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Issues and Perspectives on the Future of Theology
Where Is Theology Going?


  1. How Can We Tell Where Theology Is Going?

  2. Cultural and Religious Trends

  3. The Role of Non Theological Disciplines

  4. General Trends in Theology

  5. The Doctrine of Scripture

  6. The Doctrine of God

  7. The Doctrine of Humanity

  8. The Doctrine of Sin

  9. The Doctrine of Christ

  10. The Doctrine of Salvation

  11. Influencing the Direction of Theology

  1. How Can We Tell Where Theology Is Going?

    1. The Areas Affected by Theology

    2. The Benefits of Studying the Future of Theology

      1. Anticipating the Nature of Future Ministry

      2. Maximizing the Opportunities for Ministry

      3. Preparing for Unfavorable Developments

      4. Dealing with the Future More Rationality

      5. Preventing Overaction

      6. Shaping Developments in Theology

    3. The Complexity of Theological Environment

    4. Theological Prognostication

      1. Parallels in Other Fields

      2. General Principles

        1. The Pattern of Theological Development

        2. Factors Bearing on Theological Changes

        3. Leading Indicators of Theological Change

        4. The Theology of Theological Theology

      3. The Methodology of Theological Forecasting

        1. Content Analysis

        2. Direct Option Survey

        3. General Analysis

        4. Expert Insight

        5. Leader Conviction Surveys

        6. Factor Analysis

        7. Use of Paradigm Cases

  2. Cultural and Religious Trends

    1. Societical Changes

      1. Breakdown in Military Alignment

      2. The Shift of Power from Military to Economic

      3. The Ascent of Development Nations

      4. Geographical Shifts of Population

      5. Rubanization

      6. The Shift to an Information-based Society

      7. Decentralization

      8. The Rising Role of Women

      9. Emphasis on the Relativism

      10. The Growth of Relativism

      11. Demographics

    2. Religious Trends

      1. Secularism

      2. Growing Religiousity

      3. Divergence over Worship

      4. Individualism

      5. Christian Colleges in Crisis

      6. Changes in Preparation for the Ministry

      7. Declining Financial Support

  3. The Role of Non Theological Discilines

    1. A Megatrend: Subjectivism

      1. Postmodernism

      2. Broader Manifestations of Irrationalism

    2. Specific Disciplines

      1. Philosophy

        1. Logic and Linguistic

        2. Metaphysics

      2. Cultural Antholopology

      3. Psychology

      4. Other Behavioral Sciennces

  4. General Trends in Theology

    1. Loss of the Antithesis

      1. The Traditional View

      2. The Nineteenth-Century Assimilation of Sacred and Secular

      3. Voices of Protest

      4. A New Integration of Sacred and Secular

      5. The Coming Reversal

    2. Anthropocentrism

      1. Humanity as the Measure of Truth

      2. The Notion of the God's Responsibility to Spare Humans from Evil

      3. Narcissism

      4. Lack of Concern for Divine Commands

      5. A Coming Reaction

    3. Effects of the General Trends in Theology

  5. The Doctrine of Scripture

    1. Tensions Relating to the Doctrine of Scripture

      1. Exegetical Expertise and Lay Bible Criticism

      2. Objectivity and Subjectivity in Biblical Criticism

    2. Future Developments in Popular Understanding and Practice

      1. Selectivity in the Utilization of Scripture

      2. The Displcement of the Bible with Personal Experience

      3. Decline in Bible Reading

      4. The Increasing Influence of Third World Christianity

      5. Tension with the Secular World

      6. The Rise of Competitors to the Bible

    3. Unfinished Agenda

      1. The Problem of Secondary Naturalism

      2. Biblical Authority and Contemporization

      3. Contextualization of the Timeless Message

      4. Biblical Authority and Pragmatism in the Ministry

  6. The Doctrine of God

    1. Factors Weakening the Doctrine of God

      1. The Crisis in Metaphisics and the Doctrine of God

      2. Fenimism

      3. Popular Christian Music

      4. Technology in the Practice of Ministry

    2. Factors Leading to a Strength

      1. Charismatic Christianity

      2. Decline of Confidence in Technology

      3. Disillusionment with Eastern Relisions

      4. Strengthened Philosophical Resources

      5. Increased Acceptance of the Doctrine of the Trinity

    3. Remaining Issues for the Doctrine of God

      1. Einsteinian Physics and Divine Trascendence

      2. The Problem of Evil

      3. The Rise of Experiential Religion

      4. The Decline of Authoritarianism

      5. The Need for Careful Definition

      6. An Unresolved Tension

  7. The Doctrine of Humanity

    1. The Classical Conception of Human Nature

    2. Factors Changing the Understanding of Humanity

      1. The Theory of Evolution

      2. Existentialism

      3. Deterministic Views

      4. Decline of Theocentrism

      5. Relational Theology

      6. Popular Psychology

      7. Increased Interest in the Individual

      8. Nontheistic Views of the Purpose of Human Existence

    3. Reasons for Growing Interest in the Doctrine

      1. Past Neglect

      2. Legacy of the Evolution Debate

      3. The Rise of the Behavioral Sciences

      4. Bioethical Issues

    4. Future Directions

      1. Efforts to Identify the Biblical Concept of Human Nature

      2. Growing Egocentricity

      3. Decline of the Work Ethic

      4. Short-Term Missions

      5. The Charismatic Emphasis on Personal Benifits

      6. Emphasis on Self-Determination

  8. The Doctrine of Sin

    1. Indication of a Changed Situation

      1. Popular Moral Reposturing

      2. Chanes in Preaching and Evangelism

      3. Relative Silence Regarding Sin

      4. Contemporary Christian Music

      5. Epistemological Pelagianism

    2. Factors Influencing the Future of the Doctrine

      1. The Grace Controversy

      2. Exposure to Situations of Extremity

      3. Globalization and Diversification of Theology

      4. Emphasis on the Individual: Freedom and Responsibility

      5. The Failure of Optimism in Human Ability

      6. The Pragmatic Effects of Positive Preaching

  9. The Doctrine of Christ

    1. Social Developments Affecting the Doctrine of Christ

      1. Globalization

      2. Current Music

      3. The Political Objections

    2. Internal Theological Developments Affecting the Doctrine of Christ

      1. The Accent on the Work of Christ

      2. The Status of Biblical Studies

      3. The "Third Wave"

      4. The Understanding of the Atonement

    3. Some Waves of the Future

      1. Popular Music

      2. The Universalizing of Jesus

  10. The Doctrine of Salvation 救いの教理

    1. Current Issues 最近の問題

      1. The Extent of Salvation 救いの範囲

      2. Annihilationism 霊魂の消滅

      3. The Nature of Salvation 救いの性質

      4. The Blurring the Popular Understanding of Salvation 救いについての通常の理解が不鮮明に

    2. Unresolved Issues

      1. Faith and Works

      2. Sanctification and the Secular World

  11. Influencing the Direction of Theology

    1. A Proper Atitude

      1. Seriousness About the Issues

      2. Focus on the Bigger Issues

      3. Willingness to Be Prophetic

    2. Values Requisite to Influencing Theology

      1. An Ethical Lifestyle

      2. A High Priority for the Theological Enterprise

    3. Improved Communication of Doctrine

      1. Christian Education

      2. Drama

      3. Music

    4. Penetration of Influential Social Spheres

      1. The Media

      2. The Teaching Profession

      3. College-Age Christians

      4. The Home Schooling Movement

      5. Senior Citizens

    5. The Tasks of Seminaries

      1. Integration of Theory and Practice

      2. Research for the Church

      3. Identification and Development of Needed Leadership Qualities