What are the essentials? Do Christians even know them? And do they honestly matter all that much?
We’re gearing up for an Easter Season launch of a virtual class series titled “Christianity: The Essentials.” The 6-session study focuses on several essential tenets of the faith. We’ll look through the lens of Scripture first, then the Creeds (primarily the Nicene), and finally the hard-won words of the Church Fathers without whom we wouldn’t have the orthodox theological framework on which we rely.
Start date: Wednesday, May 6, at 7 PM (Pacific) (continuing then for 5 additional Wednesday nights, wrapping up on June 10) on Zoom and Facebook Live.
Here’s how to connect each Wednesday evening:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 952 7478 3616
Dial in (audio only)
(669) 900-6833, or
Meeting ID: 952 7478 3616
1.Prelude to the Series [booklet format]. Scripture above all; common Creeds; wisdom from the Fathers. What is heresy? Is theology really necessary? [Here is a single page-at-a-time version of the study guide].
2. Christ the Son, Begotten of the Father, Not Created. Why the word “Father” for God? What does Scripture say? What does the creed say? [Single page-view format].
4. The Trinity. Is the Trinity in the Bible? What does Scripture say, and are there conflicts about the equality of the Godhead? What does the creed say? What about the Fathers: Gregory of Nazianzus and Augustine. [Single page-view format].
5. Sin, Grace, and the Human Condition. The question of the means and the purpose of human salvation. What’s sin? What is it that Jesus did on and by the cross? What does Scripture say? Learning from Irenaeus. Will and choice. [Single page-view format].
6. The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting. The question of the resurrection. What does Scripture say? What did the Apostolic Fathers say and do? [Single page-view format].
One helpful note: Each .pdf document is a facsimile of a print-ready booklet. The very best way to see and use it is to download the file, then print it out in color if possible, landscape, front/back.
Sources for Christianity: The Essentials:
We’ll be looking carefully at Holy Scripture for this study, of course, so participants will want to have a good study Bible ready to go. A detailed booklet will also accompany each week’s session. In addition, we’ll be drawing from these wonderful resources (purchase is not necessary but might be helpful):
Christopher Hall. Learning Theology with the Church Fathers. Downer’s Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2002.
Gerald McDermott. The Great Theologians: A Brief Guide. Downer’s Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2010.
The Nicene Creed. Wiki article showing several English versions available by clicking here.
Image above, left: “Saint Thomas Aquinas,” Bernardino Mei. c. 1660. Oil on canvas. From the Chigi-Saracini Collection, Sienna, Italy.