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THEOLOGY I: God, Humanity, Sin, and Christ

BBST 251-05; BIOLA University; Spring 2013
TR 3:00-4:15pm

Professor: Rob Lister
Office: Talbot East 316
Phone: x3520
Office Hrs: Mon & Wed 10am-11:30, Tues & Thurs 11:00am-1:00pm. If you wish to meet, please email
me to set up an appointment time. Otherwise I cannot guarantee you a time slot.


The Biblical doctrines of God, Christ, humanity, and sin, with reference to the history and development of
Christian theology. Three units.


As a result of the completion of this course including the class discussion, reading, and written assignments, the
student will learn to:

1. Define and explain the theological concepts included in the major doctrines and the major differing
interpretations (including the ability to evaluate strengths and weaknesses).
2. Express the fundamental principles of the theological teaching of Scripture on the four topics of this course,
which means learning the meaning of these topics of biblical teaching and their relationships to the other
topics of Scripture.
3. Interpret biblical passages theologically to discern their individual meaning as parts of the whole revelation
that God has provided in Scripture.
4. Answer the major theoretical and practical questions relevant to the doctrines of this course by direct appeal
to the whole counsel of Scripture.
5. Interpret human history and personal life in the light of the doctrines of this course.
6. Apply Scripture to life in forming Christian character and spirituality.


Students desiring accommodations for your class on the basis of physical learning, psychological or emotional
disability are to contact The Learning Center which houses both learning assistance and disability services. The
Learning Center is located upstairs in the Biola Library, upper level, Room U-137, and can be reached by
calling 562.906.4542 or extension 4542 from on campus.


Wayne A. Grudem, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

John Piper, The Pleasures of God. rev. and exp. ed. Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 2000.

Coursepack Notes.

A good translation of the Bible (ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV). Bring your Bible to every session.


1. Class Attendance & Participation Attendance means arriving on or before the time that class is
scheduled to start, and staying until the class is over. We have a relatively limited amount of time to
cover an abundance of critical material. Our time together is sacred. So, please be on time.

Everyone starts with a 100 in this category, but points can be lost for the failure to attend or participate
in class. Physical presence alone is not enough to count for attendance and participation. That is, if you
are physically present, but sleeping, daydreaming, habitually inattentive, texting, emailing, video-
gaming, surfing the web etc. it will be counted as a class absence/failure to participate. You are
accountable for all information dealt with in class whether you were present or not. Come to class
having read the assigned material on-time and prepared to ask questions and discuss the topic at hand.

More than 2 absences during the semester will drop a students final attendance grade by 10
points per additional absence.

Truly extenuating circumstances (e.g. a death in the family, hospitalization) will be excused. Even in
such extreme cases the student should make every effort to notify the professor in advance (or ASAP) of
the class(es) to be missed, both for the purposes of class record keeping and more importantly so we, as
a class, can pray for you.

Two late arrivals or early departures = one absence. An attendance sheet will be passed around
during each class meeting. It is the students responsibility to initial it him/herself. Another student
may not initial it for you. Indicate a late arrival or early departure by circling your initials. Late
means after the class is scheduled to begin. An authorized absence (i.e. one excused by the professor)
should be indicated by writing excused in the block for that days attendance on your return.

2. Reading The student is required to complete all readings as indicated in the class schedule. Read all
assigned materials carefully and thoughtfully. Skimming is not sufficient to receive full credit.
Assigned readings are considered testable material There will be test questions taken from your
reading. You must report your reading on the reading report attached to this syllabus and submit it on
the final day of class. If the student does not document his/her reading accordingly and submit it as
instructed on the final day of class he/she will receive a 0% for the reading portion of the grade.
Consult the reading report form for complete instructions. The reading load will be heaviest in the first
half the semester. But if you make it part of your routine to read it thoughtfully, it will be a source of
significant blessing to you. If you form the habit of reading one of the assigned chapters every day,
except Sundays, you will find that within a couple of weeks you will be comfortably ahead of the
reading schedule.

3. Tests There will be 2 objective (e.g. multiple choice, true/false, matching) tests administered in class.
These exams will test your understanding of the most important concepts from the class discussion and
assigned reading. Each test will cover the material up through the previous class lecture, unless
instructed otherwise. Make-up exams will not be given except in the case of a serious emergency.
See course calendar for dates.

