Theo 510 Spring 2017 DBs


Discussion Board Topic 1. 1

Discussion Board Topic 2. 2

Discussion Board Topic 3. 5

Discussion Board Topic 4. 7



Discussion Board Topic 1


Based upon your reading of chapter 1 in Enns’ text, how has the study of this chapter affected your understanding of what is biblical theology and its relationship to the other disciplines?  What would happen to a church or denomination that does not actively learn or apply biblical and systematic theology to its teaching ministry?  Has this happened to your church or denomination?


How has the study of this chapter affected your understanding of what is biblical theology and its relationship to the other disciplines?

The study in this chapter was an excellent reminder of the tenure of the information presented in both the NBST [New Testament Introduction], OBST [Old Testament Introduction] and Survey of the History of Christianity classes offered by Liberty University.  The diversity of theological constructs posited by theologians as documented in the “biblical theology movement” from Eichrodt to von Rad proffer possibilities for confusion and could lead to disbelief if an individual is not grounded in the truth of God’s word (Enns 2014, 23). The infusion of liberalism into biblical theology and the growth of neoorthodoxy fostered led by the historical method of examining Scripture denied the authority of Scripture (23-24). It is impossible to maintain a biblical base to Scripture when the authority of Scripture is the eliminated.

As a methodology, biblical theology posits a narrow focus of parts Scripture from a historical frame of reference and is exegetical in nature (24). Whereas and the extensive focus on systematic theology utilizes Scripture and sources outside of Scripture to unravel truths or doctrinal concerns of the whole Scripture (24-25).  Biblical theology presents theological constructs or doctrines from a specific theologian or biblical era; however,  systematic theology exegesis all scriptural references to the proffered doctrine or theological construct. The knowledge posited in chapter one of the text concerning the difference between the how, why, process, and progress of biblical theology when juxtaposed against the what, product and a viewpoint from the culmination of God’s revelation of systematic theology clarified the value of both forms of methods of exploring the truths of the Bible (27-28).


What would happen to a church or denomination that does not actively learn or apply biblical and systematic theology to its teaching ministry?

When a church or denomination negates active engagement in the biblical and systematic theology to its teaching ministry the ministry becomes stale in the presentation of Scripture to the membership. Examination of Scripture and the application of Scripture to a Christians life fosters personal growth as indicated by Acts 17:11 and practiced by the Bereans.  Negating the use of the above disciplines above prevents the growing of disciples who are equipped to grow other disciples. No pastor or denomination has a complete understanding of all Scripture.  The church universal received an admonishment from Peter to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior 2 Pet 3:18. 

Has this happened to your church or denomination? 

The staleness of doctrine and the riveted use of Scripture happened to the Worldwide Church of God. I attended the Worldwide Church of God from 1971 in London UK until 2002 when I left the Savannah, Georgia congregation. When the leadership of the church broadened its study of Scripture using both the biblical and systematic theology methods of studying the Bible the church when through significant doctrinal changes that led to a complete change of doctrine and beliefs.  Personally, when I began to use both methods to study Scripture my personal understanding of biblical truths changed because I used the writings of sources for reference that were not written by writers from my church.   I did not leave the church because of the doctrinal changes.  I left because of a personal problem, and the pastor was not equipped to proffer spiritual guidance.  Finally, studying God’s word from both standpoints proffers a more rounded understanding of theological constructs.


Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised and Expanded ed. Chicago: Moody, 2014.


Discussion Board Topic 2

After reading Enns’ section on “Gifts of the Holy Spirit” (ch. 21), do you agree or disagree with his conclusion that select spiritual gifts ceased after the time of the Apostles and are no longer in use today?  Provide the needed scripture to substantiate your position.

“Gifts of the Holy Spirit” is a highly charged theological construct that has divided the Church of the Living God for centuries. Enns posited that the select spiritual gifts have ceased. Enns provided an explanation for spiritual gifts ” first, a spiritual gift to an individual is God’s enablement for personal spiritual service (1 Cor. 12:11). Second, a spiritual gift to the church is a person uniquely equipped for the church’s edification and maturation (Eph. 4:11–13)”.[1] The point of reference provided by Enns concerning the explanation for spiritual gifts defines one’s acceptance of cessation of the gifts.

Statement: As the church of the twenty-first century grows and functions and discontinuity of the spiritual gifts are evident this fledgling theologian affirms that the initial purpose of the spiritual gifts was a means of authenticating the work of the early church, but the display of the spiritual gifts is not normative of the church today. Within the confines of word count and the need to reduce this argument to a readable level the discussion below focuses on the gifts of apostles, prophets, the Holy Spirit, tongues, and healing.


