Survey Studies In Reformed Theology

Class Syllabus for the Genevan Institute for Reformed Studies

(based upon the Westminster Confession of Faith)

by Bob Burridge ©1996, 2006, 2011, 2016
2018 edits are added as completed

Unit 1 – How We Know About God (Prolegomena) (WCF I) 2016 updates completed
Foundational studies: Scripture, the source of theological truth.
1. Knowing Truth the possibility of knowledge, systematic truth, the value of written confessions – (Video)
2. Revelation general and special revelation – (Video)
3. The Canon of Scripture Which books belong in the Bible? – (Video)
4. The Inspiration of Scripture organic, verbal, and plenary – (Video)
5. The Preservation of the text of Scripture confidence in the biblical text, some problem texts – (Video)
6. The Translation of Scripture the value and use of Bible translations – (Video)
7. The Interpretation of Scripture apologetics, orthotomic study, Spirit illumination – (Video)

Other Readings:
A. A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith (Introduction, ch. 1)
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 1, Introduction)
W. G. T. Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 1 Introduction, Bibliology)
L. Berkhof: Principles of Biblical Interpretation
Westminster Faculty: The Infallible Word (a symposium)
Berkeley Mikelsen: Interpreting the Bible (pages 99-176)
Cornelius Vantil: The Defense of the Faith
O. Palmer Robertson: The Christ of the Covenants

Unit 2 – Theology Proper (WCF II-V) 2016 updates completed
The study of the nature and person of God
1. Knowing God logic and the “proofs” of God – Video
2. The Revealed Nature of God the attributes of God and his purpose in creation – Video
3. The Trinity Modeling the unknowable, defining “Trinity” – Video
4. The Decrees of God Fatalism, extent of the decrees, the cause of sin and evil – Video
5. The Decree of CreationVideo
Part 1 – The Boundaries of the Doctrine of Creation Creation out of nothing, Creationism (Part 1 PDF)
Part 2 – The Events of Genesis One views of the “days” and age of the universe (Part 2 PDF)
Part 3 – Beyond Genesis One the original Sabbath, theories of Creationism (Part 3 PDF)
supplement – Primeval Chronology – W.H.Green (1890 in Bibliotheca Sacra)
supplement – PCA Creation Committee Report
6. The Creation and Nature of Man the manner of man’s creation, man’s nature (dicotomy/tricotomy) – Video
7. God’s Providence Deism, Fatalism, Pantheism, Mysticism, extent of the sovereign decrees, foreknowledge, sin – Video part 1Video part 2
8. Special Providence and Miracles “Miracles” defined and their purpose, do they happen today? – Video

Other Readings:
A. A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith (chs. 2-5)
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 1, Theology)
L. Berkhof: Systematic Theology (Part 1)
W. G. T. Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 1, Theology ch 4-9)
Stephen Charnock: The Existence and Attributes of God
William Hetherington: History of the Westminster Assembly of Divines

Unit 3 – Objective Soteriology (WCF VI-VIII)
The study of God’s provision of salvation.
1. Man’s Fall Into Sin Genesis 2-3, sin’s consequences, God’s curse and promises
– Video (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)
2. God’s Covenant With Man the covenants in Scripture, Original Sin, unity and diversity of the Covenants
– Video (part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)
3. Jesus Christ, the Mediator Jesus as Prophet, Priest and King, Hypostatic Union, states of Christ, Did Jesus Descend into Hell?, propitiation, atonement, expiation, reconciliation, Christ’s active and passive obedience
– Video (part 1) (part 2) (part 3)

Other Readings:
O. Palmer Robertson: The Christ of the Covenants
A. A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith (chs 6-8)
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 2, Part 3, chs 1-13)
L. Berkhof: Systematic Theology (Part 2)
W. G. T. Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 2, Anthropology)
W. G. T. Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 2, Soteriology 1-2)
B. B. Warfield: The Plan of Salvation
John Murray: Redemption: Accomplished and Applied
Abraham Kuyper: The Work of the Holy Spirit

