These notes are related to "An Introduction to Christian Belief: A Layman's Guide" which you can also access by clicking on this link.
The Junior demon was not to teach people to think…about anything!
The “scandal” is that there is no mind.
Guinness gives eight influences affecting evangelicals—influences leading to an evangelical “ghost mind.”
“Christian theology is reflecting on and articulating the God-centered life and beliefs that Christians share as followers of Jesus Christ, and it is done in order that God may be glorified in all Christians are and do.”1
Theology is “that discipline which strives to give a coherent statement of the doctrines of the Christian faith, based primarily upon the Scriptures, placed in the context of culture in general, worded in a contemporary idiom, and related to the issues if life.”2
“Christian theology is critical reflection about God, about human existence, about the nature of the universe and about faith itself in the light of the revelation of God recorded in Scripture and particularly embodied in Jesus Christ, who is for the Christian community the final revelation, that is, the definitive revelation which is the criteria of all other revelations.”3
(1) “Theology therefore, is the exhibition of the facts of Scripture in their proper order and relation, with the principles or general truths involved in the facts themselves which pervade and harmonize the whole; (2) theology…[is] the science of the facts of divine revelation so far as those facts concern the nature of God and our relation to him, as his creatures, as sinners and as subjects of redemption. All of these facts, as just remarked are in the Bible. But as some of them are revealed by the works of God, and by the nature of man, there is so far a distinction between natural theology, and theology considered distinctively as a Christian science.”5
1F. The Claim(s)
2F. The Ground(s)
3F. The Warrant(s)
4F. The Backing
5F. The Qualifiers
6F. The Rebuttals
1F. Fallacies of Relevance
2F. Fallacies of Presumption, Ambiguity, and Grammatical Analogy
3F. Fallacies of Ordinary Language
The NIV Application Commentary Series, Zondervan
Tyndale Commentary on the OT/NT, Eerdmans/IVP
The New International Biblical Commentary Series (NIBC), Hendrickson
The New American Commentary Series (NAC), Broadman and Holman
The New International Commentary on the OT/NT (NICOT/NICNT), Eerdmans
Baker Exegetical Commentary Series (BEC), Baker
The Expositor’s Bible Commentary (EBC), Zondervan
Word Biblical Commentary (WBC), Word Publishers
The New International Greek New Testament Commentary (NIGNT), Eerdmans
Carson, D. A. et al. An Introduction to the New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.
Ferguson, Everett. Backgrounds of Early Christianity. Second Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.
Gower, Ralph. The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times. Chicago: Moody, 1987.
Hill, Andrew E. and John H. Walton. A Survey of the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.
Jeffers, James S. The Greco-Roman World of the New Testament Era: Exploring the Background of Early Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1999.
Livingston, G. Herbert. The Pentateuch in Its Cultural Environment. 2nd Ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987.
Schürer, Emil. The History of the Jewish People in the Age of Jesus Christ. 4 Vols. Rev. by Geza Vermes et al. Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1973.
Alder, Mortimer J. and Charles Van Doren. How to Read a Book. Revised and Updated. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.
Carson, D. A. Exegetical Fallacies. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996.
Fee, Gordon and Douglas Stuart. How To Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide To Understanding the Bible. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.
Osborne, Grant R. The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1991.
Ryken, Leland. How To Read the Bible as Literature. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Silva, Moiss, ed. Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation: Six Volumes in One. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Stein, Robert H. A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.
Kaiser, Walter C. Toward an Old Testament Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991.
Ladd, George Eldon. A Theology of the New Testament. Rev. and ed. by Donald Hagner. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.
Zuck, Roy B. and Darrell L. Bock, eds. A Biblical Theology of the New Testament. Chicago: Moody, 1994.
Berkhof, Louis. The History of Christian Doctrines. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1937.
Grenz, Stanley J. and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996.
Grenz, Stanley and John R. Franke. Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context. Louisville, KY: Knox, 2001.
Guinness, Os. Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don’t Think and What To Do about It. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.
Hart, Trevor. Faith Thinking: The Dynamics of Christian Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995.
Lints, Richard. The Fabric of Theology: A Prolegomena to Evangelical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.
Lewis, Donald and Alister McGrath. Doing Theology for the People of God: Studies in Honor of J. I. Packer. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996.
McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
________, ed. The Christian Theology Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995.
Noll, Mark. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
Bray, Gerald, ed. The Contours of Christian Theology. 9 vols. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993-?