Enns repeatedly pointed to the closure of the Canon of Scripture as evidentiary proof of the cessation of the gifts due to the inerrancy, and revelatory nature of the gifts.[2]  Historians and early church fathers iterated the closure of the canon; therefore, documentation of the glory of God, as evidenced by the spiritual gifts, and the inerrancy of Scripture no longer warranted authentication. Josephus declared the three divisions of the Old Testament (OT) and cited not only the names but also the number of the books contained in the OT.[3] Scholars such as Ryle detailed the three separate sections in the OT canon and offered the specific dates of recognition for each division of the Scripture.[4] Ryle proposed completion dates for each section. The “Law” around 432 BC; The “Prophets” an approximate authentication date of 200 B.C., lastly the “Writings” indicated a  completion date of before 100 BC but iterated that recognition did not occur until about AD 100.[5] Early church fathers such as Athanasius – who lived after the death of the last writer of a canonical book namely the Apostle John – also recognized the books of the OT canon and its divisions as well as the books of the New Testament (NT) and their apostolic nature of the writers in his Paschal letter.[6]

The apostle Paul addresses the foundations of the church as “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph 2:20 KJV).[7] Note that Paul iterated “the foundations of the church” not “the church” or “the continuation of the church.” The word of the apostle and prophets of the early church was without error (see Deut. 18:20, 22 for proofs of the role of the prophet).  Theologians – who believe in the supremacy of God and the fact that He cannot lie and the fact that Scripture is without error – cannot indicate a time during the Bible when prophetic utterances of the writings of the canon of Scripture produced a falsehood or were in error. This point is pivotal when it comes to the belief that scripture is inerrant. Therefore, with no apparent indication in the NT that the roles assigned to the persons chosen by the Lord as Apostles and or prophets continued after the death of John and the Apostle Paul. [8]Persons reference the two witnesses in Revelation 11:1-14 note God’s word calls then witnesses and not prophets.  John’s writings about the end times do not reference the use of any of the gifts referenced in chapter 21.

Holy Spirit
Concerning the gift of the Holy Spirit, Peter declared, “Repent and be baptized” then you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:45. Peter brought to remembrance “the gift of the Holy Spirit” had been poured out on the Gentiles also.” [What language were they speaking or understanding? Scripture does not indicate that. Is it possible that Peter was hearing them speak in His tongue? Scripture again does not make this clear in this instance. The Scripture simply stated “[individuals heard] them speak with tongues and magnify God” (v.46). When “tongues” first appeared in Scripture, each person heard their “mother language” being spoken by someone who was not bi-lingual.

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?  And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,  Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God (Acts 2: 1-11).

It is apparent that the language spoken by the persons in the initial appearance of the gift of tongues was understandable by the individuals in the audience even though the speaker uttered another language. Every person who believes in Jesus Christ as their Savior receives the Holy Spirit (1 Cor.12:13). John 14:17 declares “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” It is apparent that every believer received this gift during John’s time and even today. Does the church need to hear a person speaking in a foreign language today for us to believe that they are a child of God? No! Scripture speaks of Christian no longer needing milk.  Having said that this Christian believes that it is possible for a person sitting in a congregation where the pastor is preaching in English to hear the Word of God in their language and accept Christ as their personal Savior. God’s timing is not man’s timing, and He will use whomever He needs to use to reach an unsaved person.


In this dispensation of the church, it is unnecessary to utilize the gift of healing as a show of God’s power. God does not need to work through a human being, and or an object to heal his people. James 5:13-15 declared, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” Each believer has direct contact with God.  No believer needs to go to a particular person for “healing” today. Yes, we should be praying for God to intervene and cure a believer if that is within His will for them James 15:16).

Finally, today believers live by faith and not by sight. The need for the spiritual gifts ceased at the close of the canon and as the church matured. This topic will probably bring about many interesting responses.

Athanasius. Easter Letter AD 357 39. Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Accessed January 31, 2017.

Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised and Expanded ed. Chicago: Moody, 2014.

Josephus, Flavius. Against Apion 1. Accessed January 31, 2017.

Ryle, Herbert Edward. The Canon of the Old Testament: An Essay on the Gradual Growth and Formation of the Hebrew Canon of Scripture. Reprint. London: Macmillan and, 1909.


[1] Paul Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology, Revised and Expanded ed. (Chicago: Moody, 2014), 283.

[2] Ibid., 285-286.

[3] Flavius Josephus Against Apion 1, accessed October 14, 2016,; Anthony Frost, “Tracing the Emergence of a Canon of Holy Scripture in Churches,” Anglican Historical Society Journal 57 (April 2014): 28-29, accessed September 12, 2016, Ezproxy Ebrary.

[4] Herbert Edward Ryle, The Canon of the Old Testament: An Essay on the Gradual Growth and Formation of the Hebrew Canon of Scripture, Reprint (London: Macmillan and, 1909), 93.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Athanasius. Easter Letter AD 357 39. Grand Rapids: Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Accessed September 29, 2016.

