Introduction to New Testament Theology
Let's start by clearing the ground with some initial statements which will underpin this course.
If our talk of God (theology) is to be sensible and credible in the 21st century it must be expressed in the language and thought forms of our generation. Hence the 'three decker' universe of first century Palestine must be replaced with an awareness of the vast universe and our position in it.
The developments in the understanding of human behaviour which have taken place in the last century must be valued. Psychology, Psychotherapy, Evolution Theory, Communication, Science, Genetics and Sociology have contributed enormously to the concept of human responsibility.
The theory of Evolution and the study of the origin of the universe have greatly affected the way we think about the theology of creation and the development of human beings.
The development of Biblical Criticism and the discovery of the Gnostic Gospels, discovered in1945, and the Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947, have revealed new insights into the interpretation of ancient writings.
The advent of the computer and the internet, has had a global influence on the understanding of human intelligence and communication. Therefore we should adopt a spirit of openness and a respect for people of different faiths or none.
The gospel overflows in theology. Theology is perhaps first and foremost a celebration; a celebration that helps us find a way, or a truth that leads us into a life. (Archbishop Rowan Williams)
To be a theologian is to be exposed to the vision of heaven and the tragedy of mankind. (Archbishop Michael Ramsey)
This course carries a health warning. If you are one who believes that the Bible is the inerrant divinely inspired Word of God then leave the room now!
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