Thursday, May 21, 2020

FREE ONLINE SEMINARY: Course of Study, Phase 2

Phase 2 will build on Phase 1 and you will:
  • learn about the attributes of God, 
  • get an overview of the Old Testament, 
  • go deeper in learning sound principles for interpreting Scripture, 
  • make worship an integral part of your prayer life, 
  • get a handle on a basic cumulative case for the Christian faith,
  • learn some practical tactics for having good conversations with unbelievers,
  • finish your first year of New Testament Greek, and
  • continue work on your major project.

1. A BROADER LOOK AT THEOLOGY
*ONLINE CLASS: "A Guide to Christian Beliefs" by Dr. I. Howard Marshall
*ARTICLE: "15 Amazing Attributes of God: What They Mean and Why They Matter"
*MEMORY VERSES: From the online course immediately below, choose one verse to memorize for each of the attributes of God.
*ONLINE COURSE: "The Attributes of God." 
*READING: For each section of this course, a section of Jen Wilkin's book None Like Him is assigned. This book is very reasonably priced, but you may alternatively choose to use the links for "additional resources" which will take you to the appropriate sections of books (some of them classics), which you can read online for FREE.

2. OLD TESTAMENT SURVEY
*SERIES OF SHORT VIDEOS: 
*"The Old Testament in 8 minutes" at the Intelligents YouTube channel
*"Overview: Genesis Ch. 1-11" by the Bible Project (8 minutes)
*"Overview: Genesis Ch. 12-50" by the Bible Project (8 minutes)
*Note about the Bible Project: You may want to watch the rest of their videos giving overviews of the books of the Bible. The videos are excellent and do a great job of laying out the narrative of the Bible as the story of God's plan of salvation. This is an important perspective and central to understanding the Bible; however, the authors have a very lop-sided view of the nature of Scripture that fails to understand (even undermines) other dimensions of God's revelation in Scripture--so use discernment.
*"An Overview of Old Testament History | A Timeline of Biblical Events" by Mario Escobedo (21 minutes). Begins with Moses in the book of Exodus.
*ARTICLE: Chronology of the Old Testament
*READ through the Old Testament in sync with the online class below and take notes.
*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Keep a notebook or document in which you write a brief summary for each book of the Old Testament. If you can sum it up in a sentence or two, all the better.
*ONLINE CLASS: "Old Testament Survey" by Dr. Douglas Stuart
*PROJECT: Create a timeline of the Old Testament. You can choose to do it on a large sheet of paper or posterboard....or a blank wall in your house or your church....or using an online timeline creator like TimeGraphics (which I have been using lately and really like). Or if you want a real fun challenge, try constructing one in 3-D and making a video of it. There are a seemingly endless number of ways of constructing one. Here are several examples for you to use as resources for information and examples of different ways to construct a timeline:
*Recommended Resources: 
*Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament by C.F. Keil and Franz Delitzsch. A 19th Century commentary but still the best commentary covering the whole Old Testament. Find it cheaper on Ebay. FREE at Step Bible or Internet Archive.
*A Survey of Old Testament Introduction by Gleason Archer. Possibly cheaper on Ebay or Addall.
*Also, don't forget that you can find many more FREE resources here: "Bible & Theology Reference Works Online: Massive Selection + My Recommendations"

3. BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
*MEMORY VERSES: Psalm 119:33-34
*ONLINE COURSE: "Biblical Hermeneutics" with Dr. Robert Stein. 
*BOOKS: The first book is an easier read and the second much longer and more in depth. You may want to only read one of these or both.
*God-Centered Biblical Interpretation by Vern Sheridan Poythress. FREE here.
*Biblical hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments by Milton S. Terry. Free at Internet Archive.
*Resources for further study and research: "Biblical Interpretation: Resources"


4. PRAYER & WORSHIP
*SERMON: "Pray and Be Alone With God" by Paul Washer
*DAILY DEVOTIONAL: "Praying the Names and Attributes of God." Begin your prayer time by praising God for who he is and asking for a greater glimpse of glory. This is a 30-day exercise.
*READING: After finishing the 30-day exercise above, begin to pray through the Psalms. One each day (or part of a psalm). That is read the Psalms as your prayer and then respond further by worshiping God in what has been revealed to you.
*MEMORY VERSES: As you are praying through the Psalms, choose verses to memorize that most move you to worship.
*READING: The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. FREE at Project Gutenberg.
*OPTIONAL READING: 
*The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul. Cheaper at Ebay and Addall.
*The Purpose of Man: Designed to Worship by A.W. Tozer. Cheaper at Ebay
*How to Worship Jesus Christ: Experiencing His Manifest Presence Daily by Joseph S. Carroll. Cheaper at Ebay.

*JOURNAL: Continue your daily prayer journal. Make the entries as long or as brief as you want. Write down prayer requests, answers to prayer, thanksgiving and worship, etc.