[7] Unless otherwise noted, all biblical passages referenced are in the King James Version (Public Domain).  I use this site
[8] See(Matt. 10:1–15; Acts 15:4, 6,22, 23; 2 Cor. 12:12; 1 Cor. 9:1–2; 15:5–8; Gal. 1:12; 1 Cor. 15:8).

Discussion Board Topic 3


After reading Enns’ section on “Reformation Soteriology,” critique and evaluate his assessment of Calvinism (Reformed) and Arminianism on the select topics of atonement and faith and works (Enns, ch. 30).  Would your church denomination be in agreement with the Reformed or Arminian or some modified position?

Calvinism and Arminianism: Atonement

According to Enns, Calvin taught atonement for a select group of people decided by the Godhead through the process of predestination – or the “elect” (Enns 2014, 483). Calvin’s concept of the atonement being applicable the elect coincides with the Calvinistic view of predestination (483). On the other hand, Arminian theology considers the death of Christ a “substitute for a penalty” that appeased the God’s judicial system (484). However, Scripture does not support either the Calvinism or Arminianism theology on atonement.  Act 2:40 chronicles the Apostle Peter’s plea with the people to “save yourself from this untoward generation” (Unless otherwise stated all scriptural references come from the public domain King James Version of the Bible KJV.) Election negates Peter’s declaration to the people if Christ’s death only applies to a select group of individuals. Peter iterated the same sentiment in 1 Pet 2:23 with no indication of Christ’s death applying to only an elect group of people. The words of the Lord in Matt 24:14 clearly indicates that the gospel is preached to all individuals in all the world. Köstenberger and O’Brien affirm the premise of the application of a substitutionary death for all individuals in all nations (Köstenberger and O’Brien 2001, 87-109).  Enns presented a brief view of the Calvinistic and Arminian view of atonement.  To facilitate a deeper understanding of the difference in the theological concept of the atonement from both theologians required Enns to extrapolate a richer discussion on the topic.

Calvinism and Arminianism Faith, and Works

Enns reported Calvin considered salvation unconditional and independent of any action on the part of the recipient (483).  Moreover, Enns stipulated that Calvin taught that men must shed their previous life and live righteous repentant lives while simultaneously believing the gospel. Calvin posited that justification requires acceptance before The Almighty through righteousness that comes through faith (485). Consequentially, justification is demonstrable as a declaration before individuals of the “righteousness of faith” (486). However, the contention then would be neither faith nor works are needed if the “elect” are predetermined and have access to the family of God as the sole purview of a few people.

In like manner, Enns discussed the Arminian “conditional election” view (486). Conditional election dictates God’s election of individuals He already “knows will believe in Christ”; however, Arminianism supports the applicability of Christ’s death to all of humanity (486). Subsequently, when the believer becomes sinful the conditions of election fall into place and the believer loses salvation (486). At this juncture, the core Christian beliefs of faith and works, as exemplified by Calvinism and Arminianism, required more extrapolation by Enns. Enns left too many questions unanswered in this presentation. Granted Enns offers a more detailed explanation in another section of the book but fails to cite the upcoming discourse; thus, leaving the reader wondering how the theologians could arrive at the shallow conclusion presented in chapter 30.

The Beliefs of My Church

The church believes that the Great Commission is an active part of every Christian’s life commanded by The Lord before His final ascension; therefore, evangelism is not the sole purview of an evangelist, neither is it a spiritual gift. The church believes that the Lord Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God who became man without ceasing to be God, having been conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary, in order that He might reveal God and redeem sinful man (John 1:1-2, 14; Luke 1:35). The church believes that the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished redemption for all of humanity through His death on the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice and that our justification is made sure by His actual, physical resurrection from the dead (Earley and Wheeler 2014, 31-35; Terry 2013, 9-24; Romans 3:24; 1 Peter 2:24). Fourth, the church believes that the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and is now exalted at the right hand of God, where, as our high priest, He fulfills the ministry of representative, intercessor, and advocate (Acts 1:9-10; Hebrews 7:25, 9:24; Romans 8:34; 1 John 2:1-2). Finally, the church believes that in an act of faith and trust in Jesus, the repentance of our sin leads transference from us to Him and His righteousness brings a justified relationship with God and facilitates life in Christ as a new creation.


Earley, Dave, and David Wheeler. Evangelism Is. Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2014, Kindle. 

Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised and Expanded ed. Chicago: Moody, 2014, Google Books. 

Kostenberger, Andreas J., and Peter Thomas. O’Brien. Salvation to the Ends of the Earth: A Biblical Theology of Mission. Leicester, England: Apollos, 2001, Google Books. 

Terry, Justyn. “The Forgiveness of Sins and the Work of Christ: A Case for Substitutionary Atonement.” Anglican Theological Review 91, no. 1 (Winter 2013): 9-24. Accessed February 13, 2017. ProQuest Ebrary.

 Discussion Board Topic 4

Which of the contemporary theology topics researched by Enns would be considered the most relevant to the contemporary church? Explain why you believe this to be so. Based on cultural trends, what do you anticipate to be the next “major” issue the contemporary church will need to address?