Gerald Bray. The Doctrine of God.
Robert Letham. The Work of Christ
Donald MacLeod. The Person of Christ
Paul Helm. The Providence of God
Charles Sherlock. The Doctrine of Human Nature
Sinclair Ferguson. The Holy Spirit
Edmund Clowney. The Church
Klaus Runia. The Last Things
Peter Jensen. The Revelation of God
Elwell, Walter A., ed. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984.
Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985.
Ferguson, Sinclair B. and J. I Packer. New Dictionary of Theology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988.
Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Lewis, Gordon R. and Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology: Three Volumes in One. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
Barry, Vincent E. and Douglas J. Soccio. Practical Logic. 3rd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1988.
Walton, Douglas N. Informal Logic: A Handbook for Critical Argumentation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Fahnestock, Jeanne and Mary Secor. A Rhetoric of Argument. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1990.
Toulmin, Stephen, The Uses of Argument. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958.
Adler, Mortimer J. Aristotle for Everybody: Difficult Thought Made Easy. New York: Touchstone, 1978.
________. Six Great Ideas. New York: Touchstone, 1981.
________. Ten Philosophical Mistakes. New York: MacMillan, 1985.
Allen, Diogenes and Eric O. Springsted, eds. Primary Readings in Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1992.
Blamires, Harry. The Christian Mind: How Should A Christian Think. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1963.
________. The Post Christian Mind: Exposing Its Destructive Agenda. Ann Arbor, MI: Servant, 1999.
Kolak, Daniel and Raymond Martin. The Experience of Philosophy. 3rd ed. Albany: Wadsworth, 1996.
Lavine, T. Z. From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest. New York: Bantam, 1984.
Moore, Brooke Noel and Kenneth Bruder. Philosophy: The Power of Ideas. 2nd ed. Toronto: Mayfield, 1993.
Solomon, Robert C. and Kathleen M. Higgins. A Short Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996.
Yandel, Keith E. Christianity and Philosophy. Studies in a Christian Worldview. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984.
Barnet, Sylvan and Hugo Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: Methods and Models of Argument. 2nd ed. Boston: St. Martin’s, 1990.
Curtler, Hugh Mercer. Ethical Argument: Critical Thinking in Ethics. New York: Paragon, 1993.
Feinberg, John S. and Paul D. Feinberg. Ethics for A Brave New World. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1993.
Geisler, Norman L. Christian Ethics: Options and Issues. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1999.
Grenz, Stanley J. The Moral Quest: Foundations for Christian Ethics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997.
Holmes, Arthur F. Ethics: Approaching Moral Decisions. Contours of Christian Philosophy Series, ed. C. Stephen Evans. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1984.
MacIntyre, Alasdair. A Short History of Ethics. New York: Touchstone, 1966.
Olen, Jeffery and Vincent Barry. Applying Ethics. 4th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1992.
Rae, Scott B. Moral Choices: An Introduction to Ethics. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.
Ruggiero, Vincent Ryan. Thinking Critically about Ethical Issues. Toronto: Mayfield, 1992.
Sterba, James P. ed. Morality in Practice. 3rd ed. Blemont, CA: Wadsworth, 1991.
Beckwith, Francis J., and Michael E. Bauman. Are You Politcally Correct? Buffalo, NY: Prometheus, 1993.
Eidsmore, John. Christianity and the Constitution: The Faith of Our Founding Fathers. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987.
Gaede, S. D. When Tolerance Is No Virtue. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.
Hatch, Nathan. The Democratization of American Christianity. New Haven, CT: Yale, 1991.
Maclear, J. F., ed. Church and State in the Modern Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Stone, Ronald H. Reformed Faith and Politics. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1983.
Gaede, S. D. When Tolerance Is No Virtue: Political Correctness, Multiculturalism and the Future of Truth and Justice. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.
Hunter, James Davison. Culture Wars. New York: Harper Collins, 1992
Craig, William Lane. Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1984.
Evans, C. Stephen. The Historical Christ and the Jesus of Faith: The Incarnational Narrative as History. Oxford: Clarendon, 1996.
________. Why Believe: Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996.
Moreland, J. P. Scaling the Secular City: A Defense of Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987.
Murray, Michael J., ed. Reason for the Hope Within. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999.
Placher, William C. Unapologetic Theology: A Christian Voice in a Pluralistic Culture. Louisville, KY: Westminster/Knox, 1989.