5. APOLOGETICS: A CUMULATIVE CASE
*"How to Have Confidence in Christ That Changes the World (Apologetics 101: A Cumulative Case)" by Brad Cooper
*MEMORY VERSES: Luke 1:1-4Mark 12:28-31 
*OPTIONAL READING: If you want to dig in deeper, there are resource links related to each class (at the page linked to above).


6. APOLOGETICS: TACTICS
"A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions" with GREG KOUKL
*ONLINE COURSE: Session 1  Session 2   Session 3  Session 4
*READING: Faith Has Its Reasons by Kenneth Boa and Rob M. Bowman, Jr. Read for FREE! online here.
*MEMORY VERSE: 1 Peter 3:15-16
*OPTIONAL READING (but HIGHLY recommended): Tactics by Greg Koukl (available in Audiobook)

*Recommended Viewing: "Suitable For Framing | Full Episode | Columbo" (If you don't know who Columbo is, this will be a great introduction. And if you do, consider this a needed refresher. :) )

7. NEW TESTAMENT GREEK
If you chose "Option 2" during Phase 1, complete the rest of that class:
*ONLINE CLASS OPTIONS FOR OPTION #2: 
*A: Mastering New Testament Greek by Ted Hildebrandt: This is an amazing page filled with every resource imaginable for learning Greek....and it's all FREE (including the textbook)!
*B: Norlan De Groot has a 2-part Introduction to Biblical Greek that can be taken for FREE (see instructions at the top of the page linked to) and you can get the textbook for FREE also: New Testament Greek for Beginners by Gresham Machen. Might find it cheaper at Ebay or AddallFREE here or here. Charts for the various declension charts can be found beginning on p.225. So you can take this course completely FREE. 
*C: Biblical Greek by Dr. Bill Mounce: The class is FREE but the textbook costs money.
*D: More FREE CLASS options that use David Alan Black's textbook: Learn to Read New Testament Greekwhich you might find cheaper (about $8 including shipping right now) at Ebay or Addall"Daily Dose of Greek" by Dr. Rob Plummer is surely the best of these.


*ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: "Learning New Testament Greek: ResourcesYou will find lots of FREE resources here to help you along.

8. MAJOR PROJECT
*Continue working on your major project. 
*If you feel stuck, ask for feedback in our private Facebook group about what the next step in this process should be.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THOUGHTS FOR YOUR JOURNEY
You've come a long way already. When you finish this phase, you will be one third of the way through this course of study. Take a moment to think about how much you have learned and grown in these first two phases. Give God praise for what he is doing in you and ask for the wisdom, strength and endurance to finish.

LINK TO PHASE 3
(This is where the link will be when Phase 3 is finished.)



Wednesday, May 20, 2020

BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION: Resources

One of the main sources of seeming contradictions is simply faulty interpretation (taking things out of context, etc.). Here are some solid resources for getting better at interpretation.

Articles
*"Reading the Bible in Contextby Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
*"Interpretation of the Bible" at Theopedia
*Numerous articles on "Biblical Interpretation" are hosted at Bible Research.

Books
*Stott, John R. W. Understanding the BibleAvailable in Audible audiobook, Kindle, paperback and hardcover.
*Barrick, William D. Exegetical Fallacies: Common Mistakes Every Student of the Bible Must Avoid (an 11 page ebook) FREE!
*Keener, Craig. The Bible In Its Context: How to Improve Your Study of the Scriptures An 82-page Word document that is FREE!
*God-Centered Biblical Interpretation by Vern Sheridan Poythress. FREE here.
*Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How To Read the Bible for All Its Worth.
*Schultz, Richard. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible. Currently only 99 cents on Kindle.
*Sire, James W. Scripture Twisting: 20 Ways the Cults Misread the Bible.
*Carson, D.A. Exegetical Fallacies.
*Virkler, Henry A. and Karelynne Ayayo. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation.
*Finzel, Hans. Unlocking the Scripturesl. Currently only 99 cents on Kindle.
*Biblical hermeneutics: A Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments by Milton S. Terry. FREE at Internet Archive.


FREE! Online Courses
*Biblical Hermeneutics by Dr. Robert Stein (18 hours)

*Hermeneutics by Dr. David Mathewson
*Lecture: Understanding Bible Translations, Parts 1 & 2 (41 minutes)
*Invitation to Biblical Interpretation with Dr. Andreas Kostenberger
*Advanced Biblical Exegesis28 lectures by Dr. Robert J.Cara and /Dr. Richard P. Belcher of Reformed Theological Seminary


OTHER RESOURCE PAGES
*A large Annotated "Bibliography of Biblical Interpretation" at Bible Research.
*An excellent portal to resources on the web, including FREE books.
*Lots of resources on the Interpretation of Scripture at BiblicalStudies.org.
*"Contradictions in the Bible?: Resources for Study" by Brad Cooper



Thursday, May 14, 2020

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL?: Resources

I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! 2 I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 4 For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough. 

