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Briefly provide four reasons why someone would want to study theology and indicate which of these is your reason for studying theology

Explain how Theology and prayer should go hand in hand.

Discuss the role of contextual theology and briefly describe the context from which you will approach theology

Importance of Having a Study Timetable for Course 45241

Reasons for Studying Theology

There are various reasons why one needs to have a study timetable. Firstly, it assists in allocating adequate time for each topic. Proper time allocation aids in avoiding overspending time in one area, especially if it is difficult to comprehend. Secondly, a timetable allows planning for various activities apart from studying, such as relaxing, which prevents boredom during studying. Overall, having a timetable is vital to acquire good grades.

For Course 45241, there are five tasks in the first assignment. These tasks may require different time allocation to execute because their level of complexity differs. For example, task three, four and five may take longer than task one and two. To complete these tasks, some of them may be done away from home. For example, I may have to research in a library to enhance my understanding of the course. The tasks done away from home may be allocated three hours in a week for better understanding. Eventually, this plan will allow me to complete my assignment.

Doctrine is a term used to refer to a collection of beliefs that are taught to believers (Theological Education by Extension College (TEE) 2012, p.1.11).

According to Orthodox tradition, only those who practice saintly lifestyles can speak about God because they have witnessed Him (TEE 2012, p.1.15).

The three theories of creation are creation out of nothing, creation as an emanation, creation as artistic expression, and creation as construction (TEE 2012, p.2.17).

Five passages that speak of the Cosmic Christ are John 1:1-2, Philippians 2:2-11, Romans 8:22-39, Colossians 1:15-20, and Proverbs 8:22-31(TEE 2012, p.3.30).

The life and ministry of Jesus revealed the following about God: He is compassionate and forgiving, He loves sinners, He is humble, He cares for the poor, those who know Him are pure in heart, and He provides happiness (TEE 2012, p.3.31).

Essential emphases of the Athanasius Creed are: Each person is unique, only one God exists, and there exists equality in the Trinity (TEE 2012, p.4.16).

  1. The Spirit existed during creation thus did not start existing after Jesus’ resurrection (TEE 2012, 5.2).
  2. The Spirit is omnipresent (TEE 2012, p.5.3).
  3. Biological life is given and sustained by the Spirit (TEE 2012, p.5.5).
  4. The Spirit gives new life through Jesus (TEE 2012, p.5.6).
  5. The Spirit transforms Christ’s followers (TEE 2012, p.5.7).
  6. Jesus’s work is the Spirit’s work (TEE 2012, p.5.8).
  7. We experience the Spirit through fellowship with God, people and all created things (TEE 2012, p.5.10).
  8. The spirit is the living presence of God within the lives of Christians (TEE 2012, p.5.11).
  9. A Christian is transformed by the Spirit through prayer (TEE 2012, p.5.14).

I hope this letter finds you well. It seems long since we last met. Are you still studying the course you chose? I have been so busy studying theology that I barely have time to hang out anymore. Despite this, so far, I have grown to love this course deeper.

My reason for writing is to dispel your belief in the reasons for studying theology. Firstly, people study theology to get know God better for the marvelous things He has done in their lives. Contrary, some experience agony in their lives and study theology to understand life better. For others, theology is a map that provides direction on how to learn about God. Lastly, theology aids in worship by providing a deeper understanding of God. Am studying theology as a roadmap to understand God and life. Thus, develop a relationship with God and my life will reflect His teachings and will.

Doctrine: Definition and Its Significance in Theological Studies

In addition, prayer should be an integral part of theology. According to the Theological Education by Extension College (2012, p.1.15), a theologian is one who integrates the knowledge gained in the study of theology with prayer to experience the true nature of God. Prayer is vital in theology because it enables theologians to gain a deeper understanding of God, which accords them the right to teach and speak about Him. Furthermore, the aim of studying theology is to resemble God’s character in our lives. This goal can be achieved if one engages the heart, using prayers and worship while learning through the mind to develop such characteristics. Moreover, as earlier mentioned one reason for studying theology is based on the good deeds God has done for us that is reflected in prayer and worship. Therefore, incorporating prayer in theological studies intrigues us because we are acknowledging God's acts through prayer.