Christianity stands on the edge of time in a manner that has never been realized by any religious group. Throughout the world, people are experiencing tyranny, suffering, hopelessness, and a sense of “godforsakeness” that they have never experienced before (Moltmann, A Broad Place, 31). The most relevant contemporary topic presented by Enns that opens the way to the cross for a broken and suffering world through the theology of evangelicalism (Enns 2014, 654-656). The general election of this nation proved to Americans that the need for religious teaching, lifestyle, and governance that is mainstream and sticks to Christian beliefs that maintains a “trunk” of the tree biblical context meets the needs of the populace.

Enns identifies why evangelicalism presents a Christian worldview to the public, and to people looking into the world of Christianity, that looks firm and solidly grounded in Scripture and the tenets of historical Christianity (654-656). The doctrinal affirmations of evangelicalism hold to the Nicene Creed [the doctrine the Trinity, the concept of verbal plenary inspiration, and the foundational doctrines of the reformed church (654; “Nicene Creed,”). The idea of universal sin and the redemption of humankind through the suffering of God on the cross “reconciles” humanity unto the creator, lies at the center of evangelical theology (Enns, 654). Moltmann describes the importance of the cross for Christians as he iterates

There is a medieval picture which shows Christ descending into hell and opening the gate for someone who points to himself as if he were saying, ‘And are you coming to me?’ That is how I have always felt. Jesus’ Godforsakenness [Godforsakenness is a term coined by Moltmann to describe the feeling the Lord when He cried out “My God, My God why have you forsaken me (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).] as on the cross showed me where God is present — where He was in my experiences of death, and where He is going to be in whatever comes. Whenever I read the Bible again with the searching eyes of the Godforsaken prisoner I was, I am always assured of its divine truth” (Moltmann 2009, 31).

The evangelical gospel offers hope and the ability for broken people to be “reconciled to God” (Enns, 654; 2 Cor 5:19). Faith in Christ stands as the cornerstone of the doctrinal tenets of evangelicalism, not works alone (Ro 5:1). Evangelicals believe in sharing the message of the gospel and the process of evangelism (Enn, 655). The act of sharing the message of the good news translates the Scripture of loving one’s neighbor as themselves into active agape love. Sharing the gospel does so because the very act of evangelism demonstrate the ability to think of all of humanity the way that Christ thought of humanity when He sent the disciples out to share the good news with all people until the end comes. Stott proffers an apt definition of what evangelism means to Kingdom Mission “. . . .the Bible gives us the message for world evangelization. The Lausanne Covenant defined evangelism . . . . . Paragraph four begins:

To evangelize is to spread the good news that Jesus Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures and that as the reigning Lord he now offers the forgiveness of sins and the liberating gift of the Spirit to all who repent and believe. (Stott 2009, 22; Lausanne Covenant: The Nature of Evangelism as quoted by Stott).

Why is evangelicalism most relevant to the contemporary church?

Evangelism is most pertinent to the modern church because the world needs Christ. Moffett proposes that evangelism is only part of the mission of the church, but it opens a venue for sharing the gospel of the good news with people who are blind, oppressed, imprisoned, or poor (Moffett 2009, 598). To qualify his definition of evangelism Moffett declares “evangelism is not. . . . Christian action and protest against the world’s injustices” (Moffett, 599). Moffett explains that biblical evangelism ensures that a Christian’s vertical relationship with the Triune God comes first, and then a horizontal relationship with our neighbor is second to our relationship with God (599). Moffett has placed into contemporary language the dictates of the Shammah from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 repeated by The Lord in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV) “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” On this Scripture “or the Shammah” hangs all of the Old and New Testament theology of God’s Kingdom Mission that started with Abraham and ends with the return of the Lord. Love is an ageless construct. Love is a human need that stems from the very core of the God of love. An evangelical’s love for God and man is embodied in evangelical theology and powers all evangelicals to look first to the triune God as the source of all hope and love (Neal, 2009, 61). Then the evangelical’s love for God extends that hope out to their neighbor as they embrace the cross of Jesus Christ as the place where all hope begins (Neal, 2009, 61).

What is the next major issue that the contemporary church needs to address?

The next major issue that the present church needs to address is the reality and magnitude suffering people all over the world and the biblical answer to that suffering. As one views the news, at any time during the day, a graphic picture of the world fraught with turmoil, impoverishment, distrust – in politicians and the church, division, and mayhem present itself to Christian theology. How does one address the needs of these people as Christ did when He healed the sick, fed the poor and even cried over the emotional and-and spiritual state of Jerusalem, and for Lazarus’ family as they suffered?