 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! 10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*INTRODUCTORY VIDEO: "What is the Gospel?" by John Piper (4 minutes)


*MESSAGES FROM SOME OF THE BEST MODERN PREACHERS OF THE GOSPEL:
*SERMON: "What is the Gospel?" by RC Sproul (44 minutes)
*SERMON: "What is the Gospel?" by Paul Washer (63 minutes)
*SERMON: "Hell's Best Kept Secret" by Ray Comfort (60 minutes)

*CLASSIC GOSPEL SERMONS FROM THE GREAT AWAKENING (1730-1760):
*"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. Also FREE in audio or in this excellent video reenactment.
*"Free Grace" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"Awake, Thou That Sleepeth" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"The Scripture Way of Salvation" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"The Image of God" by John Wesley. Only available in FREE audio

*BOOK: Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther. Also FREE in audioLuther's commentary  on Galatians is one of the most important books in the history of the Church. It preserves the central Gospel message of the man who precipitated the Protestant Reformation. As the translator of this work says in his preface: "The importance of this Commentary on Galatians for the history of Protestantism is very great. It presents like no other of Luther's writings the central thought of Christianity, the justification of the sinner for the sake of Christ's merits alone." Brief biography of Martin Luther

And Luther's Commentary on the Romans is equally important. In fact, it was at Aldersgate while the preface to Luther's Commentary on Romans was being read that John Wesley experienced the Gospel in a way that changed his life and led him to be the foremost preacher in the Great Awakening--or has he recalls it, caused his "heart to be strangely warmed."


ONLINE COURSE
*"What is the Gospel?" The Gospel Coalition Course


OTHER BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
*Stott, John. The Cross of Christ
*Rutledge, Fleming. The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ
*Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion: In The Ancient World And The Folly Of The Message Of The Cross
*Owen, John. The Death of Death in the Death of Christ: A Treatise in Which the Whole Controversy about Universal Redemption is Fully Discussed. FREE at Internet Archive or at Monergism.org (easier to read). FREE audiobook at SermonAudioBrief biography of John Owen and links to this and his other works at The Digital Puritan.
*Wells, Paul. Cross Words: The Biblical Doctrine of the Atonement

Here are some excellent recommendations from my friend Rob Bowman, Jr. at Faiththinkers.org:

Hill, Charles E., and Frank A. James III, eds. The Glory of the Atonement: Biblical, Theological & Practical Perspectives. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004. Studies by such notable scholars as D. A. Carson, J. I. Packer, Bruce K. Waltke, etc.

Jeffery, Steve, Michael Ovey, and Andrew Sach. Pierced for Our Transgressions: Rediscovering the Glory of Penal Substitution. Wheaton: Crossway, 2007. Defense of the doctrine biblically, historically, theologically, and ethically. "Penal" means having to do with punishment; on this view, Christ suffered and died to take away the punishment we deserve because of our sins.

Johnson, Adam J. Atonement: A Guide for the Perplexed. London and New York: Bloombury T&T Clark, 2015. Helpful study emphasizing “the riches” of the atonement as understood through complementary themes or models including substitution, victory, and so on, and rooting the doctrine of the atonement in the nature of the triune God and the person and life of Jesus Christ.

Morris, Leon. The Apostolic Preaching of the Cross. 3rd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1965. Word studies on key terms (redemption, covenant, blood, lamb of God, propitiation, reconciliation, justification) arguing for an objective view of the atonement as a substitutionary sacrifice for sins. My favorite of Morris's several books on the subject (but they're all very good!).

Packer, J. I., and Mark Dever. In My Place Condemned He Stood: Celebrating the Glory of the Atonement. Wheaton: Crossway, 2007. Collection of helpful essays, several of which can also be found on the Monergism website (along with many other good resources): https://www.monergism.com/.../penal-substitutionary....

*If you want to see theologians defending different views on the atonement, this book is also worth a look:

Beilby, James, and Paul R. Eddy, eds. The Nature of the Atonement: Four Views. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Essays defending the Christus Victor (Gregory A. Boyd), penal substitution (Thomas Schreiner), Healing (Bruce R. Reichenbach), and Kaleidoscopic (Joel B. Green) views of the atonement



Saturday, May 9, 2020

FREE ONLINE SEMINARY: Course of Study, Phase 1

Welcome to "Free Online Seminary." I'm excited that you have decided to check it out!

WHAT THE FREE ONLINE SEMINARY IS NOT
This is not an accredited program. You will not receive a certificate or degree of any kind. If you are needing to pursue some kind of accredited degree, this is probably not for you--although it may provide excellent preparation before entering such a degree program.

WHAT THE FREE ONLINE SEMINARY IS
This is a completely FREE systematic course of study that is comparable to a Bible college or seminary degree. My aim in designing this course of study is to provide a curriculum that will lead those who follow it to a deep and robust understanding of the Bible, theology, apologetics, church history, ministry and the Christian life so that we will be well prepared to serve Christ in the Church.

