For twelve years, the Torrey Honors Institute has organized the G. Campbell Morgan Theology Lectures, a ten-hour overview of the major doctrines of systematic theology. It’s designed for Torrey freshmen and sophomores who have been immersed in primary texts from the history of theology: Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and even a few authors whose names don’t start with A (Irenaeus, Gregory of Nazianzus, Bonaventure, Luther, Calvin, Bunyan). The basic idea is that since these students in Biola’s great books program are getting the actual content of Christian theology from primary sources (including of course Scripture, the greatest great book and most primary of primary sources!), a flyover survey of the entire scope of systematic theology will help them get their bearings.
The resulting lectures, however, are also a great resource in their own right. We have eight Biola theologians (some from Talbot School of Theology, some from Talbot’s undergraduate Bible department, and some from Torrey Honors Institute) introducing topics within their teaching specialties. I’ve observed or participated in this event for a dozen years, and I’m always delighted at how each teacher approaches their topic differently, yet the whole system holds together in a remarkably unified way. (By the way, the montage above is the lineup from 2010, which is mostly the same as 2012. Most of us just look a tiny bit older now.)
This year we broke the series up into half-hour lectures, more or less, for easier viewing or listening online. Here they are, thanks to help from open.biola.edu/, along with a few quotes from the accompanying livetweet that I ran with the hashtag #MorgTheo.
Team quarterback Erik Thoennes carries the ball for the first two hours. He starts us with a hymn (Be Thou My Vision), and then explains the nature of theology. A couple of quotations: “If you’ve come up with a doctrine on your own, you’re wrong.” “Whenever you give a good summary answer about what’s in the Bible, you’re doing a little bit of systematic theology.”
Erik Thoennes again on the doctrine of Scripture: “I used to ignore the human element of Scripture, so text crit, canonicity, & the synoptic problem freaked me out.”