Open Bible Project
Collaborative Learning using the Inductive Method with Soteriology as we seek to go beyond the fundamentals. Introductory materials.
The inductive method is an investigative way of studying Scripture. Use of the inductive method will provide a better overall understanding of a passage—what it says, what it meant to its original audience, and what it means today.
Anyone can use the inductive method by following three simple steps:
Soteriology is the branch of theology dealing with the study of salvation. The term comes from the Greek soterion, “salvation,” and is also related to soter, “savior.” Soteriology relates to several other branches of theology in that it asks who is saved, by whom, from what, and by what means.
8 ‘A’s of Salvation
Part 1. Appropriation – Dispensational or Covenantal Theology
Part 2: Application
Part 3: Accession
Part 4: Accessories
Part 5: Assembly
Part 6: Afterlife
Part 7: Amount of Revelation
Part 8: Action
1. Observation: What Does the Text Say?
This phase isn’t about interpretation. It’s about observing exactly what the text is saying. Pretend you’re an investigator and you’re just gathering the facts. Ask yourself the five W’s and H:
As you do, make note of:
Words repeated multiple times in a passage
Anything that can be put into a list
Words that indicate a change in topic or time
Words that contrast one thing against another
Words that indicate cause and effect
It’s critical at this stage not to add anything to the text or take anything away. Avoid the temptation to try to make the text “mean” anything just yet. Observe what’s there, and document it.
Write it all down and once you feel like you have a good idea of what’s happening in the text, it’s time to move on to the next step: interpretation.
2. Interpretation: What Does the Text Mean?
The observation phase was all about observing what the text says, but the interpretation phase is the next step. And it’s in this phase we start to look at what the text means.
Your job at this stage is to discover what the author is trying to communicate. And to do this, you need to look at the context. Here are a few questions you can ask:
What is the cultural and/or historical context of this passage?
What else do I know about the book, author, and broader context of the passage?
What other Scripture passages might help me better interpret this one?
Have I overlooked anything or made any assumptions?
What is the clearest meaning of this text?
There are a few essential rules to remember when attempting to interpret a passage:
Don’t “twist” Scripture—meaning, don’t manipulate the text to get it to say something you’d like for it to say. This is a dishonest way to interpret the text.
Look for the plainest interpretation first. Believe that the text means what it says. Sometimes there will be figurative language and confusing imagery, but don’t start by looking for hidden meaning. Start with the obvious.
Scripture interprets Scripture. Allow the Bible to help you understand other passages of the Bible. Where similar words are used, explore the context of each of those instances.
Avoid basing important doctrines on obscure passages.
Connect each passage back to the gospel and the broader message of the Bible.
Make sure you spend a good chunk of time with this phase. Ask yourself all of the important questions above, and answer them as honestly as you are able. Once you think you’ve done all you can here, it’s time to move on to the final phase: application.
3. Application: What Does This Text Mean for Me?
Now that we’ve observed and interpreted what the passage has to say, it’s time to talk about what it means for us. How do we apply what we just learned to everyday life?
We don’t study the Bible just to gain knowledge. We study to gain knowledge so we know how to live our lives in light of what we’ve learned.
Go back to your questions from the beginning and ask them again in light of what you’ve learned, and apply it to our context today.
Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?
Based on what you’ve learned, what does this passage mean for you? If you’ve uncovered truth you’ve not known or understood before, what does it mean for your life, priorities, and decisions now that you do understand it?
Honest application of the text requires these kinds of questions and the wrestling of ideas when truth causes conflict. It might be tempting to stop at the interpretation phase, but you’ll be selling yourself and Scripture short if you do.
Take the time to dive into the application step. It’s worth it.
We are going to be studying scripture that is purported to support the various Creeds, Doctrines, Traditions and Dogma around the Christian Religion.
Creed: A creed, also known as a confession, symbol, or statement of faith, is a statement of the shared beliefs of community in the form of a fixed formula summarizing core tenets. The earliest creed in Christianity, “Jesus is Lord”, originated in the writings of Saint Paul.
Baptismal Creeds: These are originally used to confess the faith before baptism, among other uses in church liturgy.
Apostles’ Creed a statement of faith used in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and many Protestant churches. It predated the Nicene Creed.
The Nicene Creed was adopted by the Church in 325 A.D.;
Doctrine: 50 scriptural doctrines versus church doctrines.
Traditions: 13 occurrences of the word “tradition” in scripture.
Dogma: Defined as “a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted.” A dogma of the Catholic Church is defined as “a truth revealed by God, which the magisterium of the Church declared as binding.”
We go beyond the fundamentals with the Full Stature Initiative: Ephesians 4:13
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: