The DWITW Team considers it a privilege to partner with women in our community who are passionate about seeking and serving the Lord. Today's post is from our friends, Julie Swain and Hunter Osborne, announcing their Third Thursday Theology study series. All women in the Dayton area are welcome to join them. Read on to find out more!
Why is doctrine important? Why take the time to systematically study what the entire Bible says about certain topics? As theologian Wayne Grudem explains, "It is Scripture alone, not any human authority, that must function as the normative authority for the definition of what we should believe." (Bible Doctrine, pg.20) Reading, meditating, and studying scripture book-by-book is sufficient, but it is even better to compliment such study with the wide lens of what the entirety of Scripture is teaching us.
The term theology broken down is this: 'theo' meaning 'God' and 'ology' meaning 'the study of.' Therefore, the overall meaning of 'theology' is 'the study of God.' When we study the Word, we are studying God. Wayne Grudem explains that systematic theology is any study that answers the question, "What does the whole Bible teach us today?" about any given topic (Bible Doctrine, pg.17). Doctrine is the result of the process of doing systematic theology on a particular topic.
We (Hunter and Julie) are not theologians. We do not have this all figured out, and by God's grace, we will always be groping and searching the Scriptures for deeper roots into the truth of the Gospel. But we are sojourners on a journey, and we want to bring you along with us. We want to bless your spiritual lives with the same partaking of grace that we have received through the mentors who have taught us. We desire every one of us to approach God's Word with a hunger to learn what He really is imparting to us, not basing our beliefs on what we want the Bible to say or to somehow fit it into our preconceived ideas of who God is. We want to study God for who He is. We fulfill the Great Commission in not only evangelism, but teaching as well. In Matthew 28:19-20, we read the command of Jesus to teach believers to observe all that he commanded: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
We are excited to start a journey on the third Thursdays of the month walking through the doctrinal truths of the Bible that are the foundational bedrock of the Gospel. We will be using Wayne Grudem's broken-down, condensed book called "Christian Beliefs" to supplement our time in the Word studying the essential truths of the Christian faith. Other solid reads to supplement this reading are his more extensive writings in "Bible Doctrine", and for those adventurous spirits wanting to go even deeper, his most expansive "Systematic Theology" is also a resource. The incredible thing about the book we will be reading together is that it covers all the basics in a way that is very understandable yet profound to those new and old to studying doctrine. Do not let the idea of being overwhelmed by the vastness of this study hold you back! We understand the fears and the uncertainty of digging deep into God's Word, but we also have experienced the heart transformation that happens when we take the step of faith to do so. We share below some personal reflections of what the study of doctrine has done for each of us. We desire to disciple other sisters in Christ towards the same Gospel work that churns up the soil of our hearts, and then waters the seeds of faith within to grow deep roots that will not be easily ripped up. Deep roots in the truths of the power of Christ's work on our behalf that we could never do for ourselves. Come one, come all!
We will be meeting in Conference Room 227 at Apex Community Church every third Thursday from 7:00-9:00 pm. (It is the aqua blue room upstairs with several couches, chairs, and tables.) We will have bottled water and dessert to share with you all. Feel free to grab a coffee on the way if that sounds yummy!
Following is a list of the dates and topics we will cover:
October 20, 2016: Intro: What is Doctrine?
November 17, 2016: What is the Bible?
December 15, 2016: What is God like?
January 19, 2017: What is the Trinity?
February 16, 2017: What is Creation? What is Prayer?
March 16, 2017: What are Angels, Saints, and Demons? What is Man?
April 20, 2017: What is Sin? Who is Christ?
May 18, 2017: What is the Atonement? What is the Resurrection?June 15, 2017: What is Common Grace? What is Providence?
July 20, 2017: What is Election? What does it mean to become a Christian?
August 17, 2017: What is Justification and Adoption?
September 21, 2017: What is Sanctification and Perseverance?
October 19, 2017: What is Death? What is the Church?
November 16, 2017: What will happen when Christ returns? What is the Final Judgment? What is Heaven?
Date & Location TBA: Closing celebration/meal/sharing
We look forward to coming together to apprehend more and more the work of Christ done on our behalf, to grow both in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ! (2 Peter 3:18)
About the Teachers
Hello! I'm Hunter Osborne. I am married to Chad Osborne. We have three beautiful babies, Bella, Talitha and Stone. God brought me into His salvation in August of 2006, and right away began teaching me doctrine. I fell in love. I have found it to be indispensable to my faith. Through doctrine, God has spoken of His love for me. He began to cement in me the truths of our relationship; I am secure in my salvation and my relationship with my God. I am grateful that God has given us His Word so that we may come to know Him. My hope is that you will also come to love learning about God through doctrine, and that you will see it as indispensable to your faith as well.
My name is Julie Swain, and I am a follower of Jesus, wife, stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children, and fellow sister in Christ. Jesus laid hold of my heart in January of 1999 in my freshman college dorm room. In 2009, when I began studying doctrine with a mentor, I was unsure about so many essential teachings of Scripture. I often approached the Word and drew my own conclusions of God's character and the Gospel. I spent much time thinking about myself, my sin, my inability to become what I perceived I needed to be as a faithful follower of Jesus. Grace was a very foreign concept, not an embraced reality. Through these years of studying with other women, my eyes were unveiled and my heart was opened to how sweet Jesus really is, how unconditional grace really is, and how good the Good News really is! Studying His Word and systematic theology has given me a bedrock of Biblical doctrine upon which I can stand. It is not based on my efforts, it is not a list of do's and don'ts that I must keep. I now lean into the person and work of Jesus Christ on my behalf in full assurance that I am His and He is mine.