The title of the one-hour lecture is “The Theology of First John,” and while that accurately captures the main task, the lecture also spends a fair bit of time motivating and orienting readers so they can engage the text well. There are tips on how to benefit from, rather than suffer from, the repetitive and non-linear character of John’s writing, for example. I also compare and contrast John’s literary persona with those of the apostles Peter and Paul.
When I gave this lecture, I had just finished teaching an intensive class on the epistles of John at the Los Angeles Bible Training School, in which we had read through First John 45 times: the immersion method that I inflict on students every chance I get! So in this lecture I tried to share, in one hour with my Torrey students, a few of the main ideas from that course I had spent the whole semester delivering to my LABTS students. I hope the result is a lecture that can be profitably overheard by both church and academic audiences.