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The Top Three Issues Relating to the Doctrine of God that Evangelical Christians Need to Address in the Church and in the Academy - Essay Example

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The Book of Acts lauded the Berean Jews because of their eagerness in receiving God’s word and their constant search of the Scriptures to validate the teachings that they’ve heard from Paul and the other disciples. …
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The Top Three Issues Relating to the Doctrine of God that Evangelical Christians Need to Address in the Church and in the Academy
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The Top Three Issues Relating to the Doctrine of God that Evangelical Christians Need to Address in the Church and in the Academy. ’s Name Course Number Instructor’s Name Date of submission The Top Three Issues Relating to the Doctrine of God that Evangelical Christians Need to Address in the Church and in the Academy. The Book of Acts lauded the Berean Jews because of their eagerness in receiving God’s word and their constant search of the Scriptures to validate the teachings that they’ve heard from Paul and the other disciples. The Bereans serve as prime examples for us Christians, especially us who are scholars of God’s Word – examples of how we should not just follow blindly but confirm, through our own research and examination of the Bible, the theological soundness of the things taught us in Bible school and even in the pews. Developing this kind of tenacity in confirming the truth found in The Word is essential as to stay true to the message of God written in the Bible. From the insights I’ve gained from this course, I have chosen three issues that need to be addressed and reexamined in the Church and in the academy: 1. The Validity of the Trinity, 2. Classical vs. Post-conservative Evangelical theology, and 3. The Question “If God is Loving and Just, Why does He Allow Suffering and Injustice in this world?” The focus is not merely on scholarship but on the underlying concepts that needs to be grounded in order for us Evangelical Christians to represent Christ more effectively to a fallen world. The Validity of the Trinity Many Evangelical Christians understand Trinity as God in His three main roles: Father, Son, and Spirit. However the Doctrine of a Triune God is not just about roles, the Father, Son, and Spirit are different and unique entities yet they are one.1 How God reveals Himself is a mystery but we Evangelicals should not oversimplify the Trinity into just roles, rather we must accept that our God revealed Himself as three individuals but is one. We must be careful not to confine God in with the limits of our minds. I believe that the monotheistic approach to God is valid but should consider that the God that we believe in is three personas in one. I believe this though I don’t fully understand because it is how God presented himself in the scripture and our salvation through Christ cannot be complete without the work of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Classical vs. Post-conservative Evangelical theology There are different conceptions on how to study the word of God and how to deal with the Doctrine of God. There are the classical theologians that abide on the works of Luther, Calvin and other 16th century theologians in their interpretations of God’s word whereas that of Post-conservative Theologians see that the reformation work is still to be continued, and the preconceptions of God should be challenged with biblical proofs.2 Postconservative theologians are not anti-conservative but they do propose that there are some aspects of the Classical Theologian’s view of the Doctrine of God that should be changed. According to the book of R.E. Olson, one of these concepts that should be reexamined is the belief that God is eternal or timeless because many instances in the Bible presents God to be relational and temporal; fully immersed and affected by the lives of His creation.3 There are groups within the Evangelical churches who side with the postconservatives but others think that their view about the Doctrine of God diminishes His supremacy and deity.4 I agree with the side of the postconservatives that a constant re-examining of the interpretation of scripture is need for us to fully understand God and for us to evaluate if the teachings that we practice are still within the confines of the Bible. However, I would like to side more with the Classical Evangelical Theologians that God is the ultimate power and is not affected by human temporality. He is all powerful and I think it is sacrilegious if we lessen God’s power and influence just for Him to be accessible, comprehensible and logical in our standards. The Question: If God is Loving and Just, why does He Allow Suffering and Injustice in this World? There are many reasons why there is still injustice and suffering in the world and God has allowed all of these for many reasons. Some of them are due to our own misconduct, others can be attributed to our misunderstanding of the nature and power of God, and some can be attributed to the fallen-ness of our world.5 But the truth of it all is that the suffering and injustice in our world is there so that God’s glory will be revealed.6 Yes, it may not make sense but that is the ultimate reason for the existence of everything in this world. Oftentimes when loved ones get terminally sick or when I hear the news about murders and wars going on locally and internationally, I can’t help to wonder and ask God the same question. Though I don’t fully understand the dynamics of how the bad will be for God’s glory and for our good, I know and trust that God has a purpose for everything and it is not in my position to question His plans or His sovereignty. Challenges I still don’t have much knowledge in about the issues above so I plan to read the whole discourse of T. F. Torrance on the Trinity and F. R. Sander’s book “The Deep Things of God: How the Trinity Changes Everything” to see the impact of the Trinity in the Evangelical identity and theology. I also plan to finish reading the book of B. A. Ware and ‘Reformed and Always Reforming’ by R. E. Olson so as to gain a more prominent view of both classical and postconservative Evangelical theism and what is the root of the debate between the advocates of these theology. Last but not least, I would like to read Harold S. Kushner’s book on the question of why bad things happen to good people based on the accounts on the book of Job so as to get a more grounded perspective on the reasons why God chose to let these bad things happen. I would also like to start a blog about the reasons why suffering and injustice remains and make my own personal study on the topic. This, among the three issues is the closest to my personal life and I can relate with it better because I have experienced and struggled with this issue personally compared with the other issues that for me are more scholarly than personal. The blog I will be writing about will examine the different views and answers given with regards to that question and try to clarify which of these views are more Biblically sound and which are just inferential. Bibliography Arnold, David. ”Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People: Answers to One of Life’s Greatest Moral Questions.” Creation House, a Strang Company, Mary Lake, Florida (2008) Olson, Roger E. A-Z of Evangelical Theology. SCM Press, Albans Place, London. (2005) Olson, Roger E. Reformed and Always Reforming: The Postconservative Approach to Evangelical Theology. Baker Academic, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1 October 2007) Ware, Bruce A. God’s Lesser Glory: The Diminished God of Open Theism. Crossway Books a Division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois (2000) Torrance, Thomas F. Christian Doctrine of God, One Being, Three Persons T&T Clark Ltd., York Road, London. (1996) Read More
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