God and the Great Ideas I: Old Testament Pentateuch


The goal of this course is to gain a deeper understanding of God, the central figure in the Old Testament, and gain a familiarity with the various great ideas that are encountered within God’s story. At the end of the course, the student should have an understanding of who God is, and how he is foundational to the various great ideas as they are found in the Old Testament.

Release Date: Coming Soon!
Format: Online Course

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This course surveys the Old Testament and focuses on the narrative aspect of the literature and its themes – such as creation, fall, and redemption. We will explore God’s nature through his interactions with the cosmos and its inhabitants. That interaction is the basis for the Judeo-Christian understanding of many great ideas. The ancient Israelite culture was filled with practices and symbols that are rich with theological significance. By understanding these the student will learn how great ideas are incarnated in a culture.
The books in the Old Testament are grouped into five modules. A contextual introduction is provided for each book and each module of the course followed by a survey of the book. The great ideas are discussed as they arise in the texts. Through this approach the student will an understanding of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Comparative interpretations of passages containing great ideas are given — for instance, Genesis has been interpreted as either teaching an ex nihilo creation or a functional ordering of the cosmos. We will delve into the different views and their implications on our understanding of God and the great ideas. This survey also introduces the student to other Ancient Near East texts that overlap with one of the great ideas being discussed.

Since an O.T. survey can be split across multiple semesters, this course can be made available at the module level or bundled together.

Outline: The course will be split into five modules:
• Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
• Historical Narratives (Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1, 2 Samuel, 1, 2 Kings, 1, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah)
• Poetry and Wisdom Books (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs)
• Major Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel)
• Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi)

Future Courses: After the Old Testament course, a New Testament course can be created following the same methodology and continuing the same themes. Completion of the two courses will give the student a robust understanding of the Judeo-Christian worldview. Following the two surveys, an apologetics course can be created that would lay out a defense of the Judeo-Christian worldview in relationship to the great ideas. For instance, the apologetics course will look at the evidence of the imago dei in humans, and explore what that implies about mankind’s meaning and purpose in life? Other topics in the apologetics course will look at good and evil — is there an argument to be made from morality or from the existence of evil? “The heavens declare the glory of God,” says the psalmist, but do the cosmological and fine tuning arguments agree? The apologetics course will complement the two survey courses by giving evidence and reasons to trust the biblical worldview, and exploring how we can think about and apply some great ideas found in the scriptures.

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