Wells, David F. God in the Wasteland: The Reality of Truth in a World of Fading Dreams. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994.
________. No Place for Truth or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993.
Hendricks, Howard G. Teaching To Change Lives. Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1987.
LeFever, Marlene D. Creative Teaching Methods: Be An Effective Christian Teacher. Elgin, IL: David C. Cook, 1985.
Litfin, A. Duane. Public Speaking: A Handbook for Christians. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981.
Robinson, Haddon W. Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1980.
Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000.
Wilhoit, Jim and Leland Ryken. Effective Bible Teaching. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988.
Williams, Keith and Scott M. Gibson, eds. The Big Idea of Biblical Preaching. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.
1 Stanley J. Grenz and Roger E. Olson, Who Needs Theology? An Invitation to the Study of God (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1996), 49.
2 Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985), 21.
3 John Leith, An Introduction to the Reformed Faith: A Way of Being the Christian Community, rev. ed. (Atlanta: John Knox, 1981), 91.
4 Charles Hodge (1797-1878) was one of the most influential American Presbyterian theologians of the nineteenth century. He taught at Princeton from 1822 until he died. He was a strong Calvinist who wrote commentaries on Romans, Ephesians, 1 and 2 Corinthians as well as various treatises including one against Darwinism. He defended the Bible against inroads from higher criticism and wrote a three volume systematic theology of 2000 pages! See Mark Noll, “Hodge, Charles,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 513-14.
5 Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 1:19.
The term Bibliology (from Greek biblos meaning “book”) refers particularly to the study of the nature of the Bible as divine revelation. It often includes such topics as revelation, inspiration, inerrancy, canonicity, textual criticism, illumination, and interpretation.
6 For a discussion of “revelation,” and closely linked ideas, see David S. Dockery, Christian Scripture: An Evangelical Perspective on Inspiration, Authority, and Interpretation (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 1995). See also Avery Dulles, Models of Revelation (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1992).
7 For several articles dealing with the evangelical doctrine of inerrancy see, Norman L. Geisler, ed., Inerrancy (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1980).
8 On the issue of the canon, see Roger Beckwith, The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and Its Background in Early Judaism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985); F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988); Harry Y. Gamble, The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning, New Testament Series, ed. Dan O. Via (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985); Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: University Press, 1987).
9 On OT textual criticism, see Ernst Würthwein, The Text of the Old Testament, trans. Erroll F. Rhodes (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979); Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 3rd ed. (New York: Oxford, 1992).
10 Some good introductory works on biblical interpretation include: Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart, How To Read the Bible for All Its Worth: A Guide to Understanding the Bible, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993); Leland Ryken, How To Read the Bible as Literature (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984); Robert H. Stein, A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994); William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg, and Robert L. Hubbard (Dallas: Word, 1993); Moiss, Silva, ed., Foundations of Contemporary Interpretation: Six Volumes in One (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996); Grant Osborne, The Hermeneutical Spiral: A Comprehensive Introduction to Biblical Criticism (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1991); John R. W. Stott, Understanding the Bible, rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984); R. C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1977); D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2d ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996). For a more in depth and scholarly analysis of the problem of meaning as it relates to Biblical interpretation see, Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Is There a Meaning in This Text: The Bible, The Reader, and the Morality of Literary Knowledge (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1998).
11 A helpful work aimed at the application of scripture is Robertson McQuilkin, Understanding and Applying the Bible, rev. ed. (Chicago: Moody, 1992).
Trinitarianism refers to the study of the triune God. It often includes such topics as rational arguments for the existence of God, the attributes of God, the Names of God, the trinity, and the decree or plan of God.
God has revealed himself in many ways throughout history, now recorded for us in Scripture—a living, inspired record of his disclosures about who he is, his purposes, plan, character and will. On many occasions he has given us a name by which he has unveiled his nature and by which we are subsequently to understand him. Some of these names include: Yahweh (the self-existent one)13; Yahweh Shalom (Yahweh is peace); Yahweh Maccaddeshem (Yahweh your sanctifier); Yahweh Raah (Yahweh is my shepherd); Yahweh Shammah (Yahweh who is present); Yahweh Rapha (Yahweh who heals); Yahweh Elohim (Yahweh, the mighty one); Adonai (Lord or Master); Elohim (The mighty or majestic one); El Olam (The mighty one, eternal); El Elyon (The most high mighty one); El Roi (The mighty one who sees); El Shaddai (Almighty God); Yeshua (Jesus; God saves); Christos (Christ; Messiah, Anointed one); Kurios (Lord); Soter (Savior), Abba (Father), and Theos (God).