4. Writing Assignment 1 - Meditation Papers A much neglected discipline of Christian life and theology
is Scripture meditation. Essentially, Scripture meditation involves 1) a continuous process of
remembering and musing over Scriptures teaching, and 2) a reassessment and reshaping of ones life in
light of that teaching. For each major section of our course, we will follow a practice of meditating on
some assigned Scripture portions. Students will meditate on each of the assigned Scripture passages
twice a week, for a minimum of 15 minutes per passage, over the course of seven weeks.
At the end of that time, the student will write a personal reflection on these passages, particularly
focusing on how our lives and ministries have been (or need to be) challenged by the truths reflected
upon. You will turn in one 3 page paper containing separate reflections (of roughly 1.5 pages per) on
each assigned text. These papers should be 3 full pages in length.

Students will log the number of times they meditated on each passage on the meditation report form
attached to the syllabus. This form is to be completed, signed, and stapled to the meditation report when
it is handed in. This assignment does not require any additional research, but students are still
accountable for following the guidelines for writing assignments stipulated below.

Students may find that keeping a meditation journal along the way is helpful for accumulating thoughts
about a passage that can be drawn upon when writing the reflection paper. For this assignment use a
translation such as ESV, NASB, NIV, NKJV. Requests to use other translations must be approved by
the professor. See course calendar for due dates.

Passages for First Seven Weeks on God and Humanity Isaiah 40, Psalm 8

Passages for Second Seven Weeks on Sin and Christ Romans 5:12-21, Isaiah 52:13 53:12

5. Extra Credit Option (3%) Book review of Piper. Though the book review is optional extra credit, the
Piper reading is required and you will be tested on it.

This is an academic (as opposed to creative) writing assignment. This does not mean that your papers
should be sterile, but the emphasis is primarily on the quality of biblical argumentation.

If you choose to complete this assignment follow the general writing and style guidelines below, and
further consult the guideline to writing this book review that is posted on Blackboard. Should you
choose to submit this assignment, your book review will be expected to conform exactly to these
guidelines. Following the prescribed guidelines will enhance the amount of points you receive. Failure
to follow the guidelines will significantly diminish the amount of extra credit you may be awarded.


1. All written assignments should have a centered bold face title at the top of the first page. E.g.,

Meditation Paper #1

2. Hand print (legibly) your first and last names, course time, and date submitted all in the upper right
hand corner.

3. Left justify your papers only.

4. Staple your paper in the upper left hand corner. (Do not use paper clips, sleeves, binders, or any
other form of fastening device.) Be sure that the staple goes all the way through. Failure to do so will
result in an automatic deduction of 5 points.

5. Avoid contractions in academic writing.

6. Formatting must be: a) typed in 12 pt, Times New Roman font, b) double-spaced, with one inch
margins on the top, bottom, and sides, and c) insert page numbers on every page of your paper, in
the bottom, right hand corner. (Do not hand write your page numbers.)

7. For the meditation papers, use parenthetical references when you want to refer to a specific verse
in the assigned passage, e.g. (Ps 8:1).

8. For the extra credit book review, you may use parenthetical references to cite the authors ideas.

9. If you include citations of other authors (something you need not do for these assignments) in your
book review, those citations will need to be in the form of footnotes (not endnotes) that conform to the
style indicated in Kate Turabians A Manual for Writers . . . .

10. Generally speaking, do not fill up your papers with quotations, either of Scripture, or of the
authors you are reading. Restate their ideas in your own words, and use a parenthetical reference to
give credit for the idea either to the Scripture passage or the book you are referencing.

11. Without a doubt, the most significant content weakness that I repeatedly see in student papers is that
of unsupported assertions. Do not assert a biblical/theological claim without supporting that claim
with biblical citation and rationale.

Ex. 1 (Blanket Assertions Without Providing Biblical Support) - Do not make an assertion
like, The NT clearly endorses infant baptism without a biblical argument to justify that claim.

Ex. 2 (Appeal to Presumed Common Knowledge Within Ones Theological Tradition) - Do
not simply say, Everybody knows that once youre saved, youre always saved, so you cant
lose your salvation. Prove the point from Scripture.

Ex. 3 (Appeal to Personal Experience to the Neglect of Biblical Discussion) - Do not simply
say, I speak in tongues, so clearly the gift of tongues is available today without supporting the
claim biblically.

A final word here oftentimes, listing one verse will not suffice to justify a particular claim,
since a number of Bible passages have to be harmonized to account for the totality of biblical
teaching on a given topic.


Points will be deducted for the following: Papers that are too short, too long, poor biblical/theological
engagement, failing to follow assignment directions, spelling, grammar, and formatting errors.

