Student Notebook- Includes student notes that follow the presentation slides, along with syllabus, case studies, scripture memorization sheets, and bibliography.
Class PowerPoint- Download for free. The PowerPoint file contains extensive teacher's notes in the presentation section, which is only viewable in edit mode. The PowerPoint file must be downloaded in order to view the teacher's notes. (To download, right click and select "save as.") The PowerPoints are primarily created for teachers, but can benefit the student as well. How do I get the fonts for the PowerPoint presentations? Download the fonts here.
Vocabulary Quizzes- There are two vocabulary quizzes. Quiz 1 is to be taken at the end of session 5 and quiz 2 at the end of session 10. These are to be graded by teachers of The Theology Program in their home church setting. Self-study students may also take the quizzes on their own for personal enrichment.
Resources Discussions Links Books Articles
Watch classroom video lessons online...click on class session titles below for streaming video
What is The Theology Program anyway? What is our approach to studying theology? Does TTP take the we're right, your wrong approach? Or does it approach theology more peaceably, letting the students make up their own mind? Am I smart enough to take this course? These are all important questions that this first session seeks to answer. This session presents a basic understanding of the importance of the study of theology and the purpose of The Theology Program. The rules of engagement will set the stage for all future TTP sessions, arguing that theology is best done with an irenic (peaceable) approach, interacting with Christian doctrine and other belief systems in a gracious manner, allowing the student to make up their own mind when all of the evidence has been accurately presented.
What exactly is theology and who is a theologian? Why are there so many bad theologies out there? Are you a Tabloid theologian, believing everything you hear? Or are you a more skeptical theologian, who won't believe anything? This session will cover the different methods and commitments, good and bad, that people bring to their theology causing them to be a good theologian or a bad theologian. During this session the student will be persuaded that everyone is a theologian because everyone has theological persuasions and convictions, even if they don't realize it. The student will have to decide what type of theologian they want to be. One can be a sloppy theologian, by naively receiving their belief system without a constructive methodology, or one can be a theologian with integrity, by exercising critical examination.
What is systematic theology? What are the common mistake that people make with regards to doing theology? How important is it that one use a theological process that is testable? This session presents the different categories in which theology is done. The student should gain a greater understanding of what systematic theology is by understanding its relation to biblical, apologetic, historic, dogmatic, and philosophical theologies. A basic understanding of the theological process is introduced. The student should leave with an understanding that biblical theology must be done with great integrity, asking what did the text mean in its original setting? then asking what does it mean for all time? then finally what does it mean for today?
Why is truth devalued in our culture today? What is Postmodernism? We live in a different world than we did just 20 years ago. People think differently today about the reality and nature of truth. Your truth is your truth, my truth is my truth-they are both right is a comon belief that we encounter in our Postmodern culture. Why are people thinking in such a manner? By the end of this session, the student should have a better understanding of the history of man's search for truth, learning that the Postmodern view of truth (that truth is relative) comes as a response and reaction to an overly optimistic view of man that came out of the enlightenment. We will begin to answer the question, How should the Christian respond to a Postmodernism culture?
What kind of questions are Christians to be prepared to answer today? Modernists ask questions that are rational. Did Christ really rise from the grave? Is the Bible reliable? Postmodernists ask questions that are emotional. Why does God allow evil to happen? What about those who have never heard? In this session, the student should gain a greater understanding of why Postmoderns are asking the type of questions they are. Should the Christian join the moderns or postmoderns? The student will learn what the Christian view of truth should be in response to both Modernism and Postmodernism.
Session 6 - Defining Essentials and Non-Essentials
What are the essential beliefs that make a Christian a Christian? What are the core beliefs that someone must believe to be saved? Are there truths that are relative? If so, how do we know which ones? In this session the student will struggle with these difficult questions. The goal here is not that everyone comes to complete agreement, but that we begin to dialogue about such issues, understanding that failure to do so has produced legalism where people are judging others for not agreeing with them on each and every detail on non-essential issues. The student should also begin to recognize that their are different levels of certainty about all beliefs.
What is the difference between Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Protestantism? What does it mean to be Evangelical? Why are there so many denominations? This session overviews the history of Christianity with the intent of explaining what are the basic differences between the various traditions of Christianity. The student should leave with a better understanding of why the Protestant Reformation took place and what has happened in Christian theology since. The student will learn the basic differences between Christian liberals, fundamentalists, and evangelicals.
What are the sources that Christians should go to for truth? Is experience a valid source? How about emotion? Or should we only turn to the Scriptures when looking for truth? In this important session we will examine all the sources for truth that are available, evaluating them for their trustworthiness. This session rebuilds the stage of truth that will be used for the remainder of the program. The student should leave with a better understanding of the benefits and deficiencies of emotion, experience, reason, tradition, general revelation, and special revelation.
Does God still speak today through prophets, dreams, visions, and direct encounters or did He cease in the first century? If He did cease, why? Are those who claim speak on behalf of God to be tested the same way they were in biblical times? In this session, we will cover this important and divisive issue. If God still speak directly to people today, then we need to use those to whom He speaks as a primary source for truth. During this session, the student will learn and evaluate the arguments made by cessationists (those who believe that God does not speak directly or through prophets today) and continuationists (those who believe that He does), understanding that how one answers this question will greatly influence their theological methodology.
What are the key elements that have united all Christians throughout Church history? What are the core beliefs that unite Evangelical Protestants since the Reformation? Should we seek absolute unity? Or is some diversity healthy for the Church? These are all important questions that are struggled with in this session. By the end of this session, the student should have wrestled with the concepts of unity and diversity. The student should have a greater understanding of what makes up the Great Tradition of Christianity, becoming more confident in the unity of all believers in Christ.