As the title suggests, these are only “essays” for the BA in Theology I undertook at London School of Theology in 2001-7, and I claim no special expertise in the area. But I hope some readers might find some useful ideas or references in them.
The Exodus is such a significant event in Israel’s history, it serves as more than an account of wandering in the desert; it is rather a paradigm, a pattern of how God deals with his people, signifying formation of a relationship
What are Ezekiel’s special emphases in his prophecy? Select three of these and explain how the modern church would benefit from taking these on board
A friend tells you he is put off the Old Testament by its violence. How would you go about creating a more positive evaluation of this aspect of the Old Testament?
“Any group or individual who does the work of the Lord can be a servant”. To what extent is this a correct statement about the servant in Isaiah 40-55
What is the significance of the miracles in relation to the teaching of Jesus? Are there any principles that can guide our attitude to miracles today?
What teaching do we find in Paul’s letters about life after death and the second coming of Christ?
What reference is made in the general letters and Revelation to perseverence in suffering and how do the various writers encourage their readers?
What do you consider to be the main points in the sermons and speeches of Acts 1-15?
Jesus frequently referred to himself as “the Son of Man”, though the title is never used for him outside the Gospels. Why did he use this title and how should we understand it?
“The culture of Israel is so far removed from our 21st Century culture that it has nothing to say to us in the realm of Christian conduct.” How would you argue for and against such a statement?
Outline the biblical teaching on the relationship between the sexes
How far do you think that biblical teaching is relevant to modern ecological problems and concerns?
How would you explain the principles of a “just war” as applied to the recent conflict in Iraq?
“All of us should expect to remain workers all our lives, so that even after we have retired, we may spend whatever energy we have left in some form of service” (John Stott). Discuss
“Our attitude to Scripture should be the same as Jesus’ attitude to it.” What was Jesus’ attitude to Scripture? To what extent can we adopt this as our own doctrine of Scripture?
Were the New Testament writers simply refusing to ‘resolve the issue’ of Christ’s dual nature or were they struggling to portray their experience of the divine Jesus?
Outline the Biblical teaching on the role of the Holy Spirit in the conversion and life of the believer.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). What aspects of God’s character would be an essential part of such fear and knowledge?
Outline and evaluate the contribution and impact of Augustine of Hippo for the Church
What were the main factors that led to the Continental Reformation? Would you say that the Reformation was inevitable given the circumstances?
“The Church of the Twenty First Century will be the Church of the Third World.” Discuss this statement by evaluating the increasing importance of the Non-Western Church in the Twentieth Century.
Religion and Religions
Religion is an almost universal phenomenon. Examine critically some of the suggestions that have been made as to how and why religions exist.
Christians confess “I believe in One God”, Jews quote the Old Testament, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord Our God is One Lord”, Muslims confess “There is no God but God”. Give at least two arguments for saying that the three must all refer to the same God, and at least two arguments for saying that they are not the same God
‘Unlike the religions of Middle Eastern origin, the idea of an Almighty God does not play any part in Buddhism. Not God or gods but man is the object of Buddhist thought’ (Schumann) how then does Buddhism deal with the problems of humankind?
What do you think could be the basis of a dialogue between a Christian and a Jew? Explain and justify your reasons
Why does the Bible appear to present a consistently negative view of other religions? Is this a sufficient reason for a similar attitude to other religions today?
Reading Atrahasis Tablet 3 and Gilgamesh Tablet XI alongside the Genesis flood story is a valuable exercise in the study of genre, methodology and biblical theology. Comment.
Old Testament exegetical project – Hosea 11:1-11
Theology of Ministry
“Stumble alone or fly in God’s strength” (Sermon outline for Isaiah 40)
“Unfettered preaching” (Sermon outline, Philippians 1:12-28)
Evaluate the Baptist denomination’s approach to ministry in the light of the New Testament
Pastoral issues involved in implementing an ongoing Alpha programme in a local church.
“What is evangelical exclusivism – is it tenable in a world of religious plurality?”
To what extent does Roland Allen accurately represent New Testament Mission and offer us a model for mission today?
“In our response to poverty, what is the connection between justice and charity?”
Exam revision notes
Sociology of Religion
“What relevance might Weber’s views of the Routinization of Charisma have for contemporary Christian churches and organisations? Use specific examples”
“What has caused Europe to be the “exceptional case” regarding secularisation?”
Rational choice theory perspectives on the developing congregation of Pembury Baptist Church