We live in a world where 80% percentage of humanity is “living on less than $10.00 per day (Shah 2013, Poverty Facts and Stats). How do evangelicals make Christianity impactful or beneficial to people living lives fraught with suffering and impoverishment? How do evangelicals present a gospel and an eschatological hope as a present reality rather than a future promise of resolution of people’ current pain? What real hope, coupled with faith and the reality of the freedom engender in the promise of the cross, can Christianity offer to people who do not see an end to their suffering? The “Savior” presented as a solution to a suffering world cannot be radicalized socialism or the political aspirations of any political leader. The hope offered to the world must be centered on the reality of the cross (Moltmann 2015, 99). The presentation of the reality of the cross to the world as a whole, to young Christians, and to people who see no hope at the end of their daily struggles will determine the effectiveness of the gospel presentation. It will never negate the gospel of Jesus Christ neither can it prevent God’s Kingdom Mission, but it will change the nuclei from which the gospel is disseminated.


Enns, Paul. The Moody Handbook of Theology. Revised and Expanded ed. Chicago: Moody, 2014, Google Books.

Moffett, Hugh. “Evangelism: The Leading Partner.” In Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, by Ralph D. Winter, Steven C. Hawthorne, Darrell R. Dorr, D. Bruce. Graham, and Bruce A. Koch, 598-99. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2009.

Moltmann, Jurgen. A Broad Place: An Autobiography. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2009, Google Books.

Moltmann, Jurgen. The Crucified God. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2015, Kindle.

Neal, Ryan A. Theology as Hope: On the Ground and Implications of Jurgen Moltmann’s Doctrine of Hope. Eugene: Wipf and Stock, 2009, Google Books.

“Nicene Creed.” Nicene Creed. Accessed February 26, 2017.

Shah, Anup. “Poverty Facts and Stats.” Global Issues. January 1, 2013. Accessed February 26, 2017.

Stott, John R. W. “The Bible in World Evangelization.” In Perspectives on the World Christian Movement: A Reader, by Ralph D. Winter, Steven C. Hawthorne, Darrell R. Dorr, D. Bruce. Graham, and Bruce A. Koch, 21-26. Pasadena: William Carey Library, 2009.


DBS PACO 603-Spring 2017


Discussion Board Topic 1. 1

Discussion Board Topic 2. 3

Discussion Board Topic 3. 6

Discussion Board Topic 4. 8



Discussion Board Topic 1

What is the status of premarital counseling in your church/community? What level of importance does your church place on the institution of marriage, and are they doing anything creative to support young marriages?

What is the status of premarital counseling in your church/community?

Faith Ridgeland Baptist Church (also known as Faith Ridgeland) utilizes the following protocols for premarital counseling. Pastor Henry Criss iterated that the church does not have an established protocol for premarital counseling; however, Faith Ridgeland has a developed a letter that each premarital couple receives who is interested in their marriage ceremony conducted at Faith Ridgeland.[1] Pastor Henry declared that the practice of the fellowship deems it inappropriate to marry individuals who are non-believers.[2]Pastor Henry iterated that the letter explains the Southern Baptist Convention Article XVIII position on marriage and the sanctity of marriage on the couple’s insistence that they are believers and still wish to be married by Pastor Henry, Pastor Henry then sets up an appointment to meet with them.[4]  At that point, the contents of Article XVII: subsection marriage is discussed at length with the couple.[5]

Steps taken to support premarital counseling.

The next step requires the couple to procure premarital counseling from a licensed pre-marital counselor. Due to the location of the church, and the fact that licensed counselors are forty or more miles away from this small town, Pastor Henry mentioned that an alternative methodology for counseling requires the couple to meet with him for several sessions.[6] During the sessions, the counseling model uses the book “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Dr. Gary Chapman. Pastor Henry uses the Leader’s Guide to facilitate the sessions.[7] A letter of referral from the couple’s pastor is required before the ceremony is performed to ensure that they are indeed baptized members of the community of faith. The other Baptist churches in the county follows a similar process, but may utilize a different book.

Ongoing support for young couples.

An essential component of a strong marriage is posited in the inerrant Word of God.[8] Hawkins declared that the key concepts of entailed in a strong healthy marriage include “ intimacy, commitment, wisdom’s directives, reality, God’s sovereignty, the person, sexuality, communication, and companionship.”[9] The pivotal ingredient for strong Christian marriages is the realization that marital intimacy and strong successful marriages do not occur outside of God’s sovereignty. Understanding one’s future mate’s personality style, coping mechanisms, and also how they handle stress – prior to marriage eliminates the leap of faith that couples take when they do not participate in pre-marital counseling that discusses these traits.[10] Pastor Henry supports young couples by utilizing resource books that support relationship building.


[1] Henry Criss, interviewed by Joyce Gerald, Faith Ridgeland e-mail interview, Hardeeville, South Carolina, March 20, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Southern Baptist Convention, “Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee: Article XVIII The Family,” The Baptist Faith and Message, 2000, Marriage, accessed March 20, 2017,

[4] Henry Criss, interviewed by Joyce Gerald.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Gary D. Chapman, Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married (Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2010), Facilitator’s Guide-Introduction. Some of the chapters in this book are very short; therefore the introduction to the facilitator’s guide proffers methods for combining the chapters “Some of the chapters of Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married are short, especially the first few. You might have your group be prepared to discuss two or three chapters per meeting at first and see how it goes. Be flexible.”

