Finney's Unpublished Lectures On Theology

[or, Introductory Lectures and Preparation to the Study of Theology]

Retyped by Rick Friedrich in August of 1998.


EDITORIAL REMARKS.

LECTURE I, II. - INTRODUCTORY.

Define the study upon which we are about to enter - Some of the requisite personal qualifications for this study - Some of the advantages to be derived from the study of Systematic Theology - Some things to be avoided - Remarks.

LECTURE III. - INTRODUCTORY - CONSCIOUSNESS AND SENSE.

Do we know anything? - How do we know ourselves? - What do we know of ourselves in consciousness? - What is meant by sense?

LECTURE IV. - INTRODUCTORY - REASON.

What we mean by the reason, as distinct from the other functions of the intellect - First truths of reason have the following characteristics - Examples of some first truths of reason - How these truths are developed in the reason - Division of first truths of reason - Second class of truths of reason - How this class of truths (second class) is developed in the reason - Remarks - Truths of conscience - How the ideas of conscience are developed.

LECTURE V. - INTRODUCTORY - THE UNDERSTANDING, JUDGMENT, AND FREEDOM OF THE WILL.

The understanding - The judgment - The will.

LECTURE VI. - INTRODUCTORY - IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.

Argument from consciousness - Moral argument - The Bible argument - Objections.

LECTURE VI-b. - INTRODUCTORY - EVIDENCE.

The importance of a correct and thorough knowledge of the laws of evidence - What is evidence and what is proof, and the difference between them - Source of evidence in a course of theological inquiry - Kinds and degrees of evidence to be expected - When objections are not, and when they are fatal - How objections are to be disposed of - Where lies the burden of proof - Where proof or argument must begin.

LECTURE VII. - THE EXISTENCE OF GOD.

Several ways in which God may reveal himself to rational beings - Two revelations - What God is as known to us in the irresistible convictions of our minds - Principle terms to be used in discussion of God's existence - Some self-evident truths of reason - Argument for the existence of God - Argument for the existence of God as Moral Governor.

LECTURE VIII. - THE EXISTENCE OF GOD (CONTINUED).

Argument from final causes; or, from apparent ultimate design - Facts and self-evident truths - The following positions are manifest - Propositions - Stating the substance of the above propositions in another form - Argument from consciousness of the existence of God - First objection - Second objection - Method of the natural reason - Summary remarks.

LECTURE IX. - THE NATURAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.

What is a natural attribute? - What are the natural attributes of God? - Self-existence - Immutability - Absoluteness - Infinity - Liberty - Omniscience - Omnipotence - Eternity - Ubiquity or omnipresence - Spirituality - Moral agency - Unity - Independence - Natural perfection.

LECTURE X. - THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD.

What is moral character, and what are moral attributes? - God is morally and infinitely good - Two objections that have been made to the benevolence of God - What are the moral attributes of God? - Justice - Mercy.

LECTURE XI. - THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD (CONTINUED).

Veracity - Disinterestedness - Forbearance - Long-suffering - Self-denial - Impartiality - Beneficence - Sovereignty.

LECTURE XII. - THE MORAL ATTRIBUTES OF GOD (CONTINUED).

Firmness - Severity - Efficiency - Simplicity - Immutability - Infinity - Holiness - Remarks.