Confessional Theology 2015

Policy for Online Viewing Instead of In-Person: Completing Confessional Theology is required for all teachers and leaders at CPC.  We will arrange two follow up in person “Q&A”s with a pastor for those participating online (1 per semester). Please let the administrator know you wish to register for the class so that we can follow up with you.

Live Stream

As part of our School of Discipleship program, we are live streaming our Confessional Theology meetings on Wednesdays for satellite groups to tune in together! When we are live, you will be able to tune in below. If you are taking our theology class toward qualification for being a Sunday school teacher, you must first register by emailing our administrator at admin@cpcnewhaven.org. Recordings will be posted below for each class on the syllabus. While live-streaming, you can also participate during the Q&A time with the chat-box on the right side of the screen, and questions will be forwarded to the speaker.

Click here for our YouTube live stream! 

Live stream has ended for this course.

 

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Syllabus

"Let us in Heaven’s name drag out the Divine drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped upon it, and set it on an open stage to startle the world into some sort of vigorous reaction. IF the pious are the first to be shocked, so much the worse for the pious—others will enter the Kingdom of Heaven before them. IF all men are offended because of Christ, let them be offended; but where is the sense of their being offended at something that is not Christ and is nothing like Him. WE do Him singularly little honor by watering down his personality till it could not offend a fly. Surely it is not the business of the church to adapt Christ to men, but to adapt men to Christ."

Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos

 The primary aim of this course in confessional theology is to assist the student (seeker and/or believer) in constructing that kind of holistic worldview that is thoroughly informed by what the Christian scriptures principally teach. Our method is confessional. The confessional method is distinguished from systematic, historical, philosophical, or even social theologies, if also sharing in some elements inherent to each of them. It is at the end an exercise of faith formation that will consider the related topics as from the vantage point of divine revelation intended for people of faith. It therefore involves reading the bible communally as revealed not only to individuals, but to that organic body of Christ described as the “pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Such communal interpretation has the advantage of transcending any one geo-political/historical expression. It is an attempt to understand God’s revelation in scripture aided by that consensus of the church across the ages.Our primary source will be within Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF),  one historical expression of the catholic faith.

A secondary aim of this course is to satisfy one of the prerequisite courses toward becoming a CPC Sunday school teacher, community/discipleship group facilitator, elder, and women's leadership board member.

(Notes from previous course in 2014 found here.)

 

Requirements

Class Attendance: Each student is asked to attend every class if at all possible recognizing the collaborative aspect that is essential in a truly confessional methodology. In cased where personal presence is not possible, then a recorded version can be made available for such theology is organic and to miss a part is to impact the whole.

 

 Readings Prior to Class

Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF):  Each student is asked to prayerfully read and meditate upon the selected article of faith located in the WCF prior to attending class. You may access the version we will be using here. The specific portion is provided under each confessional topic below as part of the syllabus. See below topics for that portion of the WCF relative to each class.

WCF Commentary: It is highly recommended that each student read/skim the assigned relevant portion taken from A.A. Hodge, Commentary on the Westminster of Faith. You may access this commentary here or download your preferred platform-specific version here. See below topics for that portion of Hodge’s Commentary relative to each class. 

John Calvin References: For those who would like to pursue the course as a readings class in John Calvin, a reference to the relevant section in Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” is also provided below. Whereas the “McNeill/Battles” translation is preferred, you may access another on-line version here.

Bibliography: Each handout will provide a bibliography of recommended readings that the student can access as desired. 

 

Confessional Topics

  • Click Topic "Title" For Extended Handouts Used by Instructor in Video.  
  • Click "Handout (Shorter Version) " for handouts that are less "Americanized" and more focused on confessional material only.   

 

1. Introduction to Confessional Theology (9/23)

  • WCF: NA
  • A. A. Hodge Commentary: Chapter 1 & 2 (brief skim if able)
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 4, Chapter 8, Section 5,8
  • Video
  • Round Table Discussion
  • Handout (Shorter Version) 

2. General Revelation and Apologetics (9/30)

3.Holy Scripture (10/7)

4. The Doctrine of God and the Holy Trinity (10/14)

  • WCF 2
  • A. A. Hodge Commentary: Chapter 2
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 1, Chapter 10-14, (note Trinity chapter 13)
  • Video
  • Handout (Shorter Version)

5. God’s Sovereign Decrees and Human Freedom Applied to Evangelism, and Prayer  (10/21)

6. God's Providence Applied to Suffering and Christian Contentment  (10/28)

7. God's Creation and The Issue of Faith and Science (11/4)

8. Anthropology and the Fall Unto Sin (11/11)

9. Effectual Calling (11/18)

  • WCF 10, 
  • A. A. Hodge Commentary: Chapter 10, 
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 2, Chapter 3:6-14, Book 3, Chapter 1-5
  • Handout (Shorter Version)

10. Conversion (12/2)

11. Christology (12/9)

12. Justification and Adoption (1/13)

13. Perseverance and Assurance (1/20)

14. Sanctification and Good Works (1/27)

  • WCF 13, 16
  • A. A. Hodge Commentary: Chapter 13, 16
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 6-8,
  • Round Table Discussion 
  • Video

15.   Covenant Theology (2/3)

16. Christian Liberty and the issue of Church and State (2/10)

  • WCF  20, 23
  • A. A. Hodge Commentary: Chapters 19-20
  • John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book 3, Chapter 19
  • Round Table Discussion
  • Video

16b. Part 2: Christian LIberty and Church and State (2/17)

17. Communion of Saints and Church (2/24)

18. Christian Worship and Sabbath (3/1)

19. Sacraments and Sacramental Spirituality (3/9)

20. Church Government (3/16)

21. Eschatology, Death, Heaven and Hell (3/23)

22. Confessional Theology Applied and Review/Q & A (3/30)