The benefit of this Free Online Seminary is that I am creating a systematic use of some of the best FREE resources available on the internet (including FREE classes, textbooks and many other resources) plus suggested writing assignments, etc. to process and reinforce what is being learned. Everything necessary to complete this course of study (including the textbooks) can be found for free online. (There will be some optional recommendations that do cost money.) This course of study is being formed with the conviction that the Bible is "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16) and is therefore infallible and true in everything that it says. 

The Church needs leaders and it is important for the Church to have leaders who have taken the study of the Word of God seriously and who can lead and teach with a depth of knowledge, understanding and wisdom. For centuries now, the Church has largely attempted to meet that need through formal education in a Bible college or seminary. Of course, that has not always been the Church's approach nor has that approach always been effective. At any rate, we live in a time in which this type of education has become far too expensive for many. Fortunately, we also live in a time in which there are alternative options that are absolutely free to those who make use of them.

Starting with this page, I am striving to put together a course of study that would be comparable to the kind of education that one might gain at a Bible college or seminary. And I am building this course of study on resources that can be found for free on the internet. I will be recommending resources that do cost money, but these will be optional. My goal is to use only free resources as the core (including the textbooks). 

Also, you will find that I include a lot of reading and memorization of Scripture. I think that this is fundamental. Memorizing key verses is minimal preparation for ministry, in my opinion. And I would encourage you to memorize entire chapters and even books, as you are able. Having a solid knowledge of what the Scriptures actually teach (and not just what people say that they teach) is foundational to doing ministry with integrity.

This page is just the start. Phases 1 & 2 are complete. There will be 6 phases when completed. When I finish those phases, I will add a link to the next phase at the bottom of this page. Each phase is roughly equal to a semester. But feel free to go at your own pace. Finish a phase faster than 4 months or take 6 months or longer. The pace is up to you. 

You can find the Outline of the Curriculum (all 6 phases) here.

And of course, although I label some things as "optional," everything is optional. Use your own discretion to adapt this course of study for yourself. But I encourage you not to make those decisions too lightly and rob yourself of foundational learning that will make you a better disciple and leader in the future.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
PREPARATION BEFORE YOU START....

(A) FIND A MENTOR:
Find a mentor who can guide you. Someone who is spiritually mature and has a deep knowledge and understanding of God's Word. Someone you can ask questions and dialogue with. Someone who will keep you accountable. It might be your pastor. It might be someone you have met online. But find a solid Bible-believing believer who will agree to be there for you through this course of study.


(B) JOIN A FACEBOOK GROUP:
Find a private Facebook group (or groups) that includes only Bible-believing Christians, so that you can interact and ask questions and learn in a safe environment. And make sure you answer any required questions when you request to join. Besides the group associated with this course of study, I highly recommend the two that follow, which are well moderated and filled with mature, wise and loving fellow believers who will encourage and guide you:

*Free Online Seminary: my Facebook group designed for those going through this course of study to interact and where you can ask me questions. I may also ask some other mature and knowledgeable believers to be a part. Anyone may follow this course of study, but to be a part of our private Facebook group, you must agree to our statement of faith.
*Reasoning for Christ run by my friend Jeff Gambill
*Apologetics Book Club run by my friend Rob Bowman, Jr.


(C) GET A STUDY BIBLE:
If you don't already own a good study Bible, I encourage you to buy the ESV Study BibleNIV Study BibleNIV Essentials Study BibleThe Apologetics Study Bible, or the ESV Global Study Bible (which is FREE for Kindle). A study Bible makes an excellent ready reference to guide you through as you are reading.



(D) BOOKMARK THESE BIBLE WEB SITES AND INSTALL THEIR APPS:
Install the YouVersion Bible app (for smartphone, tablet or PC). It is great for staying on track with a Bible reading program and you can use just about any version available to read or listen to the Bible all the way through. You can download the YouVersion app to your smartphone or tablet to use it anywhere (even without internet access).

Bookmark the Blue Letter Bible
STEP BIBLE (Scripture Tools for Every Person)and BibleGateway--my three favorite Bible web sites. Blue Letter Bible is my favorite Bible web site of the three. It has an amazing array of easily accessible tools for digging deeper into the Scriptures, including using the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge cross-reference system and quick access to the original Greek and Hebrew (word meanings and parsing--even for the Old Testament Septuagint). There are video tutorials for using the Blue Letter Bible available on their home page (which is where the link above will take you). And their app is excellent, also so be sure to go to Google Play or the Apple store and download their app. The STEP BIBLE is also a great site for doing Bible study and accessing the original languages (Hebrew Old Testament, Septuagint/Greek Old Testament, and Greek New Testament). And you can also use the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge cross reference system and commentaries. I highly recommend the Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament commentary and Robertson's Word Pictures for the New Testament. STEP BIBLE also has an app for your devices, though much more limited than the Blue Letter Bible app. Biblegateway is great for access to different versions and audio Bibles.

