Skeletons of a Course of
By Charles G. Finney
Preface Methods to be used in this course of study. What to expect and what not to expect. What is required.
Lecture 1. Introduction. Define the Study; Requisite Personal Qualifications; Advantages derived from the study of Systematic Theology; Things to be avoided.
Lecture 2. Some things implied in the study of Theology; Some things that we know of man, independently of any revelation or knowledge of God.
Lecture 3. Importance of a correct knowledge of the laws of evidence; Evidence and Proof, and their difference; Sources of evidence; Kinds and degrees of evidence; When objections are not, and when they are fatal; How objections are to be disposed of; On whom lies the burden of proof; Where proof or argument must begin.
Lecture 4. Existence of God. Methods of proof; Their amount.
Lecture 5. Atheism. Definition; different forms; Principal objections to Theism answered; Difficulties of Atheism.
Lecture 6. Divine authority of the Bible. A farther revelation from God than that which is made in the works or nature and providence needed; Such a revelation possible; Such a revelation probable; 'The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, a direct revelation from God.
Lecture 7. Inspiration of the Bible. What is not implied in the inspiration of the bible; What is implied; How a question of this kind cannot be proved; How it can be proved; The Bible an inspired Book; Objections answered.
Lecture 8. Deism. Deism defined; different classes of Deists; Their objections to Christianity; Difficulties of Deism.
Lecture 9. Natural Attributes of God. A Natural Attribute defined; What are some of the Natural Attributes of God; Prove that God possesses them.
Lecture 10. Moral Attributes of God. A Moral Attribute defined; Some of the Moral Attributes of God; Prove that God possesses them; Benevolence.
Lecture 11. Justice of God. The term Justice defined; The several senses in which it is used; God is just; An objection answered.
Lecture 12. Mercy of God. What Mercy is not; What it is; In what cases it can be exercised; To what extent; On what conditions; Mercy an attribute of God.
Lecture 13. Truth of God. Truth defined; Truth an attribute of God.
Lecture 14. Wisdom of God. Wisdom defined; Wisdom an attribute of God.
Lecture 15. Holiness of God. Remarks; Holiness defined; Holiness an attribute of God.
Lecture 16. Unity of God. Meaning of the term Unity when applied to God; Remarks in respect to the manner in which this subject has been treated in different ages and nations; Unity of God proved.
Lecture 17. Trinity or Tri unity of God. Doctrine stated; The point now under consideration; Sources of evidence; Amount of evidence to be expected, if the doctrine be true; Proof adduced; Objections answered.
Lecture 18. Divinity of Christ. What is intended by the Divinity of Christ; Christ truly divine, or the true God; Objections answered.
Lecture 19. Humanity of Christ. Various opinions noticed; What is intended by the Humanity of Christ; Doctrine proved.
Lecture 20. Personality and Divinity of the Holy Spirit. What is not intended by the Divinity of the Holy Spirit; He is truly God; What is intended by the Personality of the Holy Spirit; His Divinity proved.
Lecture 21. Providence of God. What is intended by the Providence of God; God administers over the universe a providential government; Different theories and arguments noticed; Show what seems to be the truth.
Lecture 22. Moral Government. Moral Government defined; What it implies.
Lecture 23. Foundation of Moral Obligation. Moral Obligation defined; Conditions of Moral Obligation; Foundation of Moral Obligation.
Lecture 24. Whose right it is to govern. God a moral being; God a Moral Governor.
Lecture 25. What is implied in the right to Govern. Reciprocal duties of rulers and ruled.
Lecture 26. Moral Law. What Law is; Moral Law defined; Moral Law a unit; No being can make law; The will of the ruler can be obligatory only as it is declaratory of what the Law is.
Lecture 27. Law of God. What is intended by the Law of God; The commandments declaratory; The Ten Commandments illustrations of this; Sanctions of the Law; First Commandment. Its true meaning. Second Commandment. Reasons for it; what it prohibits. Third Commandment. Its true spirit; Reasons for this Commandment.
Lecture 28. Fourth Commandment. When the Sabbath was instituted; Its design; Its necessity; Its perpetual and universal obligation; The manner of its observance; Its change from the seventh to the first day of the week.
Lecture 29. Fifth Commandment. Reasons for this Commandment; What it implies; What it prohibits. Sixth Commandment. What its letter prohibits; Its true spirit; What is, and what is not prohibited by its spirit; What its spirit requires; Reasons for it; Violations of it.
Lecture 30. Seventh Commandment. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it. Eighth Commandment. What it implies; What it prohibits; Reasons for it; When it is violated.
Lecture 31. Ninth Commandment. What it implies; What is not a violation of it; What it prohibits; Reasons for it. Tenth Commandment to What it implies; What is not a breach of it; What it prohibits and enjoys; Reasons for it.
Lecture 32. Sanctions of Law. What constitutes sanctions; There can be no Law without them; In what light they are to be regarded; The end to be secured by law and the execution of penal Sanctions; Rule for graduating them.
Lecture 33. Sanctions of God's Law. God's law has Sanctions; What constitutes the remuneratory Sanctions of God's Law; Their perfection and duration; What constitutes its vindicatory Sanctions; Their duration.
Lecture 34. Governmental principles.
Lecture 35. The Atonement. Its Intention; The Atonement necessary.
Lecture 36. Reasons why an Atonement was preferable to punishment, or to the execution of the Divine Law.
Lecture 37. What constitutes the Atonement. Not Christ's obedience to law as a covenant of works; His sufferings and death constitute the Atonement; His taking human nature and obeying unto death a reason for our being treated as righteous: Nature and kind of his sufferings; Amount of his sufferings; The Atonement not a commercial transaction; The Atonement a satisfaction of public justice.
Lecture 38. Value of the Atonement. In what its value consists; How great its value is; For whose benefit it was intended.
Lecture 39. Influence of the Atonement.
Lecture 40. Objections answered.
Lecture 41. Human Governments a part of the Moral Government of God. Human Governments a necessity of human nature; This necessity will continue as long as men exist in the present world; Human Governments recognized in the Bible as a part of the Government of God; Whose right and duty it is to government; In what cases human legislation imposes moral obligation, It is the duty of all men to aid in the establishment and support of Human Government; 'The supposition that Human Government can ever be dispensed with in this world, a ridiculous and absurd dream; Objections answered.
Lecture 42. Human Governments a part of the Moral Government of God. Reasons why God has made no particular form of Church or State Governments universally obligatory; Particular forms of Church and State Government must and will depend upon the intelligence and virtue of the people: True basis on which the right of Human Legislation rests; That form of Government is obligatory, that is best suited to meet the necessities of the people; Revolutions become necessary and obligatory, when the virtue and intelligence, or the vice and ignorance of the people demand them; In what cases Human Legislation is valid, and in what cases it is null and void; In what cases we are bound to disobey Human Governments.
* From the 1857 version