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Hello... Looking to learn.

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by JordanGR, Dec 7, 2019.

  1. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    Hello from Ohioan Christian, everyone.

    I'm here, mainly to delve into theology, and want to learn how to read the Bible. I don't exactly know what theology is, or how to get into it, but it seems interesting to me. I want to learn the history of the Biblical stories as well.

    So, that's about it; I just wanted to say what's up.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Tigger45

    Tigger45 St. John Supporter

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  3. Heavenhome

    Heavenhome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welcome to the forums Jordan:wave:

    There's lots to interest you I'm sure and once you negotiate yourself around the different forums, you can be kept quite busy! (As much as you want to be of course):)
     
  4. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    Thanks! Is it appropriate to ask questions about theology there, e.g. "How do I begin studying theology?"

    I can definitely see that there's a lot of information on here. I'll have to take my time and comb through some appropriate sections.
     
  5. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    First, welcome to CF! :wave:

    And second, yes, although theology means different things to different people, so you'd have to say what kind of theology.

    You might also like to ask the question in a specific faith section, like Baptist or Catholic.
     
  6. Tigger45

    Tigger45 St. John Supporter

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    The Nicene creed is not only the CF Statement of Faith | Christian Forums but also the historic Christian faith making it a great place to start.
     
  7. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    We had a thread doing a line-by-line walkthrough of the Creed once. Maybe we could do that again?
     
  8. Deade

    Deade Active Member Supporter

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    Hello Jordan,

    I hope you'll enjoy your stay here.

    glitter-hello-text-smiley-emoticon.gif

    [​IMG]
     
  9. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    So, how do I decide which type of theology to study? I'm most interested in how Early Christians thought and how they read the Bible. I'd consider myself a non-denominational Christian.

    As I told Rad, I'm most interested in how Early Christians thought... So how do I proceed from there?
     
  10. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    You can read what they wrote. Here is a good book:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    Also, a lot of stuff is online at Home - Christian Classics Ethereal Library

    Combine those writings with some good books on early church history.

    The Nicene Creed, from the year 325, summarises the important parts of the first 300 years of Christianity. Many definitions of "early" include everything up to and including 325.
     
  12. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    For a bit of flavour, here is the letter of Ignatius, the Bishop of Antioch, to the Romans. Ignatius was arrested around about the year 105, and sent to Rome under armed guard to be eaten alive by lions there. This letter was written while travelling:

    Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the Church which has obtained mercy, through the majesty of the Most High Father, and Jesus Christ, His only-begotten Son; the Church which is beloved and enlightened by the will of Him that wills all things which are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God, which also presides in the place of the region of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of the highest happiness, worthy of praise, worthy of obtaining her every desire, worthy of being deemed holy, and which presides over love, is named from Christ, and from the Father, which I also salute in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father: to those who are united, both according to the flesh and spirit, to every one of His commandments; who are filled inseparably with the grace of God, and are purified from every strange taint, [I wish] abundance of happiness unblameably, in Jesus Christ our God.

    1. Through prayer to God I have obtained the privilege of seeing your most worthy faces, and have even been granted more than I requested; for I hope as a prisoner in Christ Jesus to salute you, if indeed it be the will of God that I be thought worthy of attaining unto the end. For the beginning has been well ordered, if I may obtain grace to cling to my lot without hindrance unto the end. For I am afraid of your love, lest it should do me an injury. For it is easy for you to accomplish what you please; but it is difficult for me to attain to God, if you spare me.

    2. For it is not my desire to act towards you as a man-pleaser, but as pleasing God, even as also you please Him. For neither shall I ever have such [another] opportunity of attaining to God; nor will you, if you shall now be silent, ever be entitled to the honour of a better work. For if you are silent concerning me, I shall become God's; but if you show your love to my flesh, I shall again have to run my race. Pray, then, do not seek to confer any greater favour upon me than that I be sacrificed to God while the altar is still prepared; that, being gathered together in love, you may sing praise to the Father, through Christ Jesus, that God has deemed me, the bishop of Syria, worthy to be sent for from the east unto the west. It is good to set from the world unto God, that I may rise again to Him.

    Chapter 3. Pray rather that I may attain to martyrdom
    You have never envied any one; you have taught others. Now I desire that those things may be confirmed [by your conduct], which in your instructions you enjoin [on others]. Only request in my behalf both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but [truly] will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. For if I be truly found [a Christian], I may also be called one, and be then deemed faithful, when I shall no longer appear to the world. Nothing visible is eternal. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. For our God, Jesus Christ, now that He is with the Father, is all the more revealed [in His glory]. Christianity is not a thing of silence only, but also of [manifest] greatness.

    4. I write to the Churches, and impress on them all, that I shall willingly die for God, unless you hinder me. I beseech of you not to show an unseasonable good-will towards me. Allow me to become food for the wild beasts, through whose instrumentality it will be granted me to attain to God. I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of Christ. Rather entice the wild beasts, that they may become my tomb, and may leave nothing of my body; so that when I have fallen asleep [in death], I may be no trouble to any one. Then shall I truly be a disciple of Christ, when the world shall not see so much as my body. Entreat Christ for me, that by these instruments I may be found a sacrifice [to God]. I do not, as Peter and Paul, issue commandments unto you. They were apostles; I am but a condemned man: they were free, while I am, even until now, a servant. But when I suffer, I shall be the freed-man of Jesus, and shall rise again emancipated in Him. And now, being a prisoner, I learn not to desire anything worldly or vain.

