Every Wednesday, from 01/13/2021 to 05/19/2021, 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Our Theology Cohorts are college level courses designed to help you better understand the grand narrative of the biblical story by exploring its major themes.
Our theme for this Spring will be: “God’s Relational Presence.” Our text will be a book of the same title written by Scott Duvall and Dany Hayes. You get a nice feel for the content of the course in the first paragraph of their introduction.
Our basic thesis is that the Triune God desires to have a personal, encountering relationship with his people and enters into his creation in order to facilitate that relationship. Thus the Bible begins with God’s presence relating to his people in the garden (Genesis) and ends with God’s presence relating to his people in the garden (Revelation). This holy, intense, powerful presence of God appears to Moses in the burning bush and on Mount Sinai, and then enters into the tabernacle (and later into the temple) so that God can dwell among his people. Indeed, the presence of God dwelling among his people is foundational to his covenant with them, and Israel’s worshiping relationship with God centers on his presence in the tabernacle or temple. Yet because of their sin and disobedience, Israel is banished from God’s presence. God departs from the temple (Ezekiel), and Israel is exiled away from the land. The restoration of God’s presence is promised throughout the OT prophets and is fulfilled in the Gospels when Jesus, Immanuel (God with us), appears. The incarnation brings to a climax the relational presence of God, the theme that drove the entire OT story. In Acts, after Jesus’s ascension, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within each believer, just as the holy presence of God in the OT dwelt in the tabernacle or temple. Paul explains the broad, far-reaching theological implications of the Triune God’s relational presence among his people. Indeed, almost every aspect of Paul’s theology connects to the relational presence of God. The entire story culminates at the end of Revelation, where the presence of God is once again in Jerusalem (the new Jerusalem) and in the garden, relating to his people. This “mega-theme” drives the biblical story, uniting and providing interconnecting cohesion across the canon for all of the other major themes, such as covenant, kingdom, creation, holiness, redemption, law and grace, sin and forgiveness, life and death, worship, and obedient living. It is indeed the cohesive center of biblical theology.
The course will involve reading anywhere from 12 to 24 pages from the text and discussing the content on a weekly Zoom call. You will also be encourage to maintain a personal reading schedule in Scripture and be actively engaged in the life and ministry of the local church.