The Doctrine of God. 1. Theology - the study of God: His nature, attributes, actions, and will

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1 I. Preliminaries A. Terms 1. Theology - the study of God: His nature, attributes, actions, and will (a) Systematic Theology - the careful arrangement of the data of theology usually arranged in a specific logical order (1) Theology Proper - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the nature and attributes of God (2) Christology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the nature of God the Son as the Second Person of the Trinity and His incarnation (3) Pneumatology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the nature of God the Holy Spirit as the Third Person of the Trinity (4) Bibliology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the nature of God's revelation of Himself through His prophets and apostles resulting in the writing of the Holy Bible (5) Soteriology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with God's provision of salvation for sinners (sometimes includes Hamartiology which is that branch of systematic theology dealing with the doctrine of sin) (6) Ecclesiology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the nature, function, structure, etc. of the Church, both universal and local (7) Eschatology - that branch of systematic theology dealing with the events pertaining to the end times, including the Second Coming of Christ, Heaven, and Hell (b) Biblical Theology (1) falls half way between exegesis (see below) and systematic theology (2) the arrangement of theological truths according to the particular biblical writer (or speaker) or particular book (3) cf. justification in Acts 13:38-39 with James 2:24 (4) You can hear phrases like Old Testament theology; Pauline theology; Johannine theology Page 1

2 2. Exegesis (a) the reading out of the biblical text what is there (b) contrast eisegesis which is the reading into the biblical text what is not there Exegesis Systematic Theology B. Where Do We Get Our Information about God? 1. Philosophy - the rational reflection on abiding assumptions of thinking itself, together with the careful analysis of sensible objects (i.e., objects perceptible by the senses) to the end of systematically understanding the nature of reality as such (in distinction to understanding the nature of reality in its various specific aspects like biology, astronomy, mathematics, etc), including (a) metaphysics (What is that which is?) (b) epistemology (How do we know that which is?) (c) linguistics (How do we communicate what we know of that which is?) (d) hermeneutics (How do we understand what is communicated about what we know of that which is?) (e) values (What matters about that which is?) (f) ethics (How should I act regarding what matters about that which is?) (g) political philosophy (How should we act regarding what matters about that which is?) (h) logic (How should we think about all this?) 2. Revelation (a) Defined - that aspect of theology which deals with God making known to men His divine person and divine truths that would otherwise be unknown; to unveil. (b) Distinguished (1) from inspiration - Inspiration is the transference of the truth by divine influence into written language form, which others may understand (2) Thus, revelation is the giving of the truth (by God to humans) and inspiration is the recording of the truth (in the Bible). Page 2

3 (c) Divided II. Theology Proper (1) General Revelation (Natural Revelation) (2) Special Revelation A. The Existence of God 1. The denial of the existence of God is called 'atheism.' 2. The suspension of judgment with respect to the existence of God is called 'agnosticism.' 3. The affirming of the existence of God is called 'theism.' (a) monotheism - the view that there is only one God. (b) polytheism - the view that there are many gods (c) pantheism - the view that God and the universe are the same being B. The Attributes of God 1. Oneness (1) There is no God besides God. (2) The oneness of God does not conflict with the Trinity. (1) Deuteronomy 32:39 - 'Now see that I, even I, am He, And there is no God besides Me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; Nor is there any who can deliver from My hand. ' (2) Isaiah 43:10 - "You are My witnesses," says the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me. (3) Isaiah 44:6 - "Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. Page 3

4 2. Eternality (4) Isaiah 45:5 - I am the LORD, and there is no other; There is no God besides Me. I will gird you, though you have not known Me, (1) God has always existed, has never come into existence, and will never go out of existence. (2) God's eternal existence is not due to His existing through infinite time. (3) Rather, God's eternal existence is due to His existing beyond the limits of time itself. (1) Psalm 90:2 - Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God." (2) Isaiah 57:15 - For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, With him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 3. Immutability : God cannot not change (1) Malachi 3:6 - "For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (2) James 1:17 - Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 4. Omnipotent (1) God has all power and can do anything that is the object of power. (2) God's omnipotence does not mean that He can do the logically impossible. Page 4

5 (3) God's omnipotence does not mean that He can violate his own nature. (1) Genesis 18:14 - "Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (2) Job 42:1-2 - Then Job answered the LORD and said: "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. (3) Jeremiah 32:17 - 'Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You. (4) Revelation 1:8 - "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (5) Revelation 19:6 - And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, "Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Page 5

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