New seminary students received a taste of what’s to come through an introductory seminar series covering Christian history and the development of Christian theology.
Olivet Theological College & Seminary offered the noncredit seminar earlier this month to provide international students, who are currently taking ESL courses, with a sound theological base and to prepare them for their upcoming studies.
The seminar, which was led by Dr. Christy Tran at Olivet's Riverside campus, covered five different periods in history, including the Patristic Period and the Reformation.
"There are basically several ways to know God: through revelation, the Bible, reason, tradition and religious experience," said Dr. Tran."Among those, the Bible is God's words; it is actually God's direct loving expression, exhortation, warning and guidance for human beings. Meditating on the words of God should not be treated as a religious task or duty.”
Tran also told students to be wary of distorted theology as they embark on their theological curriculum. When in doubt, go back to the Bible with a fearful heart and try to understand His Word in light of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, she advised. Following the seminar, some students noted how studying theology can help them recognize the train of thought that led to deviations and misunderstandings about God.
“We might also face heretical thoughts today that many theologians fought against in the past,” said an OTCS student. “Learning from history could save us time and energy to fight against such wrong thoughts.”