[8] Ronald E. Hawkins, Strengthening Marital Intimacy (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, MBS Direct), 9.

[9] Ibid., 10.

[10] PREPARE ENRICH, Facilitator’s Manual (Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015), 6-7, accessed March 20, 2017,



Chapman, Gary D. Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married. Chicago: Northfield Pub., 2010.

Hawkins, Ronald E. Strengthening Marital Intimacy. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, MBS Direct.

PREPARE ENRICH. Facilitator’s Manual. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015. Accessed March 20, 2017.

Southern Baptist Convention. “Report of the Baptist Faith and Message Study Committee: Article XVIII The Family.” The Baptist Faith and Message. 2000. Accessed March 20, 2017.


Discussion Board Topic 2

There are many ideas about why people should get married; Scripture even mentions more than one reason. Some recent publications suggest that marrying for love is a bad idea. Explore this idea using Internet resources and the Bible to articulate your point of view on this subject.

Today the presentation of the idea of marriage does not match the Biblical model declared by God’s word. Hartwell-Walker, a psychologist and marriage and family counselor, proposed five reasons why individuals should not marry the one they love. Hartwell-Walker lists  “(1) To escape the family of origin” as a logical reason why love should not enter the matrix of the decision to marry one’s, partner.[1] PREPARE/ENRICH provides research that supports the impact of the family of origin on couples and marriage; however,  PREPARE/ENRICH posits solutions that ameliorate the adverse impact that family of origin dynamics has on young couples.[2]  Hartwell-Walker posits another reason why couples considering marriage should not do so (2) Because it’s the next logical thing in a dating relationship or because parental expectations require them to conclude the relationship with marriage.[3]The construct of marrying because it is the “next logical thing” does not appear to fit the author’s original title neither does topics three to five offered as evidence as to why couples should not marry because they love each other.[4] Reasons three to five are as follows; (3) To fix the other person, (4) To legitimize sex and lastly (5) To avoid being alone.[5]

According to Gadoua “love is a luxury, ” and the main three reasons why couples should not marry for love are (1) Love is a changeable emotion and falling out of love occurs as rapidly as falling in love.[6] Gadoua continues, (2) Love does not make for a strong enough foundation and (3) Love is far from “all you need.”[7] Gadoua concludes the article with her recipe for  “strong, healthy relationships” as “1 Cup respect; “1 Cup shared goals; 3 Cups compatibility, 1 Tablespoon love, 1 teaspoon attraction (optional!).”[8] Note the exclusion of love admiration, friendship, and or companionship from Gadoua’s recipe. Additionally, Grant chose the wisdom and thoughts of Tacitus on why marrying for love “is a bad idea” to articulate why the current concept of marriage should be updated to meet the needs of society.[9]

Grant utilized circular reasoning to conclude that if love is the defining factor in the marriage decision them all forms of marriage that are outcroppings of love must be allowable.[10]Grant extended that frame of reference by declaring that gay marriages, polygamy and other societal configurations of marriage are worthy of consideration if love is the key that unlocks the door to the wedding.[11] Scripture declares that the thoughts that pervade the mind of humanity are incongruous with God’s thoughts (Isa 55:8-9).  God’s instruction manual for marriage is the same instruction manual for life. God declares that it is not acceptable for the man to be alone – the exact words “it is not good that the man should be alone” connotes the immensity of God’s perception of Adam’s need (Genesis 2:18 KJV).

God creates Eve not just for the physical companionship that Adam needed but for the permanent emotional relationship cited in Malachi 2:14 and Proverbs 2:17. Genesis 2:18-25 details that God creates Eve to be Adam’s companion and vice as versa.  Scripture also presents a picture that the covenant of marriage a reflects the type of relationship that God has for part of creation that He made in His image (Eph 5:32; Eph 5:22-33; Is 54:5; Jer 31:32; Hos 2:16; I Cor 11:11). Scripture declares that God loves the world (Jo 3:16).  Deuteronomy 7:9 speaks of the covenant of love that God has His covenantal people. 1 John 4:9-11 declares “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (NKJV).

Any marriage union consummated on anything other than love violates I John 4:16 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” For a Christian, marriage outside of love demonstrates that the individuals do not love God  Scripture details that “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:19-20 NKJV).

Although this Scripture speaks to general relationships among humanity, it applies to the marriage relationship because Agape love ensures that Eros is not self-motivated. Love begins with friendship and what better way to start a marital relation than with an understanding of the value of your mate before Eros develops.

