There are core beliefs that should be shared by all evangelical Christians. While there are certainly areas with which we can agree to disagree, there is a core of common beliefs that unite us around the person of Jesus Christ. In this class, Dr. Breshears discusses specifically those core topics.
INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL REVELATION
Systematic theology examines what the Bible as a whole teaches about various topics. General revelation addresses the fact that God has revealed himself to all people in all places through creation and conscience.
SPECIAL REVELATION AND INERRANCY
Special revelation is the way God reveals himself and his truth through his plan of redemption. A commitment to inerrancy is, "an advance commitment to receive as truth from God all that Scripture is found on inspection actually to teach." (J.I. Packer)
PERSPICUITY, SUFFICIENCY, PROPHECY, CANON ETC.
In the Bible, God speaks authoritatively to his people.
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOD
The characteristics of God's nature determine the type of relationship we can have with him.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT HIMSELF?
How God describes himself gives us a significant insight into his character.
IMPASSABLE, IMMUTABLE, OMNISCIENT, OMNIPOTENT
God is unchanging, and never has to abandon a plan because He hasn't sufficient power to accomplish it.
TRINITY, SOVEREIGNTY AND FREEDOM
In the unity of God's essence, there subsists three persons: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are consubtantial and coeternal, yet distinct in the personal mode of their existence, living eternally in loving relationship. The way we interpret the biblical teaching about God's sovereignty and human freedom affect how we view God and how we live our lives.
All persons are separated from God and under condemnation in sin. All humans are drawn to God because he truly wants them to come to him. Some respond to God and some resist him.
All things were created in a free, personal act of the triune God. Creation is distinct from, and dependent upon God.
Providence is God working out his good plan through the upholding of creation, and direction of all things toward his ultimate goal.
EXCURSUS ON ROMANS 9
God is persistent and faithful to bless his sinful people because he has chosen them. He won't go back on his promise.
Professor of Systematic Theology and Chair for Biblical and Theological Studies at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.