Unit 4 – Subjective Soteriology (WCF IX-XVIII)
The study of the application of salvation
1. Free Will man’s “will” defined, the concept of freedom, the states of man’s moral nature
2. Effectual Call God’s resistible and irresistible call, election, Lapsarianism, reprobation, “Common Grace”
3. Justification judicial innocence, sanctification, Dispensationalism
4. Adoption becoming part of the Family of God forever
5. Sanctification the means, process and extent of Sanctification, perfectionism, the “Carnal Christian” doctrine
6. Of Saving Faith its nature, elements, and work of the Holy Spirit
7. Repentance Unto Life meaning, grounds, and nature of repentance
8. Good Works the proper place of good works and the Means of Grace
9. Perseverance of the Saints salvation is an imperishable and inalienable gift of God
10. Assurance of Grace and Salvation confidence of our own salvation

Other Readings:
A. A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith (chs 9-18)
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 2, Part 3, ch 14)
L. Berkhof: Systematic Theology (Part 3-4)
W. G. T. Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 2 Soteriology 3-6)
R. B. Kuiper: For Whom Did Christ Die?
John Owen: The Death of Death in the Death of Christ
Morton H. Smith: Studies in Southern Presbyterian Theology
R. B. Kuiper: God-Centered Evangelism

Unit 5 – Nomology
The study of God’s law (WCF IXX-XXIV)
1. The Law of God categories of biblical law, law and grace
2. Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience from what are believers set free?
3. The Regulative Principle God prescribes how he is to be worshiped
4a. The Elements of Regulated Worship (part 1) worship elements, the call to worship, prayer (is there an unpardonable sin?)
4b. The Elements of Regulated Worship (part 2) preaching, music in worship, the Sacraments
5. Worship and the Sabbath Day the nature of Sabbath in each era of biblical history
6. Lawful Oaths and Vows our solemn promises to God and to man
7. The Civil Magistrate principles of biblical civil government
8a. Marriage Defined purpose and limitations upon marriage
8b. The Godly Husband loving leadership in the home
8c. The Godly Wife biblical submission and the wife’s part in marriage
8d. Biblical Parenting principles for raising godly children
9. Divorce when may a marriage bond be dissolved?

Other Readings:
A.A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith ch 19-24
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 3, Part 3, ch 19)
Zacharias Ursinus: Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (Lord’s Day 34-44)
John Murray: Principles of Conduct
Greg Bahnsen: No Other Standard: Theonomy and Its Critics
Barker & Godfrey: Theonomy: A Reformed Critique
John Murray: Divorce
R.J. Rushdoony: Institutes of Biblical Law

Unit 6 – Ecclesiology
The study of the Church (WCF XXV-XXXI)
Westminster Confession of Faith chapters 25-31
1. The Church visible and invisible, the church in the Apostles’ Creed, Jesus as head of the true church
2. The Communion of Saints members of the true church
3. The Sacraments the Sacraments as a Means of Grace
4. Baptism its meaning, mode, significance, subjects and efficacy
5. The Lord’s Supper the nature of the Lord’s Supper as a Means of Grace, its elements and administration
6. Church Censures discipline of members in the church
7. Synods and Councils the government of the church and relationship of churches

Other Readings:
A.A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith ch 25-31
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 3, Pt 3, ch 20)
Jay E. Adams: Shepherding God’s Flock
W.G.T.Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 2, Soteriology ch 7)
L. Berkhof: Systematic Theology (Pt 5 The Means of Grace)
Geerhardus Vos: Biblical Theology
John Murray: Christian Baptism
George P. Huchinson: The History Behind the RPCES
Berghoef & DeKoster: The Elders Handbook & the Deacons Handbook

Unit 7 – Eschatology
The study of the fulfillment of the ages (WCF XXXII-XXXIII)
1. Overview of Special Eschatology various views of the end times and the church era, millennial views
2. The Great Tribulation of Matthew 24 a detailed study of Matthew 24
3. The Millennium a detailed study of Revelation 20 and the final Judgment

Other Readings:
A.A. Hodge: Commentary on the Confession of Faith ch 32-33
C. Hodge: Systematic Theology (Vol 3, Pt 4, ch 1-4)
W.G.T.Shedd: Dogmatic Theology (Vol 2, Eschatology)
L. Berkhof: Systematic Theology (Part 6)
O.T.Allis: Prophesy and the Church
Gary DeMar: Last Days Madness
J. Marcellus Kik: An Eschatology of Victory

Leave a Reply