Papers are due at the beginning of class on the assigned due date. Do not expect to receive full credit if
class has begun and your paper has not been submitted. No extensions will be granted.

Late papers will be penalized 25 points (out of 100 total possible points) per day late.

I do not accept papers through email.


First Meditation Paper 10%
Second Meditation Paper 10%
Attendance and Participation 10%
Test 1 25%
Test 2 25%
Reading 20%
Total 100%

Extra Credit Book Review Possible to Earn an Additional 3%


A 94-100 = truly exceptional work that exceeds expectations
A- 90-93 = excellent work; careful thinking and/or writing
B+ 87-89 = very good work
B 84-86 = good work; satisfies basic requirements
B- 80-83 = decent work; a few shortcomings
C+ 77-79 = fair; fails to meet some requirements
C 74-76 = did enough to get by; more errors present
C- 70-73 = mix of some fair work with much substandard work
D+ 67-69 = more substandard than fair
D 64-66 = substandard work; incomplete satisfaction of the requirements
D- 60-63 = poor work; barely passing
F 59 or below = fails to meet necessary requirements for credit


Jan 29 First Day of Semester

Mar 13 -15 Missions Conference No Classes Wed - Fri

Mar 26 Test 1

Mar 28 - 1
Meditation Paper Due

Mar 29 Apr 7 Easter Friday & Spring Break

May 16 Final Day of Instruction - 2
Meditation Paper Due; Reading Report due (& Extra Credit if you
did it)

May 20 Final Exam Week (see finals schedule for date and time of Test 2)

***NOTE: I give the final on the day set by the Registrars Office. Barring emergencies, I will not
permit individuals to reschedule their final exam at another time. Early flights home do not qualify.


Blackboard Make sure you have access and that youve put in an email address you routinely check.

Cheating, Academic Dishonesty, Plagiarism:
Biola University sees any form of plagiarism as a serious problem with serious consequences. Instances of
plagiarism or cheating will immediately result in the student receiving a grade of 0 for the assignment in
question, and depending on the professors judgment, may also result in the students failing the class. Please
refer to the academic integrity statement in the Student Handbook, Academic and Behavioral Standards section
for further clarification of academic dishonesty.

Respect for Divergent Viewpoints - Students are to show appropriate respect for each other even when divergent
viewpoints are expressed in the classroom. Disrespect for other persons will not be tolerated. Such respect does
not require agreement with or acceptance of divergent viewpoints.

Computer Use in Class Computers are allowed in the classroom, at the discretion of the professor, for the sole
purpose of taking notes. Using a computer in class is a privilege, not a right. Students who are caught using the
internet, emailing, gaming, etc. will lose that privilege.

Cell Phones Cell phones must be turned to vibrate before class begins. Texting, gaming, checking voice mail,
accepting or making calls during class will not be tolerated. I should not see any cell phones out during exams.

Modesty Per the guidelines in the Student Handbook, please dress appropriately for class.


Grading Standards for Written Work:
Whereas Biola University desires to maintain the highest standards with respect to the composition of all written
work, any student paper exhibiting poor grammar, spelling errors, typographical errors, or other substandard
academic expression shall have the overall grade for that paper reduced accordingly. Generally, a paper will be
deemed substandard and ineligible to receive an "A" grade when it averages three or more compositional
errors per page. Moreover, at the discretion of the professor, the substandard paper may be returned to the
student for correction and resubmission with appropriate grade penalties. Students deficient in writing skills may
seek assistance at the Biola Writing Center.


This syllabus is intended to reflect accurately the items mentioned above. During the course of the class
however, the professor reserves the right to modify any portion of this syllabus to fit the educational needs of
our particular class in whatever way I deem necessary.

No part of this course, including the syllabus, handouts, web pages, and presentation software files, may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise, without the prior written permission of the professor. If permission is sought and granted, the
professor must be acknowledged as the source of the material.

! 2013 Rob Lister


If you complete all the weeks assigned reading give yourself a 100. Deduct 20 points per day the reading is late. E.g. 1
day late gives you a grade of 80 for that weeks reading. 2 days late gives you a grade of 60 for the week. Anything short
of the full assignment is considered late (whether its 2 pages short or 20). Reading is to be considered late if it is not
completed by Wednesday at the start of class on the specified weekly due date.

