In December 2006 and again in December 2007 I taught at the Institute for Theology and Christian Ministry in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Yes, it was cold…and dark except for only six or so hours a day.)
In 2006 I taught “Medieval and Reformation Church History” and in 2007 I taught “Systematic Theology.” The “Systematic Theology” course is my response to a list of 38 questions developed by the administration, staff, students and myself. So, it is not very systematic, but it covers the ground most important to Russian believers.
Both of these courses are available on DVD or MP3 for $25 each and both courses contain 40 hours of lectures. Other courses from such luminaries as John Willis, Tom Olbricht, Paul Watson, Richard Oster and James Thompson among many others are also available. One could actually get the knowledge base for an M.Div. by listening to these CDs. [Update: Unfortunately, it appears that the English materials are no longer available on the website as of 05/21/2009.]
The Institute is doing a wonderful work of training leaders for Russia and other former soviet states. It would be a wonderful place for someone to study theology, learn the Russian language and also obtain a cooperative M.A. from the University of St. Petersburg. Any potential missional disciples interested in Russia?
Medieval and Reformation Church History Course
I have uploaded the powerpoints for the “Medieval and Reformation Church History” course below. Warning: thye are large files. These will help you follow the lectures if you listen to the audio but they make sense, for the most part, without the audio.
Medieval Catholicism and Orthodoxy (498 total slides)
Reformation (361 total slides)
1. Late Medieval Context and Lutheran Reformation
2. Swiss Reformation and Unity Efforts: Zwingli, Bucer and Early Calvin
3. The Radical Reformation
4. The French and English Reformations
5. Catholic Counter-Reformation and Religious Wars
Systematic Theology Course
Below are the questions that I covered in the “Systematic Theology” (more like an Advanced Catechism) course in St. Petersburg. I have uploaded my all-too-brief summary answers to the questions for those interested (36 single-spaced pages). The summaries were guides for the Russian translators as they read the Russian exam papers. These answers briefly summarize what I said in class on each question. The audios, of course, are much more expansive than what is contained in these short summaries.
Creation and Fall
1. Why Did God Create?
2. What is the Importance of Creation and Humanity’s Role in It?
3. What is the Origin of Evil?
4. Why does God Permit Suffering?
Story and Redemption
5. What is the Role of Lament among Believers?
6. What is the Relationship between Scripture and Tradition?
7. What is the Kingdom of God?
8. What is the Meaning of the Lord’s Prayer?
9. What is the Economic Trinity?
10. Is Jesus God?
11. What is the Relationship of the Human and Divine Natures in Jesus?
12. What is the Meaning of Atonement?
13. What is Baptism in the Spirit?
14. What are the Gifts of the Spirit?
15. How Important is Trinitarianism for Christian Unity?
16. What is the Nature of Salvation?
Faith, Baptism and Discipleship
17. Why is Baptism by Immersion Important?
18. What is the Relationship of Faith and Baptism?
19. What is the Relationship between Faith, Works and Assurance?
20. What is Discipleship?
21. What is the Nature of Christian Assembly?
22. What is the Significance of the Lord’s Day?
23. What is the Meaning of the Lord’s Supper?
24. How is Christ Present in the Supper?
25. Is it Necessary to Tithe?
26. What is the Role of Fasting and Confession in the Christian Community?
27. What is Church?
28. Upon what Must the Church Unite?
29. How Do We Relate to Those Outside the Unity of the Faith?
30. How Do We Relate to Other Religions?
31. What are the Strong Points of Orthodox Theology?
32. What are the Weak Points of Orthodox Theology?
Piety and the Saints
33. Are Icons Idolatrous?
34. Where are the Dead?
35. What Should We Teach about Mary and the Saints?
36. How Do I Interpret Revelation?
37. What is Hell?
38. What is the New Heaven and the New Earth?