SYLLABUS FOR "MAKING BIBLICAL DECISIONS"
This course provides a biblical orientation to Christian ethics. Many believers today have lost their moral footing. Moreover, believers who want to live ethically are frequently confused by the complexities of ethical decisions. Even so, with proper study of the Bible’s system of ethics, Christians can learn how to evaluate problems in ways that lead to biblical solutions. It is based on the DVD lessons of Dr. John M. Frame.
Dr. John M. Frame
Dr. Frame received degrees from Princeton University (A.B.), Westminster Theological Seminary (B.D.), Yale University (A.M. and M.Phil.), and Belhaven College (honorary D.D.). He has served on the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary and was a founding faculty member of their California campus, and as of 2007 he holds the J. D. Trimble Chair of Systematic Theology and Philosophy at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. His key books are The Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of the Christian Life, and The Doctrine of the Word of God. He has published numerous articles. He is also a classically trained musician and a critic of film, music, and other media.
Goals and Objectives
In this course, we would like to accomplish the following:
1. We hope you grow in your desire to make more biblical decisions and to live your life in a way that honors Christ more fully.
2. We hope you will understand the biblical and theological principles that should orient your ethical decisions.
3. We hope that you will apply the biblical and theological principles properly in your process of making biblical decisions and living your life to honor Christ.
When you have done the following, it will show that the goals are met:
1. Use all the instructional elements and complete all the written assignments of the course, expressing your own thoughts and attitudes regarding making biblical decisions and living your life to honor Christ.
2. Obtain satisfactory grades on the tests, demonstrating that you can identify the biblical and theological principles of making appropriate ethical decisions. You will be able to distinguish the three ethical perspectives presented in the lesson: normative, situational, and existential, you will be able to identify many biblical passages related to ethical decisions, and you will be able to discern the difference between incorrect ethical principles correct principles.
3. Answer the application questions in the study guides, in which you demonstrate how this course has affected your life.Resources
The course is based on materials distributed by Third Millennium Ministries.
Birmingham Theological Seminary offers 4 hours of credit for this course, as part of the program leading to a Certificate in Christian Ministry.
Thematic Outline of the Course
1. Ethics in Scripture
2. The Normative Perspective: God and His Word
3. The Normative Perspective: The Attributes of Scripture
4. The Normative Perspective: Parts and Aspects of Scripture
5. The Situational Perspective: Revelation and Situation
6. The Situational Perspective: Pursuing Our Goal
7. The Situational Perspective: Understanding the Facts
8. The Existential Perspective: Being Good
9. The Existential Perspective: Intending Good
10. The Existential Perspective: Choosing Good
Required Additional Reading
Robert Mackintosh, Christian Ethics
J. Clark Murray, Handbook of Christian Ethics
You should begin with the following for each lesson:
1. Read the "Preparation" document and complete any activity mentioned there in preparation for the lesson.
2. Read the instructions for the lesson.
3. Watch all the videos (or listen to the audio, or read the text version).
4. Complete the study guide for each section of the videos.
While they are not required, and while they will not be graded, we recommend that you do the following for each lesson to prepare for the acummulative test and to get the maximum benefit from the lesson:
1. Take the quiz on each section of the videos.
2. If there are any, watch the videos of class discussion forums.
3. Browse through the glossary of the lesson.
The accumulative test
Take the accumulative on each lesson. This is required and will give you the grade for the lesson.
Required Additional Reading
After completing the lessons based on the video lectures, there is a final lesson based on required additional reading. The student should do the reading, complete the study guides, and take the corresponding test based on the reading.
Estimated Time for Study
While each student is different, we estimate that each lesson may take around 10 hours to do the required assignments, if the student is already familiar with how to use these courses.
You may see your grades at any time by clicking on the link. (It is in the left margin in the computer version, and at the bottom in other versions.)
1) Each accumulative test is worth 100 points and the test on the required reading is worth 100 points.
2) The quizzes on each section of the lessons are graded (10 points for each) so that you can evaluate your learning, but they will not be included in the official course grade. They are only for the purpose of practicing and learning.
3) The final grade for the course will be calculated by taking the appropriate percentages from each accumulative test and from the test on required reading, to make a total of 100%.
The evaluation scale has the following meaning:
90-100%: Excellent (A)
80-89%: Good (B)
75-79%: Average (C)
0-75%: Insufficient (F)
We highly recommend that you involve other people in your studies, in order to avoid isolating yourself. You may choose to form a study group with other students that are in the same program, or in a similar program of studies. You could share what you are learning, encourage one another, and pray for each . It would also be a great idea to form a mentoring relationship with your pastor or with another person you respect, to make yourself accountable to him. You could meet once a week to share what you are learning and pray together.