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Online · School of Divinity · Theological Studies

Doctrine of God
THEO-626

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

A study of the existence, nature, and attributes of the triune God. Contains a study of such doctrines as the decree of God, Creation, the providence of God, and the doctrine of the Trinity.

Requisites

Prerequisite

THEO 525

Rationale

For students seeking advanced studies in theology and apologetics this course develops themes discussed in the foundational systematic theology classes relating specifically to the Christian doctrine of God. These include classic and modern discussions concerning the existence and attributes of God and with the works of God in relation to creation and providence. It is designed for those students who wish to secure a theology focus in their Master’s program or in preparation for admission to advanced programs such as the Th.M. or the Ph.D.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify topics and issues of importance to the contemporary evangelical Church in regard to the doctrine of God.
  2. Develop and defend an appropriate thesis statement in response to a research question concerning the doctrine of God in its historical and evangelical context.
  3. Formulate a critical assessment of the principle agents and ideas that shape ancient and modern understandings of the Christian God.
  4. Reflect upon and synthesize relevant data from authoritative, biblical, and theological sources in a persuasive essay arguing for the logical cogency of a thesis statement.
  5. Articulate a clear and compelling research question regarding some aspect of the Christian doctrine of God.
  6. Compile and compose personal and theological reflections regarding the doctrine of God and its significance for life and ministry.

Course Resources

Required Resources

The resources below are provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Bray, Gerald. L. The Doctrine of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993.

Feinberg, John. S. No One Like Him. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2001.

Froese, Paul., and Christopher Bader. America’s Four Gods. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Sanders, Fred. The Triune God. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2016.

Wells, David F. God in the Whirlwind: How the Holy-Love of God Reorients Our World. Wheaton: Crossway, 2014.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

    1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
    2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
    3. Blackboard recommended browsers
    4. Microsoft Word
    5. School of Divinity Writing Guide: https://www.liberty.edu/divinity/index.cfm?PID=28160

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

The student will participate in 2 Discussion Board Forums. The student will submit a thread of 400–500 words and reply to at least 3 peers’ threads in 250 words or more each.

Reflection Paper

The student will read America’s Four Gods by Froese & Bader and prepare a 2-page reflection on the question, “Why God?” using current Turabian format. Specifically, the question is related to the general understanding of the biblical God and how God is perceived in the student’s personal experience, church, and community. In what way(s) did the student resonate with the authors’ research and conclusions?

Annotated Bibliography

The student will submit an annotated bibliography comprising of 5 scholarly sources selected through the Liberty University Online’s Library, “Christian Periodical Index” or “ATLA Database.” As with all assignments, this will be submitted according to current Turabian formatting.

Research Project

The Research Project will be 12–15 pages and submitted in stages. In Module/Week 4, the student will submit a thesis statement and summary of a research topic. In Module/Week 6, the student will submit the outline and introduction in preparation for the final paper. A template will be provided for the first 2 portions of the assignment located under Assignment Instructions.

Theological Reflection Journal

The student will keep a weekly journal reflecting on the importance and significance of the study of the Christian Doctrine of God. The journal will reflect on personal, practical, and ministry applications of what the student is learning. The student will post a journal entry each week for a total of 8 entries.

Essay Exams (2)

Midterm Essay Exam: At the beginning of Module/Week 5, the student will be given a prompt that will suffice as the topic for his or her Midterm Essay Exam. By the end of the module/week, the student will submit a 1000–1200-word essay synthesizing course reading and outside research into an articulate and cogent response to the exam prompt.

Final Essay Exam: At the beginning of Module/Week 7, the student will be given a prompt that will suffice as the topic for his or her Final Essay Exam. By the end of the module/week, the student will submit a 3-page essay focusing on inquiry and action as he or she responds to the exam prompt.

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist

Discussion Board forums (2 at 50 pts ea)

10

100

Reflection Paper

50

Annotated Bibliography

100

Research Project:

       Thesis and Summary

       Outline and Introduction

       Final Submission

 

50

50

250

Theological Reflection Journal

 

100

Essay Exams (2 at 150 pts ea)

 

300

Total

1010

Policies

Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit https://www.liberty.edu/online/online-disability-accommodation-support/. Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at http://www.liberty.edu/index.cfm?PID=19155.

Schedule

THEO 626

Textbooks:   Bray, The Doctrine of God (1993).

Feinberg, No One Like Him (2001).

Froese & Bader, America’s Four Gods (2015).

Sanders, The Triune God (2016).

Wells, God in the Whirlwind (2014).

Module/Week

Reading & Study

Assignments

Points

1

Bray: Intro and ch. 1

Froese & Bader: chs. 1–7

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions

Reflection Paper

DB Forum 1

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 1*

10

0

50

50

--

2

Bray: ch. 2

Feinberg: chs. 2, 5

Annotated Bibliography

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 2*

100

--

3

Feinberg: ch. 3

Wells: chs. 1-4

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 3*

50

--

4

Feinberg: chs. 6–7

Wells: chs. 5-7

1 presentation

Research Project: Thesis and Summary

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 4*

50

--

5

Feinberg: ch. 8

Wells: chs. 8-9

1 presentation

Midterm Essay Exam

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 5*

150

--

6

Bray: chs: 3–5

Feinberg: ch. 10

Sanders: Intro, chs. 1-4

1 presentation

Research Project: Outline and Introduction

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 6*

50

--

7

Feinberg: ch. 12

Sanders: chs. 5-8

1 presentation

Final Essay Exam

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 7*

150

--

8

Feinberg: ch. 16

Sanders: ch. 9

Research Project: Final Submission

Theological Reflection Journal Entry 8

250

100

Total

1010

DB = Discussion Board

*This journal will not be graded until Module/Week 8 with Journal Entry 8.

 

NOTE:  Each course week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET).  The final week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.