Basic Theology Term Paper

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¶ … Theology

Sections IV-VI

Angels, demons, and Satan are persons. Satan is often presented to both the religious and secular communities as a label for an abstract concept of evil. I think it is possible that the misinterpretation could certainly work toward Satan's advantage simply because of the sheer enormity of the idea. Humans often have a fear of what they do not understand, and it is extremely difficult to truly understand such a grand, sweeping concept. This can lead the individual to become overwhelmed by their inability to grasp a concept, thereby opening a door for Satan to enter in. Fear will lead to a spiritual hijacking, and then the individual will be lead down the path of sin and way from God. Imagining Satan as a person scales down the concept of evil into more manageable pieces. It also leaves the opportunity for reflection on the fact that, if Satan does not personify evil, but is in fact a person with emotions, thoughts, and will, then there are other elements to evil as well. Once evil has been broken up into its individual components, it is much easier to fight, much like an algebraic equation must be broken down into its smaller components in order to work out the solution. Dealing with facets of evil one by one is far more productive than trying to wrestle a giant abstraction. This concept is solidified even more as the text moves into this discussion when Ryrie points out that if Satan were a personification then there could be no blame attached to him, and therefore God could not punish an abstraction. Since Satan was punished, it proves that Satan was a person.Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Term Paper on Basic Theology Assignment

Michael was promoted. Ryrie asserts that there are a finite number of angels in existence; there will never be any more, nor any less. He also asserts that in the governmental hierarchy of angels, there is only one archangel, Michael. However, later he points out that Satan was the archangel before his fall -- this is explicitly pointed out in at least two passages the author cites, and Ryrie also uses the fact that Michael did not dispute with Satan about Moses' body as additional proof of Satan's rank. Since Ryrie points out that the angels are a governmental body with a strict hierarchy and assignment of duties, then the space that Satan left from his fall had to be filled. Michael then apparently moved into that place from a clearly subordinate, though only subordinate to Satan, and of course God himself, Also, since angels are persona and have emotions, it is a valid question to wonder if Satan may feel that he has the advantage in the end times because he is, in fact, of higher rank than Michael. By the same assertion then, would Michael feel at all intimidated or inferior when the inevitable battle comes? Of course this idea moves into the idea that since God is omnipotent, and he foresaw Satan's fall, then perhaps Michael is not, in fact, inferior, but the original choice for the role of archangel to start with, he just simply had to wait for Satan to vacate his seat.

Adding of baptism is a fallacy. Certainly a huge cross-section, across denominations, of Christians believe that the baptism is a necessary tool, or rite of passage into the realm of forgiveness. In fact, there are many that espouse a hierarchy of sorts within the church that leaves those un-baptized souls at the very bottom, almost treated as outsiders, or spiritual neophytes. Ryrie states that there is no solid indication that baptism is this mandatory right of passage that we have been lead to believe. Instead, baptism is a result of forgiveness, not an entrance into forgiveness. Repentance is the crucial moment of entrance into the realm of God, and the baptism is a physical affirmation of this act.

Section XI

The Holy Spirit is a person. Just as I learned about Satan being a person, which was more of a cohesive moment, learning that the Holy Spirit is a person made the concept even less clear. Just the fact that this section asks not what the Holy Spirit is, but who the Holy Spirit is gives this idea more power. The Holy Spirit has always been a very difficult concept for many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, to truly grasp intellectually. Just as the idea of Satan being a person helps scale down the enormity of evil, knowing the Holy Spirit is a person as well, can also help scale down the enormity of the Spirit and all the complicated and dynamic interweaving of the Trinity. If the Holy Spirit is a person, then this person can be related to, communicated with, and answered to. It provides a believer with a much more accessible conception of the Holy Spirit's relationship with the other members of the Trilogy as well as His relationship to the believer.

Praying is not the way to be filled by the Holy Spirit. Being filled is not only an everyday act of submissiveness to His will, but it cannot be requested. This generates the idea that the act of praying to be filled itself is actually an act that prevents being filled. Praying for an action to be made requires that the worshipper be in conscious need of filling, and essentially that need and yearning to be filled has already filled the places within the soul that could potentially be filled to start with. Basically, being filled with desire means you're already full, even if it's with the wrong thing. This desire leaves no room for filling, and so an individual must rid themselves of the intensity of the desire to be filled leaving only a submission and faith that the filling will take place at the Spirit's will.

We don't know how to pray. Not only was this an important point by itself, but it also clarified point two even more. We do not know how to pray the way we should, and therefore we are falling short in our worshipping. Many people seem to be greedy in their prayers, which the Spirit helps us remedy by praying within us. Much like the child who stands on daddy's feet to learn the steps of a dance, the Spirit works within us to help guide us, demonstrating the proper way to pray through reverberating with the groaning, as well as helping with our minds and our hearts.

Section XII

Worthship. Language is an integral part of any culture, and it can be especially important to a spiritual community. Knowing that the word worship is a shortened form of the word "worthship" really crystallizes the meaning of the word. Not only does it help clarify the mundane meaning, but it makes the act of prayer that much more meaningful for the Christian. Prayer can often take the form of selfish desires if the worshipper isn't in the right frame of mind. Knowing the root of the word reminds us that prayer isn't about us, and shouldn't be so much about being a supplicant, instead it should be about reaching out and being submissive. It's an acknowledgement of His greatness and our position as sinners, and the word "worthship" really brings this concept back to the forefront.

There is no connection of the Lord's Day with the Sabbath. It's fascinating to note that there's an hierarchy of importance even within the Ten Commandments -- so much so that the Fourth Commandment isn't really stressed. It isn't even connected to the calendar since Ryrie points out that "a weekly division of time was unknown in the Greek and Roman world" (500). It makes even more profound though to know that the traditional day of worship seems to have been chosen because of Christ's appearances in various states were all on Sundays. This creates the feeling that our day of worship is connected in a much more intimate way with God and Christ. Also, it seems logical to conclude that if all of Christ's major events took place on Sundays, then the likelihood for His return to occur on a Sunday is extremely likely. How delightful for us all if this even occurred while all of the Christian worshippers were already in His house!

Not hasty, but with deliberate steps. One very common complaint among both the religious and secular communities about decisions that come down from the Church Officials is the time that it takes for these executive decisions to be made. For example, the recent scandals within the Catholic Church have been extremely hurtful to the organization, and the judicial methods they employ are still rather mysterious so many are simply unaware of the process that is taking place in deciding the manner of discipline to prescribe to the sinners. Many times I heard people complaining of the time it took to decide on the punishment of the sins of the clergy who were involved with the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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