*Also, bookmark: "Bible & Theology Reference Works Online: Massive Selection + My Recommendations"


(E) DEVELOP A NOTE TAKING SYSTEM:
If you want to get the most out of your education both now and in the long term, you need to establish and develop an effective note taking system--so that you can effectively refer back to your notes in the future (both for review and for putting together future projects). Don't think of what your are doing in education as just a short-term goal that you are accomplishing so that you can say that you did it. Think of it as having a purpose in your life and ministry further on down the road. You might not see what that purpose is now, but you will later. In addition, the task of note taking and making it part of an organized system, will help you to process what you are learning. There are lots of effective ways of doing this, so find a system that works for you. I personally use Google Keep and a system of folders on my PC desktop (in addition to paper files for major projects I am working on). The links below will give you some suggestions to consider:

(F) A WORD ABOUT KINDLE & LIBRIVOX:
You do not have to have a Kindle to use Kindle books. You can download a Kindle app to your computer, tablet or smartphone and read Kindle books that way. And many Kindle books are FREE or very cheap.

Also, many of the FREE audiobooks and other audio files are available on Librivox, so you may want to download their app to your tablet or smartphone so you can access them there.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
COURSE OF STUDY, PHASE 1:
Phase 1 is intended to be preparatory and foundational to the rest of your course of study. Let's make sure you get started off with the right tools and goals to make the most of your educational experience.



1. BASIC THEOLOGY:
Who is Jesus?: God Incarnate
*The most fundamental Christian belief concerns who Jesus is. He is both fully God and fully human.

*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: As you are listening and reading through the assignments below, take notes and write a paper explaining why you believe that Jesus is both fully God and fully man.
*INTRODUCTORY VIDEO: "Who Is Jesus?" (6 minutes)
*MEMORY VERSE: Read John 8:21-30 and memorize John 8:24

*READING: A series of Facebook postings by Robert Bowman, Jr. You will need to join the Facebook group that he runs: "Apologetics Book Club." Please make sure that you answer the questions when you apply to join the group. Also, make sure you read and study the passage referenced in each title before reading the Facebook post. This option has the great advantage of being able to interact with Rob about these posts and/or see others interact with him. Rob is a very gracious and wise servant of Christ and possibly the top scholar on this subject: 

*"Biblical Christology #1. Monotheism and the Shema (Deuteronomy 6:4)"
*"Biblical Christology #2. Monotheism and the Gods of Psalm 82"
*"Biblical Christology #3. David’s Lord in Psalm 110"
*"Biblical Christology #4. Wisdom in Proverbs 8"
*"Biblical Christology #5. The Wonder Child’s Name in Isaiah 9:6"
*"Biblical Christology #6. “One Like a Son of Man” in Daniel 7:13-14"
*"Biblical Christology #7. The Divine Son in Matthew 28:16-20"
*"Biblical Christology #8. Jesus Forgives and Heals in Mark 2:1-12"
*"Biblical Christology #9. Even the Son Does Not Know in Mark 13:32"
*"Biblical Christology #10. Jesus’ Divine Claim before the Sanhedrin in Mark 14:53-65"
*"Biblical Christology #11: The Divine Word in John 1:1-18"
*"Biblical Christology #12: Like Father, Like Son in John 5:17-23"
*"Biblical Christology #13: Jesus’ Divine “I Am” Statement in John 8:58"
*"Biblical Christology #14: Jesus and the Father Are One in John 10:27-39"
*"Biblical Christology #15: The Son Coming and Going in John 13:3 and 16:28"
*"Biblical Christology #16: Jesus’ Prayer to the Father in John 17:1-5"
*"Biblical Christology #17: Believing in the Divine Son in John 20:17-31"
*"Biblical Christology #18: The Risen Jesus Is Both Lord and Messiah in Acts 2:14-39"
*"Biblical Christology #19: Christ as God Over All in Romans 9:5"
*"Biblical Christology #20. Jesus as LORD in Romans 10:9-13"
*"Biblical Christology #21: One God, One Lord in 1 Corinthians 8:4-7"
*"Biblical Christology #22: The Father Sends the Son, Then the Spirit in Galatians 4:4-6"
*"Biblical Christology #23: Jesus Humbled Himself and Was Exalted in Philippians 2:3-11"
*"Biblical Christology #24: The Preeminence of the Beloved Son in Colossians 1:12-20"
*"Biblical Christology #25: Our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ in Titus 2:13"
*"Biblical Christology #26: The Son Superior to the Angels in Hebrews 1"
*"Biblical Christology #27: Regarding Christ the Lord as Holy in 1 Peter 3:10-15"
*"Biblical Christology #28: Jesus Christ as Our God and Savior in 2 Peter 1:1"
*"Biblical Christology #29: The Son is the True God and Eternal Life in 1 John 5:13-20"

*"Biblical Christology #30: Worthy Is the Lamb in Revelation 5:8-14" 

*OPTIONAL READING (highly recommended): Putting Jesus in His Place: The Case for the Deity of Christ by Robert Bowman, Jr. and J. Ed Komoszewski. You may substitute this for the Facebook posts or do both.

*ONLINE CLASS: "The Trinity" by Dr. William Lane Craig (10 lectures, 30 to 43 minutes each)
*ARTICLE: Brief biography of Athanasius
*BOOK: On the Incarnation of the Word by St. Athanasius. Also available for free at Monergism.