    5. From Syria even unto Rome I fight with beasts, both by land and sea, both by night and day, being bound to ten leopards, I mean a band of soldiers, who, even when they receive benefits, show themselves all the worse. But I am the more instructed by their injuries [to act as a disciple of Christ]; yet am I not thereby justified. 1 Corinthians 4:4 May I enjoy the wild beasts that are prepared for me; and I pray they may be found eager to rush upon me, which also I will entice to devour me speedily, and not deal with me as with some, whom, out of fear, they have not touched. But if they be unwilling to assail me, I will compel them to do so. Pardon me [in this]: I know what is for my benefit. Now I begin to be a disciple. And let no one, of things visible or invisible, envy me that I should attain to Jesus Christ. Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones; let cutting off of members; let shatterings of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me attain to Jesus Christ.

    6. All the pleasures of the world, and all the kingdoms of this earth, shall profit me nothing. It is better for me to die on behalf of Jesus Christ, than to reign over all the ends of the earth. For what shall a man be profited, if he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul? Him I seek, who died for us: Him I desire, who rose again for our sake. This is the gain which is laid up for me. Pardon me, brethren: do not hinder me from living, do not wish to keep me in a state of death; and while I desire to belong to God, do not give me over to the world. Allow me to obtain pure light: when I have gone there, I shall indeed be a man of God. Permit me to be an imitator of the passion of my God. If any one has Him within himself, let him consider what I desire, and let him have sympathy with me, as knowing how I am straitened.

    7. The prince of this world would fain carry me away, and corrupt my disposition towards God. Let none of you, therefore, who are [in Rome] help him; rather be on my side, that is, on the side of God. Do not speak of Jesus Christ, and yet set your desires on the world. Let not envy find a dwelling-place among you; nor even should I, when present with you, exhort you to it, be persuaded to listen to me, but rather give credit to those things which I now write to you. For though I am alive while I write to you, yet I am eager to die. My love has been crucified, and there is no fire in me desiring to be fed; but there is within me a water that lives and speaks, saying to me inwardly, Come to the Father. I have no delight in corruptible food, nor in the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, the heavenly bread, the bread of life, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became afterwards of the seed of David and Abraham; and I desire the drink of God, namely His blood, which is incorruptible love and eternal life.

    8. I no longer wish to live after the manner of men, and my desire shall be fulfilled if you consent. Be willing, then, that you also may have your desires fulfilled. I entreat you in this brief letter; give credit to me. Jesus Christ will reveal these things to you, [so that you shall know] that I speak truly. He is the mouth altogether free from falsehood, by which the Father has truly spoken. Pray for me, that I may attain [the object of my desire]. I have not written to you according to the flesh, but according to the will of God. If I shall suffer, you have wished [well] to me; but if I am rejected, you have hated me.

    9. Remember in your prayers the Church in Syria, which now has God for its shepherd, instead of me. Jesus Christ alone will oversee it, and your love [will also regard it]. But as for me, I am ashamed to be counted one of them; for indeed I am not worthy, as being the very last of them, and one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:8-9 But I have obtained mercy to be somebody, if I shall attain to God. My spirit salutes you, and the love of the Churches that have received me in the name of Jesus Christ, and not as a mere passer-by. For even those Churches which were not near to me in the way, I mean according to the flesh, have gone before me, city by city, [to meet me.]

    10. Now I write these things to you from Smyrna by the Ephesians, who are deservedly most happy. There is also with me, along with many others, Crocus, one dearly beloved by me. As to those who have gone before me from Syria to Rome for the glory of God, I believe that you are acquainted with them; to whom, [then,] make known that I am at hand. For they are all worthy, both of God and of you; and it is becoming that you should refresh them in all things. I have written these things unto you, on the day before the ninth of the Kalends of September (that is, on the twenty-third day of August). Fare well to the end, in the patience of Jesus Christ. Amen.
     
  13. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    Interesting. I will have to add that to my book list!

    Thanks for the link as well. So is there a specific type of theology I should pursue, based on what I've told you? I was thinking about taking the free theology course on Bible.com
     
  14. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    You haven't told me nearly enough. But my personal, non-specific, good-for-any-Protestant suggestions are to get:

    (1) A good study Bible, (2) a good church history book, and (3) a good basic theology text.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    Wow, I actually own a copy of Systematic Theology! I got it on a whim on day. Thanks! I do not own a study Bible, but I do own a King James, Red Letter Bible that I read from daily. Any suggestions on "a good church history book?"
     
  16. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    Grudem isn't my favourite book, but it's friendly to most kinds of Evangelical Protestantism, and so the best recommendation for somebody about whom I know so little. The same for the ESV study Bible -- it's friendly to most kinds of Evangelical Protestantism.
     
  17. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    Grudem's, or one of many others with the same title?

    Three bits of advice: (1) get the ESV Study Bible, (2) get the ESV Study Bible, (3) get the ESV Study Bible. There's a whole theology course packed inside. And, of course, the ESV is the best translation around.



    Not off the top of my head. Sorry.
     
  18. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    I'm sorry I cannot give you more information. I do not know much else... I know that I'm a Christian and I'm interested in how Early Christians thought; I'd also like to learn how to apply those ways of thinking in a modern way.

    Is there a Church history book you can recommend, or did you mean that there is one by Wayne Grudem that I should look into.

    And yes, I own Grudem's book, Systematic Theology. I will also get the ESV study Bible.
     
  19. Radagast

    Radagast is no longer on CF Supporter

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    This one might not be the best, but it's pretty good, as I recall. It covers up to the Reformation. Somebody else might have a better suggestion.

    [​IMG]
     
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  20. JordanGR

    JordanGR New Member

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    Very good, I will add this to my book list as well.
     
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