One of the best statements of the “plan” of God or as is sometimes referred to as the decree of God, is that found in the Westminster Shorter Catechism: “The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass” (Q.7). This doctrine can be seen in several places including most notably, Ephesians 1:11: “in whom we also were called, having been foreordained according to the plan of him who works out all things in conformity with the counsel of his will.”
12 For the relative importance, place, efficacy, and value of rational argumentation for God’s existence, see C. Stephen Evans, Philosophy of Religion, Contours of Christian Philosophy, ed. C. S. Evans (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1982), 31-76.
13 The difficulties in establishing the proper meaning of Yahweh are many and varied. Attempts to discover its meaning along the lines of comparative philology are tenuous at best, but so also with an examination of the verbal root. Its usage in Exodus 3:14 has generally been argued to suggest something along the line of God’s self-existence or at least the One who had been with the nation of Israel since the patriarchs.
The term “christology” (from Greek christos meaning “anointed one” or “Christ”) refers to the study of Christ. It often includes such topics as the preexistence and eternality of Christ, OT prophecies about Christ, Christ’s humanity, deity, and incarnation, as well as the issue of his temptations and sinlessness, his death, resurrection, ascension and exaltation, return, three-fold office, and states.
So we see that the doctrine of the simultaneous deity and humanity of Christ is not the invention of some fourth or fifth century church council (e.g., Nicaea [AD 325] or Chaledeon [AD 451]), but is clearly taught in Scripture. The precise formulation (i.e., a working model) of how this could be so may have had to await a response to the Arian heresy and other Christological developments (and a borrowing of Greek metaphysical language), but the essential features of the doctrine are found in apostolic and early church confessions.
All four gospels record the death of Christ (under Pontius Pilate) which is interpreted in advance by Christ himself as a death for the forgiveness of sins, the establishment of the new covenant, and the defeat of Satan (Luke 22:15-20; John 12:31; 16:11). The heart of Christ’s teaching on this matter became the authoritative teaching of the apostles (in keeping with OT assertions to the same). We will talk more about the proper interpretation of the death of Christ when we discuss the doctrine of salvation. It is enough for now to realize that the evidence for his death by crucifixion is overwhelming.
The Bible predicts that someday Jesus Christ will return, suddenly, bodily and with great glory for all to see (Matt 24:30; Rev 19:11ff). At that time he will judge Satan and his angels, the living and the dead, and will establish his kingdom in its fullest sense. We will discuss the nature and timing of the rapture as well as the nature of the kingdom under Eschatology.
14 See S. M. Smith, “Kenosis, Kenotic Theology,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 600-602. These speculative theories of the incarnation have little to do with the exegesis of Philippians 2:7. See also B. E. Foster, “Kenoticism,” in New Dictionary of Theology, ed. Sinclair B. Ferguson, David F. Wright, and J. I. Packer (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988), 364.
15 No clearer affirmation of this situation can be found than that which comes from the pen of Norman Perrin, The Resurrection according to Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977), 78, who says that, "none of the gospel writers is concerned to give us what we call historical information; they are evangelists, not historians."
16 See Wayne A. Grudem, “States of Jesus Christ,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 1052-54; Louis Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 2nd rev. ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1941), 331-355.
The term pneumatology comes from two Greek words, namely, pneuma meaning “wind,” “breath,” or “spirit” (used of the Holy Spirit) and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” As it is used in Christian systematic theology, “pneumatology” refers to the study of the biblical doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Generally this includes such topics as the personality of the Spirit, the deity of the Spirit, and the work of the Spirit throughout Scripture.
We will discuss the various aspects of the work of the Spirit in relation to the church under the headings of “soteriology” and “ecclesiology.” Suffice it to say here that the Spirit is involved in the works of calling, regeneration, uniting the believer with Christ and others in the body of Christ, indwelling, filling, empowering, gifting, and sanctifying the believer. His primary ministry is to mediate the presence of Christ and the knowledge of God to the believer (John 16:13-14).22
17 Some scholars attempt to argue for the personality of the Spirit by pointing out that in Ephesians 1:14 the relative pronoun “who” is masculine in the Greek text and not the expected neuter (i.e., to agree with pneuma). But there is a difficult textual variant here, i.e., the neuter relative pronoun, and it is exceedingly difficult to determine with great confidence which was original. The point is that not much weight should be placed on this passage. Also, some argue that the demonstrative pronoun in John 16:14 is masculine and refers back to the “spirit” in 16:13. The masculine pronoun, then, used in reference to the Spirit, demonstrates his personality. This argument, too, is precarious at best.