What Is The Gospel?
*Perhaps the second most fundamental Christian belief concerns the nature of the Gospel. 
*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: As you are listening and reading through the assignments below, take notes and write a paper answering the question: "What is the Gospel?"
*INTRODUCTORY VIDEO: "What is the Gospel?" by John Piper (4 minutes)
*MEMORY VERSES: 
*Read 2 Corinthians 11:1-4 and memorize 2 Corinthians 11:3-4
*Read Galatians 1:6-10 and memorize the whole thing.

*MESSAGES FROM SOME OF THE BEST MODERN PREACHERS OF THE GOSPEL:
*SERMON: "What is the Gospel?" by RC Sproul (44 minutes)
*SERMON: "What is the Gospel?" by Paul Washer (63 minutes)
*SERMON: "Hell's Best Kept Secret" by Ray Comfort (60 minutes)

*CLASSIC GOSPEL SERMONS FROM THE GREAT AWAKENING (1730-1760):
*Preparatory reading: "The First Great Awakening: Revival and the Birth of a Nation"
*"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards. Also FREE in audio or in this excellent video reenactment.
*ARTICLE: Brief biography of John Wesley
*"Free Grace" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"Awake, Thou That Sleepeth" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"The Scripture Way of Salvation" by John Wesley. Also FREE in audio
*"The Image of God" by John Wesley. Only available in FREE audio

*ARTICLE: Brief biography of Martin Luther
*BOOK: Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians by Martin Luther. Also FREE in audio. Luther's commentary  on Galatians is one of the most important books in the history of the Church. It preserves the central Gospel message of the man who precipitated the Protestant Reformation. As the translator of this work says in his preface: "The importance of this Commentary on Galatians for the history of Protestantism is very great. It presents like no other of Luther's writings the central thought of Christianity, the justification of the sinner for the sake of Christ's merits alone."

And Luther's Commentary on the Romans is equally important. In fact, it was at Aldersgate while the preface to Luther's Commentary on Romans was being read that John Wesley experienced the Gospel in a way that changed his life and led him to be the foremost preacher in the Great Awakening--or has he recalls it, caused his "heart to be strangely warmed."

*FOR OPTIONAL READING/RESEARCH: "What Is The Gospel?": Resources


What Is The Bible?
It is also absolutely fundamental to understand what the Bible is. The Bible is God's Word. Through it God communicates to us who he is and what he wants for us and his world. What good is it to call Jesus Lord if you do not know what he commands? And how can you know who Jesus is and what the true Gospel is unless God reveals it to us in his Word? You can't. And those who think that they can are only fooling themselves. In the end, they do not obey Christ but their own wills or the wills of those that they idolize and put in Christ's place. And in the end, they re-make Jesus into their own image or the image of some other idol. 

There are those also who think that the red letters in the Bible have some special significance or that because these are the words Jesus spoke while on earth that they are more important. But this is also an error. If Jesus is God and the Bible is God's Word, then the whole Bible is the words of Jesus. Furthermore, if you really believe those red letters, then you must believe what Jesus said about the rest of the Bible. And Jesus was very clear about the absolute authority of both the Old and New Testaments. We will explore that more below.


*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: As you are listening and reading through the assignments below, take notes and write a paper answering the question: "What does it mean that the Bible is God's Word?"

*What Jesus said about the Old Testament:
*READ Matthew 4:1-11
*Note that when confronting Satan, Jesus quotes the Old Testament every time as the authoritative and final word on the question at hand.
*ARTICLE: "What Was Jesus’ View of the Old Testament?" by Don Stewart

*What is the relation of the Old Testament to us today?:
*READ Acts 15; Colossians 2:16-17; and Hebrews 8:1-10:15
*Note that not all of the Old Testament applies directly to us today. Part of it related only to the Old Covenant and the Temple which were a shadow or pre-figuring type of Christ. Now that Christ has come, we look back to those things only to see how they were fulfilled in Christ. But there is no longer any need for sacrificing animals, etc. Also, much of the Old Testament was given only for the people of Israel to keep them set apart as a nation to preserve the line of the Messiah and to transmit the Scriptures. This does not make those parts any less God's Word, but we need to understand God's purposes in those parts of the Old Testament. And there are still important things for us to learn from them.

*What Jesus said about the New Testament:
*MEMORIZE Matthew 10:40 and Luke 10:16
*Note that Jesus makes similar statements in Matthew 10:14, 20; Mark 3:13-15; John 13:20; 14:26; 15:20; 17:18; 20:21.)
*READ John 14:24-26
*READ John 16:13-15
*Note that Jesus says: (1) If anyone listens to Jesus' apostles, they listen to him. If anyone rejects Jesus' apostles, they reject him. (2) The Holy Spirit would ensure that Jesus' apostles would be guided into all truth and be reminded of everything that Jesus said. Finally: note that the New Testament is the writings of the apostles or the records of their preaching by those who accompanied the apostles. In this way, Jesus confirms the absolute authority of the New Testament for those who follow him.

