The purpose of this current module is to explore what the Bible teaches about God Himself, which is to say, what God reveals to us about God. So if you wish to gain a deeper understanding of who the Lord is, these lectures aim to benefit you. The lectures in this second module on the doctrine of God are, like the others, introductory, not exhaustive; and they’re intended to furnish you with a foundation that you can build upon in your further studies. But that is not to say that they will be easy. When we think about the God of glory, we are dealing with deep and difficult matters. And this requires reverence, humility, diligence, and much prayer that the Lord would open our eyes to behold a glimpse of His glory by faith.
Below, you’ll find the overall structure for this series of 7 modules, across the whole spectrum of Systematic Theology.
Prolegomena (Doctrine of First Principles)
Theology Proper (Doctrine of God) - This Module
Anthropology (Doctrine of Man)
Christology (Doctrine of Christ)
Soteriology (Doctrine of Salvation)
Ecclesiology (Doctrine of the Church)
Eschatology (Doctrine of Last Things)
Please review the details of the course materials in the PDF link below.
Module 2 - Lesson 1 - Introduction
It has been rightly said that what comes to mind when you think about God is the most important thing about you. This is true, and it should not surprise us. God is first, highest, greatest, and most glorious. Man was created by God and for God, and exists to know, glorify, and enjoy God. When men reverse this order, thinking that God exists for man, rather than the opposite, we end up in idolatry and a world of evil.
Module 2 - Lesson 2 - Knowing God
When it comes to our knowledge of God, the Bible teaches that the Lord is incomprehensible, which means that it is impossible for a creature to know God fully, perfectly, and completely. We begin our study of the doctrine of God by exploring the implications of God’s incomprehensibility in our knowledge of who God is. This series of lectures in this second module, or course, on systematic theology is devoted to the study of the doctrine of God. The purpose is to explore what the Bible teaches about God Himself, which is to say, what God reveals to us about Himself. In the previous lecture, we considered an introduction to this module. In the present lecture, we will explore the nature, limits, and means of knowing God.
Module 2 - Lesson 3 - Names of God
What is the purpose and importance of a name? Parents may choose a particular name for their baby for a wide variety of reasons. They may like the sound of the name, or they may have a family member or a friend with the same name, or they may like a nickname that is associated with that name, or lots of other reasons. But in Scripture, names have greater significance than they often do in contemporary societies. At the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden, God gave Adam dominion over every creature.
Module 2 - Lesson 4 - God's Being
Mankind was created to know, love, worship, and glorify this God. Now man’s rebellion and sin, of course, diverted them from that path and privilege. But through the gospel, God re-creates believers into worshippers—worshippers who see and adore and serve the Triune God. He delivers sinners from serving idols, the figments of their depraved imaginations, and brings them to serve the living and true God, so that the heart cry of the true Christian is, “Lord, show me thy glory.”
Module 2 - Lesson 5 - The Attributes of God (Part 1)
In the present lecture, and the following ones, we continue to reflect on God’s being by considering more of His attributes. And as we do so, we will build on what we already learned. So remember, for example, that God’s divine simplicity taught us that His attributes are not parts of God, and are not just descriptions of what He has - they reveal to us who God is in Himself. In this lecture we will be studying some of the more difficult and abstract attributes of God. So prepare yourself to concentrate and think hard about what the Bible teaches us.
Module 2 - Lesson 6 - The Attributes of God (Part 2)
Many make the mistake of thinking that because they cannot see God, then perhaps He does not see them. Or, at the very least, men forget about what they cannot see, which is captured in the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind.” Psalm 10:4 says that for the wicked, “God is not in all their thoughts.” This results in peril for the unbeliever. And even for the believer, it can result in missing much blessing.
Module 2 - Lesson 7 - The Attributes of God (Part 3)
Everyone is attracted to beauty—for example, a gorgeous sunset. People will stop and watch and look at all of the varied colors and beautiful hues that are found as the sun is falling below the horizon. Others will stop and study a flower with all of its beautiful petals and the color and texture that it represents. You see beauty in a newborn baby, or in the masterpiece of a famous artist, looking at the detail of a painting that’s hanging in a museum. But some insist that beauty is in the eye of the beholder; that is, that beauty is always and only subjective. Now, while some matters of taste can vary between people, the Bible teaches us that there is an objective beauty; that God Himself is the ultimate source, standard, and superlative display of true beauty.
Module 2 - Lesson 8 - The Trinity
Some things are easy to learn, and other things are far more challenging and difficult. Learning to count, for example, is fairly simple. On the other hand, we would find the science and math needed to send a rocket into outer space, to be complicated. It takes years of painstak- ing study to learn that kind of math, and its application to rocket science. But we expect that to be the case. We’re not surprised, because we have a sense of the technical difficulties involved. In fact, if you reduced it to simple math, you would find it dangerous.
Module 2 - Lesson 9 - God's Decree
Reading history can be fascinating. There are so many twists and turns, and so many un- expected and surprising events that unfold. We see this even in the history recorded in the Bible. Think of the complicated story of Joseph. He has a dream, in which he’s told that his brothers will bow down before him, and yet everything that unfolds after that seems to contra- dict it. He’s thrown into a pit, he’s sold into slavery, he’s taken to a far country, he’s betrayed by his master’s house, he’s put in prison and forgotten about there, and there’s one thing after another. And when you first hear the story, you find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat wondering, “What will happen next?”
Module 2 - Lesson 10 - Predestination
When God says in the Bible that natural, unconverted men are dead in trespasses and sins, many people find themselves puzzled. They may respond by saying, “I don’t feel dead, I don’t seem dead. Look at me blink and eat and run and so on.” The problem lies in their failure to recognize that men have both a body and a soul. Their body can be alive and active, while simultaneously their soul can be dead. Then what are the indications that a person’s soul is dead in sin? Well, the easiest thing is to think in terms of the parallel with the body. Those who are spiritually dead cannot see the light of God’s truth.
Module 2 - Lesson 11 - Creation
In this world, we are faced with many difficult but fundamental questions. Some of those ultimate questions include things like: What is my purpose in life? What is my true identity? Where does life lead? or, Where am I going? What is real? What is right and what is wrong? How do I know the things that I know? What is my origin? Why do certain things exist? But another such question underneath some of these others is this: Why does anything exist? That’s a pressing question that needs a cogent answer. And it’s tied to other related questions. For example, knowing how it is that things exist would help us know why it is that they exist.
Module 2 - Lesson 12 - Providence
Learning to drive a car includes focusing on several details all at once. You have to be thinking about what’s happening outside the car, looking at the lines on the road, the stop signs and traffic lights, other cars that may be passing you or coming into the road, then there are all the turns and hills, and so on. But simultaneously, you have to be focused on things inside the car. You have your mirrors that you have to look at; you have a gas pedal and a brake pedal; there are gears, and most of all, the steering wheel, which determines the direction that you’re going to drive. In addition to all of that, you have to know your directions—where you are, and where you are going. And all of this has to be coordinated to drive safely and successfully. The driver must be in control of the vehicle at all times. Well, if you know how to drive, you know that sense of control and responsibility. But we are only talking about one person and one vehicle. What about the universe as a whole?