Cherith Fee Nordling earned her PhD from the University of St Andrews in Scotland. She has written Knowing and Naming the Triune God: Elizabeth Johnson and Karl Barth in Conversation and she is one of the authors of Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms. She is now Associate Professor of Theology at Northern Seminary. For all four interviews in one PDF file, click here.
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Small group discussion guide
Discussion groups might wish to prepare their own topics, request topics from the group, use the following suggested topics, or mix and match all three.
1. Why is it important to view the more obscure biblical passages in light of the clear ones?
2. How does reading the Bible in context help us prevent our own “privatized Christianity”?
3. Jesus’ parables express God’s unconditional love. Why are they often interpreted negatively?
4. Why is it important to know what the biblical writers were saying to their original audiences?
5. Why are literary forms and figures of speech vital considerations for biblical interpretation?
6. How does Trinitarian theology help us appreciate the Bible’s unfolding story of redemption?
7. Dr. Nordling said, “Every time God says ‘no’ it’s so that his ‘yes’ can be what it is.” Your thoughts?
8. Why is grasping the whole story of redemption better than asking, “But what about that?”
A few guidelines for leading a discussion: 1) Encourage open discussion. 2) Ask questions relevant to the topic. 3) Listen attentively. 4) Encourage divergent views. 5) Encourage everyone to participate. 6) Summarize and paraphrase. 7) Minimize teaching and preaching.
JMF: One objection we often hear about Trinitarian theology, and the idea that God loves everyone, goes along this line: If God hates one person, then he doesn’t love everyone, and Scripture specifically says that God hated Esau. He loved Jacob and he hated Esau. How do we respond to that?