ’s Bodily Ascension
- Christ’s Intercession
- Christ’s Second Coming
Remember, this is not an apologetics class so our goal will not be to understand or argue every detail of every doctrine. Instead we will address each doctrine by asking these questions:
- What is the “heart” of this doctrine?
- What scripture supports this doctrine?
- Why is this doctrine important to the Christian faith?
- How does it support or how is it supported by other doctrines?
- Can someone become a Christian without understanding this doctrine?
- Can someone be a Christian if they understand but reject this doctrine?
After these essential doctrines have been addressed, we will move on to the Doctrine of Holiness and maybe some other doctrinal issues that arise out of previous discussion.
Module 3 – Denominational Differences and Distinctives
In Module 3 we discuss the a number of denominational articles of faith to determine where we agree and where we differ. The driving concept here will the Augustinian motto:
“IN ESSENTIALS UNITY, IN NON-ESSENTIALS LIBERTY, IN ALL THINGS CHARITY.”
Module 4 – Doctrinal Deviation
Module 4a – Errant Theology
Module 4a brings us to a discussion on errant theology and improper theological process.
Module 4b – Cults and Religions
Module 4b takes a look at the extreme cases of errant theology – Cults. We will begin with a discussion of the so-called “Christian cults” and then move on to other cults and world religions.
See you in class!