18 See Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 33a (Dallas: Word, 1993), in loc.
19 BAGD, s.v. ajrrabwn.
20 Others argue that “oil” is a type or symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. It represents the power, cleansing, and illuminating work of the Spirit. See Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology (Chicago: Moody Press, 1989).
21 See Buist M. Fanning, “A Theology of Peter and Jude,” A Biblical Theology of the New Testament, ed. Roy B. Zuck and Darrell L. Bock (Chicago: Moody, 1994), 448-50.
22 J. I Packer, Keep in Step with the Spirit (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revell, 1984), 49.
The term “anthropology” comes from two Greek words, namely, anthropos meaning “man” and logos meaning “word, matter, or thing.” We use the word “anthropology” to refer to the study of man and a Biblical anthropology is the study of man as understood primarily from Scripture. Thus it often involves discussion of the particular creation of man, man in the “image of God,” the constitutional nature of man, and man after the fall. “Hamartiology,” on the other hand, comes from two Greek terms as well, namely, hamartia meaning “sin” and logos. Thus it concerns the biblical doctrine of sin including its origin, nature, transmission, effects, and judgment.
A brief review of the fall of man leads us naturally into a discussion of the essential nature of sin, as well as its origin, transmission, effects, and punishment.
The term “angelology” comes from two Greek terms, namely, aggelos (pronounced angelos) meaning “messenger” or “angel” and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” In Christian systematic theology it is used to refer to the study of the biblical doctrine of angels. It includes such topics as the origin, existence, and nature of angels, classifications of angels, the service and works of angels as well the existence, activity, and judgment of Satan and demons (as fallen or wicked angels). Some theologies, however, treat Satan and demons under a separate heading, namely, demonology.
In the sense that angels were involved in the coming of Christ, the salvation, growth, preservation of christians, and the judgment of unbelievers they are involved in the providential outworking of God’s plan (encompassing all things) in the world. This can be seen in the control of nations as well (Daniel 10:13, 20-21).
The bottom line is that demons, like their father the prince of demons, want to thwart the salvific and sanctifying work of God by causing the people of God to sin or do anything that would render them less effective for Him. They also love to lead the entire world away from the truth in Christ and to destroy them if God permitted. Their ultimate plan is to overthrow the kingdom of light with the kingdom of darkness and to dethrone God.
23 See Sydney H. T. Page, Powers of Evil: A Biblical Study of Satan and Demons (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995), 255-61.
24 The precise origin of this name is very difficult to pin down. It is probably not used in connection with any OT “personage,” but is found in later Jewish writings and at Qumran. It seems to indicate one who opposes God and his purposes. See Ralph P. Martin, 2 Corinthians, Word Biblical Commentary, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 40 (Dallas: Word, 1986), electronic version, in loc.
The term “soteriology” comes from two Greek terms, namely, soter meaning “savior” or “deliverer” and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” or “thing.” In Christian systematic theology it is used to refer to the study of the biblical doctrine of salvation. It often includes such topics as the nature and extent of the atonement as well as the entire process of salvation, conceived as an eternal, divine plan designed to rescue lost and erring sinners and bring them back into eternal fellowship with God. Many regard it as the primary theme in Scripture with the glory of God as its goal.
25 See Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 594-603. For a more modified Calvinistic view, see Erickson, Christian Theology, 825-35. Also, the language of “bought” (agorazo) in 2 Peter 2:1 might come from the OT, as we pointed out, but it might be the specific language of Peter’s opponents, that is, it might be their estimation of themselves. Peter thus uses it in a sarcastic way. Also, when John says that Christ died not only for our sins, but also for (peri + gen) the sins of the entire world (1 John 2:2), he may simply be responding to an incipient form of Gnosticism which confined initiation to a select few. John says, “no, this gospel is equally for all men.”
