Theology 121 Doing Catholic Theology Today Mr. Raoul Roncal Course Outline and Requirements

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Theology 121 Doing Catholic Theology Today Mr. Raoul Roncal

Course Outline and Requirements
Books for the Course

  1. Bible, New American Bible or English Standard Version

  2. Excerpts from the following:

    1. Jesus: A Gospel Portrait by Donald Senior

    2. Yes and No: Straight Answers to Tough Questions about Christianity by Peter Kreeft


  • Maximum number of cuts: 6


  1. Class Standing(3 till 5 Short Quizzes) 15%

  2. Group Project 10%

  3. One/Two Reflection Papers 5%

  4. Two Long Exams (Written/Oral) 40%

  5. Final Written Exam 30%=total 100%

Course Outline: Introduction to Doing Catholic Theology

  1. Understanding our Faith: Theology

In the face of the gap between Christian faith and everyday life, Theology, faith seeking understanding, aims to move the believer from an unexamined faith to a more mature understanding that includes critical reasoning, integration, inculturation, and community building.

Faith as seen in human relations is similar in structure as faith in God but faith in human relations is different from faith in God. Our Christian Faith is at once both: a) certain enough to die for, yet a “mystery” because like love, there is always more to understand; b) a free personal response to God, yet morally binding in conscience; c) reasonable, yet beyond our natural ways of knowing; d) a gift of God through both Revelation and interior inspiration, yet something we do; e) an individual act of our graced reason yet also a lifelong process; and f) a personal individual response, yet only possible as a member of the Christian community, the Church.
By Christian faith the human person commits one’s entire self to God. Integral Christian faith involves believing (Creed), doing (Commandments), and trusting (Worship).

  • Read a) Yes or No, By Peter Kreeft, Dialog One-Three pp. 1-25 (Xeroxed chapters in the periodicals section of the library) b) Faith by Herbert McCabe, God, Christ and Us (Continuum, 2003) {found in the Google Group files)

    1. What is doing Catholic Theology all about?

    2. Faith in Human Relations and Faith in God

    3. What is Faith?

    4. Challenges to our Faith: Facing Our Context

    5. Paradoxes of Faith ( An Introduction): Faith is a response to a God who reveals himself in Love

  1. What we Believe (have Faith) in: Revelation

  • Revelation is God’s personal loving Self-communication in the longing of human freedom through concrete historical means in creation, Sacred Scripture/ salvation history (biblical signs), in the Church (liturgical/ecclesial signs), in other religions but perfectly and fully in Jesus Christ (agent and content). This revelation, realized through words and deeds having an inner unity proclaimed by the apostles and communicated in the living tradition of the Church calls for a free personal and communal response.

  • Readings

  • Yes or No, By Peter Kreeft, Dialog 3 till 4, pp 17-34; The Problem of Evil, Dialog Five pp. 35-42

  • Argument of Design and The First Cause Argument and Can you prove that God Exist? by Peter Kreeft (Found in the Google group file section)

  • Summary of Chapters from Mere Christianity by CS Lewis (Found in the Google group file section)

    1. Can you prove that God exists? :

    2. The Rival Conceptions of God and the Unique Christian Message

    3. The Answer to the Problem of Evil: Jesus Christ—The Redeemer

  1. Passing on the Faith: Scripture and Tradition

Biblical Inspiration
Biblical inspiration means that the sacred and canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, whole and entire, were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God chose certain human authors who as true authors made full use of their human powers and faculties, yet were so guided by the Holy Spirit who so enlightened their minds and moved their wills, that they put down in writing what God wanted written (DV 11).
Biblical Interpretation

“The study of the sacred page, the very soul of sacred theology” (DV 24), guided by an understanding of the nature and purpose of the sacred text, demands a critical interpretation that leads not only to information but formation and transformation in our everyday lives within a believing community

Passing on the Faith 3: Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition

Sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition are bound closely together, flowing out from the same divine wellspring, moving towards the same goal and making up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God (DV 9, 10). The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God is entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church (DV 11).

  • Readings:

  • Yes or No? Straight Answers to Tough Questions about Christianity, by Peter Kreeft

  • The Bible: Fact or Myth? pp 67-78

    1. Sacred Scripture as the book of the Church

    2. The Nature of Scriptures

    3. The Purpose and Interpretation of Scripture

    4. The Joy of Discovery Bible Study (Workshop)

  1. Jesus Christ: Focal Point of Our Christian Faith

  • The canonical Gospels are preeminent among all the Scriptures (DV 18) and must be understood in terms of their nature and formation, with a spiritual exegesis of the text and an authentic interpretation for the life and faith of the world today.

  • “This is the time of fulfillment. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” (Mk. 1:15). Through Jesus’ words and deeds the Kingdom broke forth, demanding an urgent and radical response.

  • Jesus’ passion and death must not be understood separately from the rest of his life and ministry. Rather, they must be seen as the ultimate expression of his very life and love. Jesus died for our sins and his death on the cross redeemed us from sin.

  • Jesus’ resurrection fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies promising a Savior for all the world, confirmed everything he had done and taught, and freed us from sin and brought us to share in the new life as adopted children of the Father in the Holy Spirit. It is the basic principle and animating force for a truly Christian way of life and the source of hope for our future resurrection.

  • Readings

  • Who is Jesus?, Dialog Six, pp 43-50

  • The Resurrection, Dialog Seven, pp 51-56

  • Knowing Jesus, by Donald Senior pp 7-25

  • The World of Jesus by Donald Senior pp. 26-46

  • Jesus and His Own by Donald Senior pp 47-73

    1. Jesus Christ and the Gospels

    2. The World of Jesus and Jesus and his Own: Discipleship

    3. Understanding the Miracles in Gospels

    4. The Centrality of the Resurrection

    5. Jesus Speaks: The Proclamation of the Kingdom of God

    6. The Christian Community (The Church)

Conciliar Christology

The Church councils, challenged by particular insights and questions of the day, reflect significant moments in our ongoing reflections on the Christian faith. Nicaea and Chalcedon reflect a living tradition leading to a deeper understanding of and relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

    1. Conciliar Christology: Understanding the Divinity and Humanity of One Person: Jesus Christ

  1. Faith: Our Response

Faith is our response to God’s revelation. This involves every part of our person, the mind (believing), the will (doing), and the heart (trusting).

    1. Faith—Our Response of Believing, Doing and Trusting

    2. Concluding Reflection on Faith

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