It goes without saying that for a Christian to be in step with God and His intention for marriage marrying for anything other than love goes against God’s will for that individual’s life. God orders the steps of  His people. There is no problem for which He does not have a solution. So, when persons who do marry for love experience marital challenges, and they have them, there are resources to support them such as people like yourselves who are becoming God ordained Christian marriage and pre-marital counselors.


[1] Marie Hartwell-Walker, “5 Reasons Not To Marry the One You Love,” Psych Central, July 17, 2016, para. 2, accessed March 24, 2017,

[2] PREPARE/ENRICH, Couple and Family Maps, PDF, Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015.

[3]Hartwell-Walker, “5 Reasons, para. 2.

[4] Ibid.,  para. 3.

[5] Ibid., paras 4-5.

[6] Susan P. Gadoua, “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry for Love Alone,” Contemplating Divorce, November 17, 2013, accessed March 24, 2017,, para. 8.

[7] Ibid., paras 9-11.

[8] Ibid., para.11.

[9] David Grant, “Tacitus On Why Marriage For Love Is A Bad Idea,” Hestia Society, August 19, 2015, conclusion, accessed March 24, 2017,

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.



Gadoua, Susan P. “3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Marry for Love Alone.” Contemplating Divorce. November 17, 2013. Accessed March 24, 2017.

Grant, David. “Tacitus On Why Marriage For Love Is A Bad Idea.” Hestia Society. August 19, 2015. Accessed March 24, 2017.

Hartwell-Walker, Marie. “5 Reasons Not To Marry the One You Love.” Psych Central. July 17, 2016. Accessed March 24, 2017.

PREPARE/ENRICH. Couple and Family Maps. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, LLC., 2015. Accessed March 20, 2017.



Discussion Board Topic 3

In the PREPARE/ENRICH training, Dr. Olson discusses couple strengths. There are a number of theories/ideas about what constitutes a couple’s strength(s). Some texts recommend that couples should be similar so that they have their likenesses to lean on in stressful times. Others contend that couple differences diminish the weaknesses of the other spouse. How do you approach this idea? Is there evidence in Scripture that supports your position?

Opposites do attract, but without commitment, the attraction can become a fatal and destructive one.[1] Hawkins posits that “Husbands and wives who recognize they are on the same team, striving for the success of their marriage, make an unbeatable combination.”[2] Intentionality within a team where opposites and differences in personality exist does not hinder the team from accomplishing its intended goal. Each member of the team intentionally develops the understanding that “togetherness” requires thoughtful, intentional efforts of understanding the other person’s differences thus resulting in understanding their needs.[3] Hawkins discusses the creation of Adam and Eve and the mere fact that God created each of them with different or “unique” strengths and attributes. [4] Each person brought the team their unique strengths and attributes without which humanity would have been impoverished and with which humanity was significantly enriched to serve as a fuller revelation of God’s image.  It appears that Hawkins is suggesting that God created the differences; therefore, are these differences also considered opposites? Hawkins suggests that the antagonism that developed between the differences/opposites in personalities occurred after the fall of man.[5] Therefore, the enemy has made differences a challenge rather than an enhancement between couples. These personality differences complement pairs rather than separate them or create friction.

Personality types indicate the opposites attract conundrum more than anything else.  Moreover, an introvert and an extrovert are attracted to each other – they complement each other and are helpmates in social gatherings and brings balance to the relationship.[6] Deuteronomy 24:5 demonstrates God’s desire for men to stay at home with their new wives to “cheer” them up! Could this be an example of an extroverted husband going off to war to leave his young introverted wife at home alone and with people whom she did not know? Although opposites do attract, the attraction does not have to result in a disastrous relationship.  Ephesians 5:25 directs husbands to love their wives in the same manner that Christ loves the church.  Hawkins proposes that companionship, not an automatic thing that occurs in marriages where opposites are intermingled-it takes commitment.[7]

The book Song of Solomon provides us with graphics pictures of how each person in the relationship describes the concept of love and their love for each other.  However, the bond was strong and heartfelt; the dominant character in this book is the beloved. The Shulamite expressed with poetic beauty the intensity of her love and commitment for her “beloved” even though they appear to be social opposites.[8]  1 Samuel 25:2-42 speaks of biblical opposites. Nabal, Abigail, and David. Nabal was brutish, displayed no social graces and demonstrated an attitude of ungratefulness. Abigail signified a woman of compassion, generosity and quick witnesses. In this instance, David was determined to require vengeance after being rejected by Nabal even though he protected Nabal’s property.  Three separate personalities met during the perfect storm of Nabal’s unthankfulness.  Abigail’s quick witness prevented David from committing an atrocity that God would have handled.  David, on the other hand, was attracted to her because she was wise and committed in her relationship with her husband.