Contextual theology is another part of theological study that plays a significant role in understanding why there are different writings about God. According to the Theological Education by Extension College (TEE) (2012, p.1.14), theology is affected by cultures, situations, and contexts. Therefore, theologians write about God differently because they come from different backgrounds hence experience God uniquely. For example, a rich and poor person go through different experiences hence experience God differently. Some of the different perspectives that exist are African, Feminist, White and Black. This understanding assists us in respecting the different aspects that exist in theology, which describe God. For example, I will approach theology using the Liberation Context. According to Bedford (1999), Liberation theology is focused on freeing the poor from poverty by mobilizing social change. This form of theology will be useful in any community since it targets the poor and social injustices. It is also in alignment with Jesus teachings as He strongly addressed and catered for the less privileged in the society. Moreover, this approach will allow me to gain a deeper understanding of God by learning about Him from a different perspective. Ultimately, I hope to succeed in freeing communities from suffering.

There are four manifestations of God. The first, God’s Glory, is depicted as something that cannot be seen by human sight due to its power but can be witnessed through His creation (TEE 2012, p.2.13). For example, the blinding light that makes people look away when in God's presence. For the Israelites, it was expressed as Shekinah a feminine beauty that depicted His presence. The second is God's Word, which illustrated His will and way of communication with His people (TEE 2012, p.2.14). Additionally, in Genesis 1:1, God’s Word is used to create and (in Jeremiah 1:5; Ezekiel 2:4) it grants prophets power. In Hebrew, His Word was revealed through laws but not contained by them. In Christianity, His Word was witnessed in Jesus. The third is God’s Spirit that was likened to the wind due to its mysterious nature and ability to bring good tidings such as rainfall (TEE 2012, p.2.14). In Genesis 2:7, God’s Spirit gives life through breath. Therefore, life depends on this breath that illustrates God’s Spirit. In addition, the Spirit is regarded as a saving power. The fourth is God’s Wisdom where God is believed to possess the highest form of wisdom (TEE 2012, p.2.15). For the Israelites, wisdom was what God used to bring order to the world. According to Job 28:23, wisdom is related to creation and in Proverbs 8, it was depicted in a feminine form. In this description, she was created first, assisted in creation and invites others to experience wisdom.

Five Passages About Cosmic Christ

In the bible, some titles used to refer to Jesus had significances. For example, “God’s son” and “son of man” were used to refer to Jesus in regards to humanity and divinity. These phrases played a role in illustrating the true meaning of divinity and humanity in regards to human beings.

“God’s son” was a name used to refer to kings in the Jewish religion. These words are used in Psalms 2:7 and 2 Samuel 7:14 to refer to kings during their consecration. Additionally, in Luke 3:22; Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11, Jesus was referred to as God’s son during His baptism. Based on the Jewish culture, these words were used to mean that the king was ruling on God’s behalf, but the Jews mistook it for divinity. For Jesus, it meant that He was God’s representative and it portrayed the contrast between Him and Caesar (TEE 2012, p.3.4). At that time, Caesar was the ruler.

“Son of man” was a name Jesus used to refer to Himself. It was used in the Old Testament in Ezekiel 2:1 to refer to Ezekiel’s human nature. Jesus used this phrase to illustrate that human beings are supposed to portray divinity since they are made in God’s image. This name is also used, in Daniel 7:9-15, in Daniel’s vision where a human being was led into God’s presence in a cloud of heaven. This vision was meant to contrast the cruel empires that ruled with the empire that God wanted. Therefore, Jesus resembled the human kingdom where humanity was respected unlike in these empires.

In conclusion, the titles mentioned earlier are used to illustrate how human beings are supposed to resemble divinity on earth. Jesus used his human nature to show that we are supposed to depict divinity since we are created in God’s image.

Different beliefs explained Jesus' relationship with God. Firstly, Arianism was developed by Priest Arius where people practiced Monotheism and believed the Word was not divine (TEE 2012, p.3.20). Moreover, they believed that Jesus was less divine than God. However, St Athanasius disagreed with this belief and affirmed that Jesus was both divine and human. Additionally, the Council of Nicaea reinforced St Athanasius argument and concluded that the word was also divine. Secondly, in Nestorianism, Bishop Nestorius believed that there were two persons in Jesus. The first person was divine while the second was human, which made it impossible to refer to Mary as God’s mother (TEE 2012, p.3.22). The Council of Ephesus rejected this belief and affirmed Mary's title as God's Mother. They argued that Nestorianism led to a lack of unity between Jesus’ humanity and divinity. Overall, the beliefs focused on Jesus’s divinity and humanity.

