About These Lectures
A sweeping introduction to the doctrine of God
Theology has a twofold goal: to know truths about God and to understand their reasons or explanations.
In this engaging twenty-hour video lecture series from Ryan Hurd, the listener will embark on a sweeping journey considering what theologians traditionally called the “divine names” of God. This includes not merely well-known titles usually ascribed to God, but all forms of speech about the Almighty. The course aims to cover everything that Christians undertake in the doctrine of God, or theology proper—“from A to Z.” It focuses on determining the main principles and distinctions required to do theology and achieve this goal. Particular focus is placed on scholastic theology and the helpfulness of Thomas Aquinas as a guide.
In part one of the series, Ryan explores “negative names” of God, such as “simple,” “infinite,” and so on. He examines how negative names primarily serve to distinguish God from creatures, but also flag errors in theological thinking. Such negative names thus often serve to prepare us to speak positively of God, clearing away what is not true God so we can speak of what is true, fitting together with “positive” names to bring us up to God.
In part two, Ryan considers “positive names”, such as “good” and “wise.” Many things are true to affirm of God, but they are not all the same: “God is love” and “God is a rock” are both true judgments, but have different weights and measures. Theology determines exactly those weights and measures, and what names they apply to. Scripture makes us affirm many things of God–but not all in the same way: some names are proper, whereas some are metaphorical. Ryan explores how we make such determinations, arguing that we always “go for broke” and affirm divine names as much as can be.
In the third and final part, Ryan explores “relative names”, such as “creator” and “lord.” Such names involve the real relationship between God and his creatures, and Ryan unpacks how such names speak of this relationship from God’s side.
These lectures are for anyone who wants to better understand theology, inviting both Scripture and its historic interpretation to shape their both heart and mind. As listeners learn to think and speak well of God, they will not only understand theological truths, but will grow in wisdom and worship as their hearts and imaginations are shaped by the God who is.
VIDEO Series | 20 one-hour Lectures | Lifetime Digital Access | Available feb 26, 2024
Adequacy and Division of Divine Names
Rationale of Our Negative Names
Removing Universal Conditions of Creatures
Primary Purpose of Negative Names
Secondary Purpose of Negative Names
Flagging the False Cause and Avoiding Misunderstanding
Giving the Reason-Why of Affirmative Names
Introducing Modes of Affirmation and Proper Modes: God Is Wise and God Has Knowledge
Metaphorical Modes Generally
Comparative Mode of Affirmation: God is a Rock
Causal Mode of Affirmation: God Moves
Connective Mode of Affirmation: God is Angry
Periphrastic Mode of Affirmation: God is a Substance
Principle of Existential Maximalism: God Knows
God Neither Is Wise, Nor Good, Nor Even Is (1)
God Neither Is Wise, Nor Good, Nor Even Is (2)
Introduction to Relative Names: God is Creator and Lord
Advanced Issues in Relative Names
(Opposition of) Relation Makes the Trinity
Opposition (of Relation) Makes the Trinity
About the Lecturer
Ryan Hurd (Ph.D Candidate, Theologische Universiteit Kampen) is a systematic theologian whose area of expertise is doctrine of God, specifically the Trinity. His primary training is in the high medieval and early modern scholastics as well as the 20th century ressourcement movement. He has written a number of articles and regularly does translations of early modern theology sources; but his primary project is writing a systematics of the Trinity.