I. Introduction: As I said in my first Reflection Paper, my knowledge and exposure to Christianity has been somewhat limited. Throughout my life I have been a person who wanted to know “Why” and have factual proof to support my thoughts and ideas. I have chosen Historical Theology and Fulfilled Prophecy as my two topics. By reading about Historical Theology I am developing a better understanding of some of the essential points of Christian Doctrine. Fulfilled Prophesies provide definitive proof to give my beliefs in Christianity and the Bible a solid foundation. I plan on using both to develop as a knowledgeable and responsible Christian. Since my knowledge of these two topics is in its infancy and I must always keep in mind to crawl before walking and walk before running.
II. Part One: Historical Theology
a. Historical Theology is described as the study of the development and history of Christian doctrine. While closely related to Historical Theology, Church History should remain separate from Historical Theology. Historical Theology records changes in doctrine that led to divisions and movements within church and Church History is the record of the divisions and movements.
b. Luke gives us the Biblical Foundation for Theological History. He began by recording his account of “all that Jesus began to do and to teach” (Acts 1:1). The book of Acts is the account of what Jesus continued to do and teach through his church. Acts 28:30-31 conclude with, “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldness and without hindrance!”
c. While not one of my deepest thoughts, I’ve often wondered why there were so many different churches all claiming to be the one true path to the end goal of heaven. As I progress in my readings of Church History, I am awed by the impact relatively small revisions in doctrine have upon Church History and Historical Theology. A change in wording or different interpretation of a word, phrase or paragraph resulted in “A new and improved version.” I welcome and value the benefits of the church community, but since becoming a “Christian” the desire to belong to the right church doesn’t have the same strength as my desire need for salvation.
III. Part Two: Fulfilled Prophecy
a. The Bible is the Word of God and provides our path to salvation. Fulfilled prophecy provides positive and unerring proof of the validity and accuracy of the Bible. However, while I believe this, there are those who don’t. They use false arguments such as, man wrote the bible and since man is fallible how can the Bible be the Word of God? I have found references that agree there are about 2,500 prophecies of which nearly 2,000 have been fulfilled. That’s 2,000 prophecies fulfilled without error. Man can never achieve a perfect completion rate. A perfect completion rate is God’s territory. The prophecies that remain unfulfilled occur in the future. b. There are two examples of Biblical Foundation that apply to Fulfilled prophecy I’d like to use. First, Moses in Deuteronomy 18:21-22 sets the test for a true prophet. A true prophet’s predictions are 100 percent accurate. No errors. Second, in 700 B.C. Micah predicted the birthplace of the Messiah. (Micah 5:2).
That’s an astounding feat. Of all the births that occurred in all the known cities, towns and lands in 700 years it is simply astounding that he predicted Bethlehem as Christ’s birthplace. c. Fulfilled Prophecy has been helpful to my Christian education and growth. People with greater Biblical knowledge and understanding than me have said the Bible is error free. I use internet the to find information about Biblical prophecies and am interested and intrigued by what I find. Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other religious sects all may have written or oral guidance. None of them have, nor will they ever have, the fulfilled prophecies and promise of the Bible. Satan and his helpers have made prophecies. Unlike those in the bible, they are not detailed, but filled with generalities, may fit several situations and never 100 percent correct. Satan’s prophecies exclude a call for repentance, one of the key components in our path to salvation.
Inexperience and unfamiliarity with the Bible makes me avoid participating in discussions with the more skilled or better Biblically educated. Rather than participate verbally, I actively listen to identify points/events that I’m unfamiliar with or don’t understand. I research these points/events in order to try and better understand them. Studying Historical Theology helps me understand the history behind the doctrine. I believe the Bible is the Word of God and provides our path to salvation. A Biblical prophecy must contain evidence of divine inspiration. That is the prophecy must contain information the prophet could not have known or been aware of under normal circumstances in effect at the time of the prophecy. Fulfilled Prophecy is an essential element in the argument that the Bible is the Word of God. For me I believe God breathed the Word. That is it. No debate and no argument.