Jesus' Ministry and What It Reveals About God

The doctrine of the Trinity can be supported by the following scriptures. The first is 2 Corinthians 13:14 where the Trinity is first mentioned in Christianity. The second one is Mark 1:9 during Jesus' baptism. During this ceremony, a voice from heaven identified Jesus as God's Son and the Spirit descended. Later, it was the Spirit that led Jesus to the desert. This event showed the three persons distinctively exist. The third one is in Matthew 28:19 where Jesus instructs his disciples to baptize people using the Trinity. The revelation was that the three persons existed and Jesus affirmed this. The fourth one is in John 14:16-17 where Jesus mentions asking His Father to send the Spirit as a helper for the Christians. This scripture shows that the Trinity exists. Lastly, in John 20:21-22, Jesus commissioned His disciples, and they received the Holy Spirit. Evidently, Trinity is revealed in the bible.

The Trinity doctrine is applied in our lives to establish healthy relationships in the communities. Firstly, it can be used in the formation of a community based on love because the Trinity was bounded by the love between the three persons. Secondly, it can be applied in the Christian community where members are advised to deny themselves but lead joyful lives by engaging in the dance of love through the Trinity. Therefore, denial should lead Christians to a life filled with greater joy not suffering. Thirdly, the Trinity assists in establishing healthy relationships by ensuring people maintain their identities. In the Trinity, the three persons are uniquely identified despite being united. Similarly, those in relationships should understand they have unique characteristics despite being together. Fourthly, it can be applied in understanding procreation in families in the community. In the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is said to come from the love of the Father and the Son. In the same way, procreation is witnessed from the love shared between the father and mother. Lastly, it can be used to promote equality within the community. In the Trinity, the three persons relate as equals. Similarly, individuals should be treated equally despite their differences.

There are various interpretations of Jesus’ death. Firstly, His death is seen as a form of sacrifice. This interpretation was first witnessed in Isaiah 53 where it is prophesied that Jesus died for our sins. In the Jewish community, there were different types of sacrifices. The first is communion, which was done to give thanks and restore ones' relationship with God. In this case, it was seen as a sacrifice to restore our relationship with God. The second is whole burnt, which signified a total commitment to God. Similarly, Jesus' death was a sacrifice that revealed His commitment to God, which Christians should emulate. The third one is sin, which occurred to heal the relationship between God after human beings sinned. Therefore, Jesus died to heal the relationship between God and human beings.

Secondly, Jesus’ death is interpreted as ransom and redemption. According to the Theological Education by Extension College (2012, p.6.12), to redeem means the act of buying something that belonged to you back after paying a cost and ransom is payment given to set kidnapped individuals free. In the Old Testament, redeem is used when God sets the Israelites free from slavery. Similarly, it can be used to describe Jesus' death as a form of redemption to set Christians free from sin. In regards to ransom, they believed that Jesus died as a form of ransom to Satan for the Christian’s freedom from sin. However, this interpretation became less popular after theologians questioned the logic of paying ransom to Satan.

The understanding of Jesus’ death as a form of sacrifice is the most beneficial in my culture and community. To start with, traditionally, Africans offered sacrifices to give thanks and restore their relationship with God. Thus, seeing His death as a form of sacrifice will make it easier to understand Christianity since Jesus wanted to restore our relationship with God. The second reason is that in the African culture, sacrifices were offered to show commitment. For example, if the sacrifice was to appease the ancestors, it revealed a commitment to that relationship. Therefore, the African community can understand that Jesus sacrificed himself so they can renew their commitment to God. According to 1st Peter 2:21, Christians are reminded that they can show commitment by emulating Jesus’ suffering. They should do this because Jesus was so committed that He did not fear pain, suffering, and death. The third reason is that in the African culture sacrifices were offered when sin, such as theft, occurred to appease God and the ancestors. In Leviticus 16:22, Israelites offered sacrifices of goats to drive away sin and become cleansed. Christians in the African community can use this understanding to comprehend how Jesus’ death frees them from sins.

References

Bedford, N 1999, ‘Whatever Happened to Liberation Theology?’ Religion Online. Available from: <https://www.religion-online.org/article/whatever-happened-to-liberation-theology/> [3 April 2018].

Theological Education by Extension College (TEE) (2012). 45241: Introduction to Theology.

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