by Paul Appleby
NOTE: Instructor is available outside of class and conference call for additional discussion about the paper or other topics.
In this module we will discuss: what constitutes "theology", in what ways everyone is already a theologian, sources and norms for the practice of theology, categories of theological thought, what makes a theology "good" or "bad", as well as some of the practical implications of various common (both popular and academic) theological views.
We do not do theology in a vacuum. Every theologian both owns and belongs to a tradition. In this module, we will discuss what being a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) means for our attempts to develop and practice our own theologies.
The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has as its enduring legacy a matrix of thought made up of four principles (Restoration, Interpretation, Ecumenical, and Eschatological) in this lecture we will learn about the history of these principles and how they are being adapted to life in the 21st century.
Ecclesiology- or the study of the Church has significant implications for how we live out our Christian faith together. In this lecture we will learn what it can mean for Disciples to be and to do this thing we call "church" as well as how different understandings of what constitutes the church can affect our carrying out its mission.
In this module we will take a moment to learn about other voices within the big family of God called "Christianity" to hear how other histories and approaches to thinking about God can enrich and strengthen our own.
These are loaded words, full of power, meaning and subtext. In this module we will unpack their meaning and examine them in light of our own context as well as through the lenses of Feminist and Black Liberation theologies.
Who is this man Jesus, whom we call the Christ? In this module we will discuss differing views on Jesus as well as his life and work with an eye towards how our context and the context within which we are looking to perform ministry should provide the needed perspective to answer this question honestly and humbly.
In this module we will learn about the doctrine of eschatology (that is the doctrine of last things). We will learn about: the three major strains of eschatological thought in modern American Christianity; we will discuss some of the ethical challenges and implications of each; we will look to scientific explanations of "the end" to see what impact they may have on our views. Finally we will learn what it means to serve a God whose proclamation "Behold, I make all things new!" is a needed word in our churches and our lives.
Each of our online modules will function to address materials not covered in the onsite lectures as well as to provide the opportunity for students to clarify, digest, and push back on the ideas being presented onsite.