As a counterpart (or even prequel) to my previous article about “safety skills“, I wanted to identify those theological topics essential for lay leaders to understand. In particular, I believe lay leaders need a more concise and practical “boot camp”, in contrast to the multi-year “officer’s training school” provided in seminaries.
Another difference in focus is that I believe (along with the writer of Proverbs) that the goal of theological education is wisdom, not mere knowledge. That is, the goal is to cover a small number of essential issue in sufficient depth to enable people to make more godly decisions — not simply provide an intellectual overview of traditional topics.
Given all that, here is my best attempt at a minimal 12-week course that covers the heart issues of contemporary theology. What are your thoughts and suggestions?
- The Essence of Divinity: Who exactly is God?
- The Kingdom of God: What is God’s overall purpose for creation, and for us?
- The Depravity of Man: Why aren’t we fulfilling that purpose?
- The Fear of the Lord: Where does God’s sovereignty come in?
- The Sufficiency of Christ: What difference does Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection make?
- The Necessity of Repentance: How do we appropriate that?
- The Working of the Spirit: What resources does God provide to help us?
- The Authority of Scripture: Why must we trust it?
- The Offices of the Church: To whom must we submit? For what?
- The Unity of the Body: How can we get along? To what end?
- The Redemption of Creation: What in the world is God doing?
- The End of History: Where we are ultimately going.