26 We are not concerned here with the “call” to a particular vocation.
27 Regeneration seems to be associated in the early church with baptism, but it must be said up front that Scripture nowhere sanctions the belief that regeneration is materially related to anything other than Spirit sponsored, saving faith. The rite of baptism is the Christian symbol for salvation, and is often associated with faith, but of itself it contributes nothing.
The term “ecclesiology” (from Greek ecclesia meaning “meeting,” or “assembly” and logos meaning “word,” “matter,” “topic”) refers to the study of the church as the assembly of those who know the Lord and in whom the Spirit of God dwells (Romans 8:9). It often deals with such topics as the nature of the church, including NT metaphors used to describe the church, the church’s relationship to the kingdom of God, to Israel, and her purpose in the world. Other related topics include the government of the church, her God-given ordinances, as well as the spiritual gifts graciously bestowed on her by God for her maturity and growth in Christlikeness.
28 There is another term in the Hebrew OT, namely, hd*u@, and it often refers to Israel as a “ceremonial community” centered in the cult or the Law. It is, however, never translated with ekkle?sia. See Jack P. Lewis, “qahal,” in Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody, 1980), 789-90; Lothar Coenen, “Church,” in The New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology, ed. Colin Brown (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1975), 1:291-95.
29 Cf. BAGD, 240-41.
30 For his defense of these points see, George Eldon Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament, rev. ed., ed. Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993), 109-117.
31 For further discussion of these three representative forms of church government, see Erickson, Christian Theology, 1069-83; Leon Morris, “Church Government,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1984), 238-41; D. MacLeod, “Church Government,” in New Dictionary of Theology, ed. Sinclair B. Ferguson, David F. Wright, and J. I. Packer (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1988), 143-46.
32 “Elders” are also known as “pastors,” “overseers,” and “bishops” in the NT. See Grudem, Systematic Theology, 913-14. Though this position is by no means certain, it does seem quite tenable.
33 These are sometimes referred to as “sacraments.” To some, the term “sacrament” suggests the idea that either participation in these rites is necessary for salvation or that they actually work in and of themselves, apart from the faith of the participant. Indeed, this is often how they are conceived in the Catholic church.
34 Matthew uses the expression anebe? apo tou hudatos (Matt 3:16) and Mark says anabaino?n ek tou hudatos (Mark 1:10). Both indicate that Jesus and John were in the water, not just beside it.
35 The same language that’s used of Jesus coming out of the water is used of the Eunuch as well (i.e., (avebe?san ek tou hudatos).
36 See Wallace, Exegetical Syntax, 369-71.
37 While Paul claims to speak in tongues more than all the Corinthians (1 Cor 14:18), it is interesting, in light of certain contemporary claims, to note that tongues is not mentioned by Luke in connection with the apostle’s conversion (Acts 9). Further, while tongues is mentioned in connection with Pentecost (Acts 2:1-13), the conversion of Cornelius and Gentile believers (Acts 10:46), and disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus (Acts 19:1-7), the same cannot be said for Lydia (Acts 16:11-15) and the Philippian jailor (Acts 16:31-34). The latter two, however, are explicitly regarded by the narrator, Luke, to participate fully in Christ’s salvation.
The term “eschatology” comes from two Greek terms e[scato" and lovgo" meaning (roughly speaking) “last,” “end,” or “final” and “word,” “matter” “thing,” respectively. Theologically speaking, then, the term eschatology refers to “things pertaining to the end of history and the consummation of God’s kingdom.” It concerns both personal eschatological issues such as death and the intermediate state as well as themes with a more general or corporate focus. The latter would include such topics as the return of Christ, resurrection, judgment, tribulation, the millennial kingdom, and the eternal state.
38 It appears that Luke has a focus on AD 70 (21:20-24), but one can hardly suggest that such verses as 21:27, 35 are not looking to the grand eschaton. And, what happened in AD 70 could, theoretically anyway, be repeated at a later date.
39 Berkhof, Systematic Theology, 695-703.
40 Grudem, Systematic Theology, 1095-1105.
41 Gentry, “Postmillennialism,” 15. He cites the work of Donald G. Bloesch, Essentials of Evangelical Theology: Vol. 2: Life, Ministry, and Hope (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1979), 192 and Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, 5th ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, rep. n.d. ), 2:591, cf. 122.
42 See Robert Strimple, “An Amillennial Response to Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.,” in Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond, ed. Darrell L. Bock (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999), 63-66.
43 Blaising, “Premillennial Response,” 75.