A Clay Jar

Encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. (1 Thess. 2:12 NIV)

Theology Posts

This is the launch page for all theology-related posts. These posts are mostly organized as systematic theology, covering the full range of Christian doctrine. It should be noted that I am not a trained theologian. And, while my background is Baptist, and I generally understand the Bible in union with them, that is not always the case. This is truly a work in progress and grows as I grow in my understanding of God’s word, who he is, and what he is doing in his creation. My prayer is that these posts will be useful to the body of Christ.

The Doctrinal Series

The posts referenced by this page each deal with a specific Christian doctrine. They have been developed over a number of years. Not as a comprehensive series. But as I felt led to write about them. In the same way, some are covered in greater depth than others. All of the posts can also be found in the individual sections of the Systematic Theology section listed below. More will be added as time goes along and as the Lord leads.

Systematic Theology

The posts here were originally written as classroom notes for a class on systematic theology I taught a couple of times in local churches. They have been updated several times since then and other related posts have been linked to each topic. Each link below will open to another page that will list the relevant posts.

  • Introduction: As its name implies, systematic theology is a comprehensive and systematic view of theology. The goal of an evangelical Christian systematic theology is to develop a theology that is biblically-based, that covers the main doctrines of Christianity, and that is cohesive.
  • The Bible: From the human perspective, the Bible is a diverse collection of literature written over a long period of time. From a divine perspective, it is the authoritative guide to faith and practice. These posts will examine the Bible from both a human and a divine perspective.
  • God: Posts on this page will examine both the nature of God as well as his work in creation and providence. They will look at both the communicable and incommunicable attributes of God, his triune nature, his will, and some common questions that people raise about God.
  • Humanity: Who are we as humans? Where did we come from? Why are we here? Does God have some particular reason for creating us? The doctrine of humanity is important to provide answers to those questions.
  • Sin: The doctrine of sin is one of the foundational truths of the Christian faith. It describes an aspect of our nature that is in rebellion against God. It also covers the moral failing of our lives, how we fail to live up to God’s expectations. We are a fallen race because of our sin, unable to please God.
  • Christ: This page will include articles dealing with the nature and the work of Jesus. Jesus is fully God as well as fully human. He was God from eternity past and will be into eternity future. But at his incarnation, he took on human flesh and became like one of us. The primary work of Jesus was offering himself as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
  • The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, one in essence with the Father and the Son, but distinct in the role he plays in our salvation. He brings conviction of sin to the world, enables us to live as believers, and equips us for service in the Kingdom.
  • Salvation: The doctrine of salvation encompasses our initial salvation experience, our walk with Christ, and our final deliverance from the fate of this world. This includes the topics of our calling, conversion, regeneration, union with Christ, justification, adoption, sanctification, persistence, and glorification.
  • The Church: What is the church? What is its purpose? How does the New Testament picture the church? What functions should define the church today? What form of government should the church have? How about baptism and Lord’s Supper.
  • Last Things: There are two aspects to the doctrine last things. The first deals with events on a global scale: Jesus’ return, resurrection, judgment, and his reign. The second is a more personal look; what happens after my death.

Other Theological Posts

The remainder of these posts, while theological in nature, either do not fit neatly into one of the topics above or are on a topic that does not directly fit into Systematic Theology.

  • Apologetics: Apologetics is really a spiritual discipline; providing a defense for your faith.  All believers should be able to explain to those who inquire, why they believe what they do.  The posts below are my attempts at that, and will hopefully be useful to others. They are mostly fairly old.
  • Arminian Soteriology: These articles discuss different aspects of Arminian soteriology. I wrote these to counter the oftentimes false claims made about Arminianism by those in the Calvinist / Reformed camp. And even by those who claim to be Arminian, but do not know what it teaches.
  • Off-Site Articles: I am also writing articles for a number of other websites. These include Christianity.com, BibleStudyTools.com, and DevotableApp.com. This page contains links to those other articles.

11 thoughts on “Theology”

  1. On becoming a Christian the Holy Spirit indwells us, and confirms our Justification [this is a 1-off event]. Conversion is a one-time experience; discipleship is a lifelong journey. By Grace through Faith we are assured of Salvation. Backsliding vs. Preservation is unclear to me, and maybe polarises Reformed/Calvin’s [TULIP] vs. Armenians as each can field biblical proof-texts to support their doctrines. Watch and Pray to “work out your own salvation”.

    Reply
    • It is unfortunate that sometimes we rely on “proof texts” to develop our theology rather than what the Scripture as a whole has to say. I think there would be much less confusion and division if we would take the time and effort to do systematic theology rather than proof text theology.

      Reply
    • I’m not sure that there is a simple answer to this question. There are many in more Pentecostal traditions who seem to experience the Holy Spirit in a very dramatic fashion. But I do not. I experience the Spirit in much more subtle ways. There are times when I believe he directs my mind in understanding the Scripture. Or in working through a problem. And other times when I feel his leading to do something, or not do something. Never is it very overwhelming. It’s more like he is whispering to me. And, if I am listening, I can distinguish his voice from all the other noise around me. I have often wished I could feel his presence in more dramatic ways. But I am content with the way he has chosen to work in my life. My walk with the Lord is one of faith. And part of that is trusting that he is with me and guiding me.

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      • It seems to know the Lord, to grow in the Lord, etc is through the spirit. Yet I think most people including me are in the spirit a small percentage of the time. Your answer was helpful. Thanks.

        Reply
        • I’m glad it was helpful. But I’m not sure I agree that believers are in the Spirit only a small percentage of the time. If we do not have the Spirit, then we do not belong to Christ (Rom. 8:9). I think it is more appropriate to say that we are not seeking and following the Spirit nearly as much as we should.

          Reply
        • You are half right. John 4:24 states that we must worship in Spirit and in truth. These are the bookends of knowing and growing in our knowledge of God. The truth bookend is the word / scriptures, that supply us with the knowledge of God’s character and what we need in order to live a life pleasing unto Him. It is the ultimate truth that sets you free. If applied correctly, which involves study and guidance from the Spirit, you will build your faith on a solid foundation that will not be shaken when the adversities of life come aknocking.

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  2. In terms of God’s sovereignty, does he intervene in our sicknesses or does he leave that to the gifts of doctors & other health care professionals?

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    • It is clear from the Bible that God will bring healing to people, at least sometimes. And I believe that he still does when it suits his purposes. But I also believe he has given us the ability to develop modern medicine and the skills to treat many of our physical ills. In 1 Timothy 5:23 Paul instructed Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach and frequent illnesses. That was the use of the medicine of the day. And this instruction came from Paul, who God used on occasion to miraculously heal people. So, the short answer to you question is, he does both.

      Reply

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