*MEMORY VERSE: Read Psalm 119 and choose a verse or verses to memorize.

*ARTICLE: Brief biography of B.B. Warfield *BOOK: The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible by B.B. Warfield
*SHORT VIDEO: "Understanding the Doctrine of Inerrancy" with Dr. D.A. Carson (9 min)
*LECTURE: "Subtle Ways to Abandon the Authority of Scripture" by D.A. Carson (40 minutes)
*SECONDARY WRITING ASSIGNMENT: What do you think about Dr. Carson's thoughts on inerrancy?




2. BIBLE OVERVIEW
The Bible is not just a hodge podge collection of books. It is one continuous story from the creation of the world and fall of man in Genesis to the coming of the promised Messiah in the Gospels to the second coming of the Messiah and the final restoration of all things in Revelation. And it's important to be able to see that and to have a firm grasp on it. It's not only a foundational starting point; I find it to be helpful to come back to this subject myself every few years.

*MEMORY VERSE: Read Luke 24:13-35 and memorize Luke 24:27.

*FREE ONLINE COURSE: "Bible Survey, A Big Screen Perspective" by Dr. Bert Downs


*REQUIRED READING:
*Article: "Reading the Bible in Light of the Whole Story" by Dr. Matt Harmon
*Books: 
*From Creation to the Cross by Albert H. Baylis. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. Previously published by Multnomah Press (1986) under the title On the Way to Jesus. Highly recommended. This can be borrowed for FREE at Internet Archive (or you can buy it for $4 or so (including shipping) on Ebay.

*OPTIONAL READING:
*Seeing the Story of the Bible by Myer Pearlman. published in 1930 and republished in 2016, many consider this a classic; and it is a brief, easy read of 120 pages. (Not free, but you can find cheap copies on Ebay and Amazon.

*PROJECT: Give an account of the story line of the Bible. If you can put it all in one effective paragraph, that's great! If you feel led to write a blog article or something longer, that is great, also. Or maybe you want to make a video, paint a mural or write out a play to act it out. Use your imagination and think about what opportunities that you have to share your learning.

3. BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION BASICS
*LECTURE: Understanding Bible Translations, Parts 1 & 2 (41 minutes)
*SHORT VIDEO: "Why is Bible Translation so Difficult?" with D.A. Carson (8 minutes)
*ARTICLE: "Reading the Bible in Contextby Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
*BOOKLET: Exegetical Fallacies: Common Mistakes Every Student of the Bible Must Avoid by William D. Barrick  (an 11 page ebook) FREE!
*MEMORY VERSES: 2 Peter 3:15-16
*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Write a summary of the most important things you have learned.

4. PRAYER
Prayer is foundational to the Christian life and to ministry; and yet in my experience, it receives very little emphasis in seminaries and colleges. In this course of study, it will be a continual emphasis and a discipline that you will be encouraged to build into your daily routine.
*MEMORY VERSE: Read and memorize Matthew 6:5-15.

*PREACHING ON PRAYER: "Wrestling in Prayer" by Kevin DeYoung (Week 1)
*LECTURES ON PRAYER: "Biblical Exposition of Prayer by Dr. James Rosscup" (14 lectures: I recommend one a week starting Week 2, listening to DeYoung's sermon in Week 1.) Dr. Rosscup has also written a 2500 page 4-volume work on prayer: An Exposition on Prayer, if one is interested in making the study of prayer a "Main Project" (see below).

*READING"The Kneeling Christian" by an Unknown Christian. One of the truly great classics on prayer. Also available as a free audiobook. Alternatively, you can purchase this book for very little money on Amazon (currently free on Kindle) or Ebay.

*JOURNAL: Begin a daily prayer journal. Make the entries as long or as brief as you want. Write down prayer requests, answers to prayer, thanksgiving and worship, etc.

5. APOLOGETICS: WORLDVIEW BASICS
*INTRODUCTORY VIDEO: "What's Your Worldview?" (4 minutes)
*SHORT VIDEO: "What is a Worldview?" by Jeff Myers (6 minutes)
*SHORT VIDEO: "Understanding Patterns of Ideas" by Jeff Myers (8 minutes)

*SERIES OF 6 SHORT VIDEOS: "Biblical Christian Worldview"
*OPTIONAL READING: Understanding the Times by Jeff Myers and David A. Noebel (currently only $2 on Kindle).

*SEMINAR: "Essentials of Worldview Analysis" by Dr. Ronald Nash 
*LECTURE SERIES: "The Universe Next Door" (Explores 7 major worldviews in 7 1-hour lectures. I recommend you listen to one a day so that you have time to contemplate each one and yet close enough together so that you can compare them.)
*OPTIONAL READING: The Universe Next Door by James W. Sire. A modern classic. There are lots of options including audio book on Amazon or you can find it for less than $4 (including shipping) on Ebay.
*RESOURCES (for optional study): "Cults & World Religions: Resources For Study"

*WRITING ASSIGNMENT: Write a brief paper describing your own worldview. Then interview three people asking them questions to find out what their worldview looks like. Try to interview people that you think may have different worldviews than your own. You may want to review the 2 short videos by Jeff Myers (above) to decide what questions to ask.



