Thursday, August 11, 2005

Theology with Brian

I first meet Brain in my racquet ball class at UTC my freshman year. He's a pretty smart guy and recently started a series of posts about theology on his blog. I would recommend reading what he has to say if you are interested in this kind of stuff. He has laid out this handy-dandy list of topics that he is planning to discus.

1) Authority of Scripture: How reliable is the Bible? Should we use words like inerrant and infallible to describe it? Are there errors?

2) The canonization of the Bible: Is it reliable? Should we have a canon? What about the Apocrypha? Why is it included in some types of Bibles and not others? Is that okay? Is it "scripture?"

3) Core Truths: What are the core truths and principles Brian talks about in his articles? Do they really matter? What about the "little matters?" Are they insignificant or unwaverable?

4) Propositions: Should we make claims about the Bible and/or Jesus and/or theology? Is there an absolute truth? Can we not just love people? Can we love people without propositionalizing the gospel? Is there a such thing as a "depropositionalized love?" "Why can't we all just get along?"

5) Love: How do we define love? How do we reconcile God's love with the concept of wrath? Can God still be a God of love with all the evil in this world? Is there a possibility that God might actually still be in control of all these "destructive" events? Can there be love without hate?

6) Division: Why is there division in the church? Are there beneficial aspects of a "divided" church? Are we really divided, or are we "divided, yet together?" How can we show the love of the church within the church, and see that flow to outside the church?

7) Conformity: Has the church sold out to the world? Have we abdicated to culture in order to be relevant? Should we look different? How? Why? What does it mean to be "in the world, not of the world?" Isn't all this rules stuff just legalism? Can you be sold out to Christ without the "rules?" How did Jesus accomplish the goal? Did he care about the "rules?"

8) Relevance: What does it mean to be relevant? Can you be "set apart" and still relevant? Can you make the gospel relevant without "looking" different? What does this mean: "looking" different? Have we been approaching the culture correctly?

9) Open or Closed Theology: Should we be open to other worldviews to use for the church? Is there danger in mixing ideals? Can it be beneficial?

10) Be or Look: Are we supposed to look like we are holy, or actually be holy?

11) Identity: As Christians, where is our identity? Is it in Christ? Is it in deeds? Is it in both? Is one a part of the other? Can you separate the two? Does the grace emphasis of Romans and deeds emphasis of James contradict?

12) The Emergent Phenomenon: What about Brian McLaren, the "emergent church," "open source theology," the deconstructionist movement, postmodernism, and others of this "emerging" culture? How does the Christian respond effectively without bringing dishonor to Christ's name? Is this phenomenon new, or is this an old hat?

13) History: What were the Councils of Nicea, Trent, Carthage, etc? Why do they matter? Who was Athanasius and why does he matter? Who were the Arians? Why on earth would Brian include this?

And yes Brian is pretty good at racquet ball too. ;)

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