Assignment Due Date Score
Week 1. Piper Ch. 1; Grudem Ch. 1

Jan 31

W2. Piper Ch 2; Grudem Chs 9-11

Feb 7
W3. Piper Ch 3, Grudem Chs 12-13

Feb 14
W 4. Piper Ch 4; Grudem Chs 14-15 &
Appendix 6
Feb 21
W 5. Piper Chs 5-7

Feb 28
W 6. Piper Chs 8-10

Mar 7
W 7. Piper, Epilogue; Grudem Chs 16-
Mar 14 This is Missions Conference
week; reading is still due at the normal

W 8. Piper, Appendix; Grudem Ch 21 Mar 21

W 9. Grudem Ch 22 Mar 28

W 10. Grudem Ch 23 Apr 11 note: there is no reading
assigned over Spring break

W 11. Grudem Ch 24 Apr 18

W 12. Grudem Ch 25

Apr 25
W13. Grudem Ch 26 & 27

May 2
W14. Grudem Ch 28 May 9

W15. Grudem Ch 29 May 16 note: this is the last day of

Average your total grade at the end of the semester for submission on the final day of class, by adding up all of your weekly
scores and dividing them by the number of weeks (15) listed. Then round up to the nearest whole point. This will be your
final reading grade. For example, if my reading report consists of thirteen 80s, and two 40s, then my point total is 1120.
When I divide 1100 by 15, I get an average of 74.6666. I may then round that up to a 75 for my overall reading average.

Hand write your final reading grade in the designated space, circle it, and sign and date the form, and hand it in on the final
day of class. Students who do not document and submit their reading report according to these instructions will
receive a 0% for the reading portion of the grade.

My Total Reading Average = __________________

With God as my witness, I promise that I have accurately and honestly reported my weekly reading scores as well as my
overall reading average.

Signature: ______________________________ Date: ______________________

Print Name: _____________________________

Please circle the number of times you meditated on the assigned passages each week. Staple the Report
Form #1 to the back of your first meditation paper (which should be 3 total pages long) and hand it in on
its respective due date. Please recall the other guidelines in the syllabus for submitting written work.

Isa 40 Ps 8

1. Week of Feb 3 0 1 2 0 1 2

2. of Feb 10 0 1 2 0 1 2

3. Feb 17 0 1 2 0 1 2

4. Feb 24 0 1 2 0 1 2

5. Mar 3 0 1 2 0 1 2

6. Mar 10 0 1 2 0 1 2

7. Mar 17 0 1 2 0 1 2

With God as my witness, I promise that I have accurately and honestly reported the number of times I have done
the assigned meditations each week.

Signature: ______________________________ Date: ______________________

Print Name: ____________________________


Please circle the number of times you meditated on the assigned passages each week. Staple the Report
Form #2 to the back of your second meditation paper (which should be 3 total pages long) and hand it in
on its respective due date. Please recall the other guidelines in the syllabus for submitting written work.

Rom 5:12-21 Isa 52:13 53:12

8. Week of Mar 24 0 1 2 0 1 2

9. of Mar 31 0 1 2 0 1 2

10. Apr 7 0 1 2 0 1 2

11. Apr 14 0 1 2 0 1 2

12. Apr 21 0 1 2 0 1 2

13. Apr 28 0 1 2 0 1 2

14. May 5 0 1 2 0 1 2

With God as my witness, I promise that I have accurately and honestly reported the number of times I have done
the assigned meditations each week.

Signature: ______________________________ Date: ______________________

Print Name: _____________________________


Legibly, write your answers to the following questions. STAPLE a picture of yourself to this form and turn
both in at the beginning of the 2
class meeting, along with your signature below.

Name (First and Last):

Other BIOLA teams, organizations, or activities
you are involved with:

Class Section and Time:

Other off-campus activities, ministries,


Current thoughts about career goals:

Year at Biola (e.g. Jr, Sr):

Favorite Food/Place to Eat:


Favorite movie:

Hometown and State:

Favorite Book (besides the Bible):

Why you came to BIOLA:

Favorite Book of the Bible:
Other courses youre taking this term:

What do you value most in your teachers?:

How long have you been a believer?:

How can I pray for you?:

What sort of church (i.e. denomination) have you
attended most growing up?:

Anything else you would like me to know about

What local church are you attending now?:

I have read the course syllabus and realize that I am accountable for all that it contains. I also realize that I should check
the syllabus when I have questions about assignments/expectations of the course. I have set up my blackboard access.

Printed Name: ____________________ Signature: ___________________ Date: _____________