6. NEW TESTAMENT GREEK: Options
There are two options for learning New Testament Greek: (1) You can learn how to use various resources to access the Greek text of the New Testament. (2) You can learn how to read Greek. The second option is much more difficult, but also more rewarding. Consider prayerfully which path you should choose. But remember: you can always change your mind and take the other path later.

ONLINE CLASS OPTION #1: 
*Greek Tools for Bible Study by Bill Mounce


ONLINE CLASS OPTIONS FOR OPTION #2: 
*WATCH THIS VIDEO FIRST:
*"Learn biblical Greek FREE: The best resources (in 2020) and why they are NOT enough" at the Master New Testament Greek YouTube channel. Some excellent advice and encouragement to get you oriented before you get started.

*CHOOSE AN OPTION BELOW:
*Complete the first half of the class you choose below for Phase 1 and the last half for Phase 2.
*A: Mastering New Testament Greek by Ted Hildebrandt: This is an amazing page filled with every resource imaginable for learning Greek....and it's all FREE (including the textbook)!
*B: Norlan De Groot has a 2-part Introduction to Biblical Greek that can be taken for FREE (see instructions at the top of the page linked to) and you can get the textbook for FREE also: New Testament Greek for Beginners by Gresham Machen. Might find it cheaper at Ebay or Addall. FREE here or here. Charts for the various declension charts can be found beginning on p.225. So you can take this course completely FREE. 
*C: Biblical Greek by Dr. Bill Mounce: The class is FREE but the textbook costs money.
*D: More FREE CLASS options that use David Alan Black's textbook: Learn to Read New Testament Greek, which you might find cheaper (about $8 including shipping right now) at Ebay or Addall. "Daily Dose of Greek" by Dr. Rob Plummer is surely the best of these.

*ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: "Learning New Testament Greek: Resources" You will find lots of FREE resources here to help you along--including more online courses.



7. MAJOR PROJECT
Where is your passion for ministry? What concern for the Church or the world weighs on your heart? Or what area of study brings you the most joy or satisfaction? 

Find an area of study that you want to focus on for the next three to four years or longer and spend your time reading and researching to answer your questions and to confirm or disconfirm the ideas that you have about that area. Keep organized notes and build a small library of resources (both real books and electronic). Seek to become an expert in this area. And work towards putting together some kind of medium for sharing what you learn that will benefit the Church. 

Getting started: Map out a series of tasks to be completed over the next 3 years or so in the process of gaining a certain level of expertise in this area and completing your final project. And of course, be prepared to alter those plans along the way, as you see need.

Possible ideas for Phase 1: Put together a bibliography or list of resources for studying this subject. Do some interviews. Create a poll(s) to share in Facebook groups and/or your own timeline. Find a documentary or online lectures, etc. Read books and/or journal articles.

Possible ideas for your final project: Write a book or booklet. Journal articles. A documentary. A seminar or webinar. A series of YouTube videos. A series of sermons or lessons for a class. A curriculum. A website. Pray about it and let the Holy Spirit guide your imagination. Plant an organization designed to fulfill the purposes of your passion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
THOUGHTS FOR YOUR JOURNEY
*Study Devotionally: Don't just complete the assignments to get them done. Continually ask God to teach you and lead you for his glory. See these assignments as opportunities to grow deeper and stronger in your faith and in your love for God. There is no hurry. There is not time limit for finishing any particular phase.

*Share Your Learning: Consider how you might share what you are learning. Perhaps start a blog and post your thoughts and perhaps your writing assignments or quotes from your reading there. Or maybe share via a YouTube channel or podcast. Or perhaps you are ready to begin teaching or preaching--though I caution you not to be too eager to do so, especially if you are a young believer. The Scripture warns us: "He [an overseer or elder/pastor of a church] must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil" (1 Timothy 3:6). And: "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly" (James 3:1). So do not be too quick to take on that role. Do it prayerfully and humbly.

*Be a Good Berean: In Acts 17:11 Luke writes: "Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." In this course of study, I am intentionally exposing you to a wide spectrum of individuals from the Church. I do not agree with everything that they say....or anyone--not even myself! (Meaning that I have said things in the past that I later realized were not true!) So pray for discernment and examine everything in the light of Scripture. "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21, NASB)  The Bereans were considered by God to be of a more noble character because of it--and so will you.

*Your Feedback is Welcome!: I want this to be the best possible resource that it can be and welcome any feedback that you can give me to make this course of study better. Also, please do me the favor of reporting any broken links. Thanks!


RESOURCE PORTAL FOR RESEARCH
*BIBLE & THEOLOGY REFERENCE WORKS ONLINE: Massive Selection + My Recommendations


LINK TO PHASE 2