Case Study #1
Intro. To Theology IT-3 September 1 class
I did my case study with a colleague of mine named Scott Norris. Scott has led the Fellowship of Christian Athletes local chapter in our school, and has no formal theological training.
Scott's answer to the beginning questions seemed to reveal him as a post-modern. When asked what theology was, he said that he did not know what answer was "right," but his understanding was that theology was "the study of God." When asked how a person comes to an understanding of theology, he said that while reading the Bible is probably the primary source, one's family and upbringing, one's culture, one's church, and discussions one has about God all have influence. When asked what common mistakes one makes with regard to the Bible and theology, Scott said the most common mistake he sees is that people take Scripture out of context. They may unaware of or disregard the historical and cultural context and simply make the passages say what they want them to say.
As I went through the categories of theology with Scott, he said that he focuses mostly on Scripture, with an emphasis on the historical context. He also said that he did not like the name "Apologetic" theology. The concept of defending our faith is important, he said, but the word "apologetic" makes it sound like we are apologizing for our faith in God. I explained that the word comes from a Greek word and simply means defending the truth of our faith, with the primary purpose of converting non-believers.
I covered the theological process of discerning what Scripture writings meant to the author and the intended audience. Then I discussed extrapolating from that the timeless truth or principle. Finally we still need to apply the principle to our time and culture to provide instruction on how we ought to live. I also explained how systematic theology provided a well-rounded view and opportunity for the Holy Spirit to shape our theology. He agreed.
The conversation concluded with him asking me questions about TTP and what I had learned from it so far. We had a good exchange and I thanked him. I felt like it did me a great deal of good in terms of having to know enough about the beginning theological concepts to sit and have a conversation with an average Christian. In that way the case study was very beneficial.