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Trinitarianism - Course Description

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Course Description

Who is God? Better yet, what is God? Can we know for certain that He exists? If so, how? How can God be one yet three? How can Christ be both God and man? This course is a study of the nature, existence, and attributes of our Trinitarian God. We will examine the biblical evidence and historical development of our understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity, person of Christ (Christology), and the person of the Holy Spirit (Pneumatology). Particular attention will be spent on worldview analysis in order to answer the question “What is God?” before we can approach the question “Who is God?” We will also learn and evaluate the common arguments for the existence of God that philosophers and theologians have put forth over the centuries. A defense of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity will be put made as well as one for a belief in the full humanity and full deity of Christ.

Course Outline

Session 1 - Worldviews
Session 2 - Knowability of God
Session 3 - Defense of the Existence of God
Session 4 - The Incommunicable Attributes of God, Part 1
Session 5 - The Incommunicable Attributes of God, Part 2
Session 6 - The Communicable Attributes of God (including Open Theisms view of God)
Session 7 - The Doctrine of the Trinity: Historical Development
Session 8 - The Doctrine of the Trinity: Biblical Defense
Session 9 - The Christology: Humanity of Christ in History
Session 10 - The Christology: Humanity of Christ in the Bible

Course Objectives

  • The student will come to know God more fully and more truly.
  • The student will become familiar with the various worldviews that exist, understanding that the concept of God is different in each worldview.
  • The student will learn the main arguments for the existence of God.
  • The student will understand the historical development that early Christians went through trying to understand the doctrine of the Trinity.
  • The student will have a greater understanding and appreciation for the relationship of the two natures of Christ.
  • The students will gain an appreciation for the positive role that heresy plays in the development of our understanding of theology.

Course Textbooks

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994.

Olson, Roger. Mosaic of Christian Beliefs. Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2002.

Bible (preferably New American Standard or New English Translation)

Assignment Description
(guidelines for self study students)

1. Reading: There will be various reading assignments during the ten-week period.Each student will be expected to read and be prepared to discuss on the forum the material according to the schedule found in the syllabus.

2. Scripture memorization: Each student will memorize the passages provided on the Scripture memorization sheet. Once completed, the student will recite the memorized Scripture to a partner who will affirm the completion by signing the Scripture memorization sheet (included in The Student Notebook).The Scriptures should be memorized in one of the following translations:

  • New American Standard
  • New English Translation - NET Bible
  • English Standard Version
  • New International Version (though not preferred)

3. Case Studies: There will be two case studies that must be completed. These will be handed out by the teacher. Online/DVD self-study students are to post their case studies online on the TTP forums.

4. Vocabulary Quizzes: Thereare two closed book theological vocabulary quizzes (in course downloads). Once the student looks at the quiz, he or she must take the quiz. In other words, you cannot look at the quiz and then study the terms.

Note: Online/DVD self-study students only: All online students are required to spend one hour a week on the TTP forums, discussing issues relevant to the course. Each course will have a separate section on the forum.

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Related Topics: Christology, Glory, Incarnation, Pneumatology (The Holy Spirit), Theology Proper (God), Trinity

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