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Christology & Revelation (Mike Reeves)

Historical Theolgy isn't consider all that cool but when you hear Mike savour the taste of it that's likely to change.

Mike Reeves, UCCF's Theology Advisor, is gradually walking us through Historical Theology over the course of our rolling 4 year study programme. This began at our Staff Conference in January with his material on the early church fathers (now available at

Next year we'll move to an indepth study on Athanasius, but midway (at our tri-regional Summer School) we considered the debates over Christologyin the 5th Century which led to the writing of the Chalcedonian creed. Why? Because Christology has huge implications for our Doctrine of Revelation. Mike's work here is an excellent example of the need for Historical Theology. It'd be easy to respond quickly to false doctrine about the authority and nature of Scripture, but with this historical perspective the real underlying issues can be addressed.

Three sessions here are split into six files around 35-45mins each.

Christology & Revelation (1 - 35:17)

Christology & Revelation (2 - 38:20)

Christology & Revelation (3 - 44:35)

Christology & Revelation (4 - 40:46)

Christology & Revelation (5 - 38:34)

Christology & Revelation (6 - 38:18)

The UCCF Staff Study Programme, launched in 2007/8 is a rolling four year programme of study on Historical Theology, Doctrine, Biblical Studies, Apologetics and Pastoral Care - study is done 4 hours a week through reading and mp3s, supplemented with regional team training and annual Staff Conference. Study is designed to add depth to understanding, richness to love of Jesus, and character to living.


  1. Good to see apologetics in there!

    Not quite sure what Biblical studies is? Hermeneutics?

    Can you show us fuller details of the apologetics curriculum? Course texts, modules.

  2. Hermeneutics via studies of various books - so this year we've done Mark & Genesis, next year includes Hosea and some other books.

    Apologetics - this year included working through Frame's apologetics to the glory of God, plus some team days on it. I forget where we pick it up next year. Though obviously any UCCF apologetics is in the context of Richard's persistence in pushing us toward persuasive evangelism (which I've happily got him booked into to teach our team for 2 days in the autumn)

  3. Frame is an okay start, but it suggests that you are taking a theological study approach to apologetics, that isn't apologetics.

    How many apologetics talks did you do to an instructor / experienced apologist?

    How many new film clips did you get hold of / start using during the apologetics component?

    What notes, do you now have in your bag, for connecting with suffering / identity / purpose etc when you draft future material as a result of the apologetics training?

    What tough questions did you practically answer for non-Christians in the programme of studying apologetics?

    Do you have a talk on the resurrection that would stand up to the rational scrutiny of an interested but sharp group of students who don't allow you to start with the bible?

    Do you have concise 10 minute answer to the harshness of God in the OT?

    What does the inerrancy of scripture mean? Is a product of the Princeton school? Why not?

    What new logical fallacies did you learn about in the apologetics module?

    What new social, cultural contact points did you learn about after the apologetics module?

    See what I'm trying to get at Bish?

  4. The first month of it probably doesn't cover half of what you'd want it to cover - by all means correspond with Jason Clarke...

    That said, the whole integrated approach does address a number of the issues, via it's various elements combined (i.e. some of your queries come up in the doctrine / historical theology elements) - so the historical theology stuff hits your inerrancy question along the way.

    So whilst we spent 4 weeks reading Frame this was followed up by team training from Chris Sinkinson which particularly focussed on apologetic responses to questions of suffering and sexuality. I'd agree we didn't each go as far as giving our own talks on that which would have been a v.good idea.

    I'd say that our study programme gives everyone a base level foundation across a breadth of christian thinking, and that is then supplemented by Persuaders training for those particularly gifted in Apologetics, and by Lindsay Brown's Europewide Evangelists training (noting that not every CUSW is an Apologist, though some must be)...and likewise in other directions.

    It's year 1 of it and I'm prepared to admit openly that I don't think we've got it working entirely rightly yet. There is further progress to be made, but we've also come a long way in the last year.

  5. On Mids team having looked at Frame we had a team day with Krish Kandiah - obviously the RWs hadn't read Frame so it wasn't such a high level but he took us through some cultural engagement stuff, film clips, story apologetics, etc., as he would. And everyone in the course of their time on staff has to do Richard's lunchbar talk track at staff conference, linking in to this - in my 1st year we read God Delusion in advance and prepared a talk summat to do with that - some did more technical and some more specific to Dawkins; I did more general but tied it in. Various ppl gave feedback... I forget names :$

    A lot of our staff study programme still does rely on us being vaguely self-motivated to study around it what interests us and what style we suit. So I've recognised I need to work more on the pop culture side of things, while the logical fallacy, resurrection, and answers-to-tough-questions side comes a lot more easily to me. I enjoy that our programme doesn't proscribe to that level, and that we only have a few texts, so it can be personalised and in great part worked out in community in our churches and staff & team life.

    Now I'm off to Greece for a bit of engagement with secularised pop culture Greek orthodoxy :)

  6. Oh and there was the staff conf track on apologetics to follow up for those teams who'd done it in term 1, but I confess I'd had enough and went to Mike's 1st-3rd century historical theology track instead. Interestingly, it's helped my apologetics quite a bit - if you know the thought of the past better you can often deal better with the thought of the present :)

  7. I'd agree, I think the historical theology I've done in the last 3 years has done more to sharpen my doctrine and my apologetics than almost anything I've studied.

    Self-motivation is a part of ministry I guess - we'll each get as much out of the study as we want to get out of it.

  8. "noting that not every CUSW is an Apologist, though some must be"

    I'm going to respond by saying that All CUSW must be and should be apologists. Because you can't be intelligently and seriously engaged on in evangelism in the UK in 2008 with a mission organisation and not be serious about using apologetics. If you are finding CUSW who are not doing apologetics, and trying to grow at apologetics I would doubt whether they are making any real impact for the gospel.

    Bish - why don't you promote Damaris stuff?

  9. Maybe I'm making an apologist/Apologist distinction. Yes, we all need to be doing it. Some will surely be more gifted in doing it. If it reassures you 2 of the first 9 Team Days I'll have put on for my team will have been on Apologetics...

    I can't promote everything... why don't you blog more?


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