Training Elders (Part 2) - Theological Questions We Asked

Here's the theological questionnaire we gave to our elder trainees.

I. Questions Relating to Hermeneutics and Biblical Theology

1. What translation(s) of Scripture do you use and why?

2. Briefly outline the steps you take to interpret Scripture. Provide an example by briefly explaining a paragraph from Scripture.

3. In 500 words or less write a brief outline of redemptive history, tracing out the major redemptive-historical movements from creation to new creation. Include significant events in the life and history of Israel (dates are not important, but chronological order is).

4. What New Testament passages (cite at least three) help you determine the function of the Old Testament Scriptures in the life and teaching of the Christian church today? Cite the texts and explain how they function in helping you interpret other texts.

5. How would you avoid “legalistic” and “moralistic” interpretations and applications of Scripture?

6. Flesh out your answer to the previous question in explaining how you would interpret and apply the following passages: Exodus 20:1-21; 1 Samuel 17; Ephesians 4:17-32.

7. According to Graeme Goldsworthy, what is “the hermeneutical key to Scripture” (see Goldsworthy’s Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture)? What does Goldsworthy mean by this? Do you agree or disagree?

8. In preparing sermons, explain what Bryan Chapell means by finding “the fallen condition focus” of the passage (see Chapell’s Christ-centered Preaching). What steps would you take to help you do this? How would this help you avoid moralism in your preaching?

II. Questions Relating to Systematic Theology

1. Write a brief summary of your basic world-view (500 words or less).

2. How do you know there is a God?

3. Please describe your understanding of the nature and purpose of the Holy Scriptures, giving Scriptural support.

4. How would you interpret the creation narrative of Genesis 1-2?

5. In one or two paragraphs, explain your view of the nature of human beings, including your understanding of what it means for humans to be created in the image of God and how sin and the Fall have affected humans.

6. Describe your understanding of the relationship between the material (body) and immaterial (mind, heart, soul, spirit) parts of human beings.

7. Define and defend the doctrine of the Trinity. Use Scripture.

8. Why is the doctrine of the Trinity important to the life and faith of the church?

9. Briefly describe what you believe to be essentially true about God’s character as revealed in Scripture.

10. "Open theism” is a theological system which denies the exhaustive foreknowledge and omniscience of God. Write a brief reaction to open theism and defend the orthodox position on God's omniscience from at least three Scriptural passages.

11. Describe your understanding of God's sovereignty and providence in relation to evil and suffering in the world. Expound Romans 8:28 and Ephesians 1:11 and include references to at least one biblical narrative (Joseph, Job, etc.) in your answer.

12. How does prayer work? If God is sovereign, why pray?

13. Explain and defend the deity of Jesus from Scripture.

14. Explain and defend the humanity of Jesus from Scripture.

15. Explain and defend the virginal conception of Jesus from Scripture.

16. Use Scripture to explain the purpose of the death of Jesus.

17. Describe your understanding of the nature of the atonement. Interact with various theories of the atonement (moral influence, governmental, ransom to Satan, Christus Victor).

18. Explain your understanding of the extent of the atonement.

19. Explain and defend the resurrection of Jesus from Scripture. Include interaction with at least two aberrant theories of the resurrection (swoon theory, stolen body theory, hallucination theory, resuscitation theory). Conclude with a biblical and historical defense of the literal bodily resurrection of Christ.

20. Explain the “second coming” of Christ from Scripture.

21. What do you believe about hell?

22. What do you believe about the Holy Spirit? Who is he and what does he do?

23. Explain the Biblical doctrine of salvation by briefly defining (in a single sentence) the following terms and placing them in proper order and relationship to one another: election, justification, faith, atonement, regeneration, adoption, repentance, glorification, perseverance, and sanctification.

24. Is election unconditional or conditional? Use Scripture in your answer and give special attention to Romans 9, explaining your understanding of Paul's intent in using Jacob and Esau as a case scenario for election.

25. Is regeneration the cause or effect of faith and repentance? Use Scripture in your answer.

26. Explain the doctrine of justification by faith alone from Scripture.

27. Explain your understanding of imputation and its relationship to justification. Include 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 in your answer.

28. What is the difference between justification and sanctification and how do the two relate?

29. Explain the difference you see between the phrases "once saved, always saved" and "perseverance of the saints" and state your understanding of the Biblical teaching on issues of eternal security and perseverance.

30. Describe the nature of faith and the relationship between faith and works, commenting on James 2:14-26.

31, What is the gospel? Use Scripture in your answer.

32. Someone once said, "in the essentials, let there be unity; in the non-essentials, let there be liberty; and in all things, let there charity." Which of the following areas do you consider to be essentials, demanding unity for fellowship (i.e. within a local church), and which do you consider to be non-essential areas of liberty? Feel free to briefly explain your convictions.

i. justification by faith alone

ii. deity of Christ

iii. church government

iv. substitutionary atonement

v. six-day creation vs. theistic (or other theories of) evolution

vi. unconditional election

vii. cessationist vs. continuationist view of spiritual gifts

viii. eschatology

ix. inspiration and authority of Scripture

x. practice of church ordinances (specifically, baptism)

xi. use of particular bible version

xii. "gray areas" like dancing, card-playing, women's apparel, movies, smoking, social drinking, etc.

xiii. necessity of personal faith in Christ and repentance for salvation

xiv. worship styles

1 comment:

Lionel Woods said...

Hey Pastor Brian,

I am going to put this in a word document and go through it myself. This is amazing. Can I borrow it if you are given the credit? Or do you have it in a word file?