[1] Dr. Olson states that although opposites do attract “They will need to remember to work with their differences rather than attempting to change or criticize the other person. It is helpful to look at the positives, even in very diverse approaches to the same issue.“ PREPARE/ENRICH, Facilitator’s Manual: Social, 71, PDF, Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015;  I Corinthians 13 (KJV)declares “ 4 Love is patient, love is kind. . . . . 5 It does not dishonor; it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” This scripture suggests that love will encounter differences, but it also offers suggestions that enables couples to maintain relationships with individuals who are one’s opposite.

[2] Ronald E. Hawkins, Strengthening Marital Intimacy (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991, Vital Source), 13.

[3] Ibid., 123.

[4] Ibid., 15

[5] Ibid., 15; Gen. 2:18.

[6] Ibid., 80; 124-126.

[7] Ibid., 132 “Attraction must culminate in exclusive commitment to the other individual if intimacy is to be achieved.”

[8] Song of Sol. 8:13-14. He is outside socializing with his friends while he is at home waiting for him.  However, she does not resent his absence. She declares her need for him and demands a commitment to their time together.


Hawkins, Ronald E. Strengthening Marital Intimacy. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991.

PREPARE/ENRICH. Facilitator’s Manual: Social, 71. PDF. Roseville: PREPARE/ENRICH, October 25, 2015.



Discussion Board Topic 4

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof? What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?

What do you see as some of the most impactful challenges involved in a blended family coming together under one roof?

Deal implores couples who are considering marriage with a blended family construct to take the time to wait and weight the challenges that they will face, not just as individuals, but as a blended family.[1] Deal iterated that using wisdom in the decision-making process fosters an understanding of creating a blended family with eternity in mind and not just as a stop-gap measure.[2] Christian couples who are considering blending their families or adding an individual into the family matrix who was not there at the birth of the children must bring every decision under the direction of God.[3]

Not only should couples consider the wisdom of their actions, but they should also both become actively engaged in educating themselves about the challenges of “familyness” and “coupleness” bring to the blended family and the emotional and psychological obstacles that occur when blending a couple attempts to blend a family.[4] Formulating and articulating a personal, relational, dating, family, and new partner silhouette creates an environment that eliminates the challenge of dating a partner who does not have a healthy sense of self, a strong relationship with the Lord, and understanding the impact of family of origin and its impact on the person’s knowledge of how to parent.[5] Deal proposes that the dating process determines how well a family blends in the future. Deal identifies several yellow and red light cautions that impact blended families.[6] Just a few of the yellow and relight cautions are listed below.

Dating Is Inconsistent With Actual Blended Family Living. A person who is quietly dating but is not prepared for a blended family experience is not ready for the rigors of a blended family.

A Quick Turnaround. A person who is looking for a relationship to heal past hurts is not prepared for a blended family.

Pressured to Marry and Willing to Accommodate. The impact of “church family” on the couple to create a new family result in a disaster for the couple who are not prepared for “blendedness.”

Caution: Character Issues. An individual with personality deficits tears apart relationships

A Difficult or Unbelieving Ex-Spouse. This scenario is one that the blended family will live with for a long period.  You are marrying a person and all of their life experiences as well as family experiences.

Someone Who Can’t on Occasion Sit in the Backseat. A person who must remain in control of all situation and who must be the “center of attention” leaves no room for joint decision making or collaborative discussions.  All members of the blended family will experience isolation and a sense on non-importance in this relationship.

Extreme Differences in Parenting. The inability to come to a consensus on how to parent will disintegrate and or prevent the blending of two families into a cohesive group where both parents are speaking the same thing. [7]

What areas would you seek to address in counseling a couple thinking about remarrying to form a blended family?


After completing The SYMBIS Assessment with the pair, and addressing their strengths and weaknesses, the areas of significant weakness that will derail the marriage will be addressed. The Dynamics sections will facilitate many of the yellow and red light cautions mentioned above.[8] Following the questioning style and protocol of SYMBIS will foster an understanding of the red and yellow cautions involved with remarrying. Also, exclusively utilizing the “Remarriage & Blending A Family” resource that addresses all of the areas above will heighten the awareness of the pitfalls of remarrying for the wrong reasons.[9]  Finally, utilizing the Biblical guide to direct the couple toward the importance of the presence of the Holy Spirit in their remarriage decision is crucial to the success of their marriage.[10]


[1] Ron L. Deal, Dating and the Single Parent (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 2012), 4.

[2] Ibid., 8.

[3] Ibid., 13.

[4] Ibid., 20,

[5] Ibid., Chapters 2 and 3.

[6] Ibid., 161-182.

[7] Ibid., 182

[8] Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.


[10] Ibid., SYMBIS Biblical Guide.


Deal, Ron L. Dating and the Single Parent. Grand Rapids: Bethany House Publishers, 2012, Google Books.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. REMARRIAGE & BLENDING A FAMILY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. ULTIMATE GUIDE TO PRE-MARRIAGE MINISTRY. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.

Parrott, Les, and Leslie Parrott. BIBLICAL GUIDE: Integrating Scripture into every page of the report. PDF. Bothell: SYMBIS, 2017.


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