WHAT'S THE HISTORY OR BACKGROUND FOR ALL THIS MATERIAL?
When we moved overseas, there was a need to help further equip local pastors who were ministering in our partner denomination in South Asia. To help meet this need, we started writing the material that's now up on this site in 2014. We held module trainings for each lesson that lasted two days each; and we held these two-day trainings every few months (though sometimes much longer as the curriculum was still being written). The material was finally completed in November, 2020. This is the fruit of these labors.
HOW LONG DOES THE MATERIAL TAKE TO GO THROUGH?
Good question. When originally given, each lesson of the course was taught over a two-day period together. Each day we spent about 5-6 hours going through the material, for a total of 10-12 hours per lesson (we needed plenty of tea breaks and a good long lunch!). So for the full ten lessons, we would estimate that it will take around 100-120 hours to go through the entire course.
ARE THESE LESSONS ACCREDITED?
The course is not accredited, nor are there any kind of certificates we can award for successful completion of the course at this time. We're open to partnership. If you represent a seminary and would like to talk about partnering with us, please get in touch.
AM I FREE TO BASICALLY USE THESE MATERIALS ANY WAY I WANT?
In short, absolutely! This is our policy: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by us here at Ruin and Redemption. Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: “© 2018-20 Ruin and Redemption. All rights reserved.”
DO YOU ALSO HAVE VIDEO OR AUDIO RESOURCES FOR THIS COURSE?
Unfortunately, we do not have any video or audio resources to offer at this time (sorry).
THERE'S SO MUCH OUT THERE ALREADY. WHY THE NEED FOR SOMETHING ELSE?
Great point and important question. There is a lot that's already out there and available. And we certainly want to encourage you to make use of those materials as well. The purpose of this course isn't to limit or discourage the use of other materials, but to add to them. At the same time, the particular emphasis of this course is somewhat unique. What we have attempted to do is put together an extensive course on Covenant Theology that walks through the story of the Scriptures in a “biblical theology” way (IE, walking through the Scriptures chronologically) and yet, at the same time, while doing this, intentionally drawing out the kind of truths you would find in a “systematic theology.” So, we walk through the covenants, but as we do so, we learn about different aspects of doctrinal truth. We believe this is somewhat unique and hope it can be used to strengthen God's people.
CAN YOU GIVE ME AN IDEA OF YOUR GENERAL THEOLOGOCAL FRAMEWORK?
The material is written from what we would call a Reformed, Covenantal perspective. Everything agrees with the summary of the Scriptures as set forth in the Westminster Confession. The author is Presbyterian by conviction, and a teaching elder in the PCA.
WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY BOOKS YOU'VE CONSULTED TO WRITE THESE LESSONS?
I've used a lot of materials to compile the course, but there are five primary kinds of sources: The first are older authors who have written on the Covenants; this includes an intentional emphasis on the Puritans (such as John Ball, Thomas Boston, and Francis Roberts) as well as others (such as Herman Witsius). The second type of source are more modern writers on the Covenants, which would include especially O Palmer Robertson and Ligon Duncan. The third type of source are other writers that haven't necessarily written specifically on the Covenants as a whole—but deal more in-depth with particular topics related to the Covenants (such as Edward Fisher's The Marrow of Modern Divinity and John Colquhoun's Treatise on the Law and the Gospel). The fourth type of source are various Systematic Theologies, including especially Calvin (The Institutes), Geerhardus Vos (Reformed Dogmatics), Charles Hodge (Systematic Theology), and Herman Bavinck (Reformed Dogmatics). The fifth source I've drawn from are various commentaries; which for Romans would be primarily authors such as Calvin and Hodge (again), as well as Robert Haldane and John Murray. Hope that gives you a general idea of the kind of material used in the course.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CURRICULUM AND THREADS SECTION?
It's basically the same content, just in different form. The curriculum are PDF documents of each of the 10 lessons; whereas the threads section is broken off into smaller chunks. There are anywhere from 5 to 10 "threads" for each lesson.
DO YOU HAVE THESE MATERIALS IN BOOK FORM? CAN I ORDER THEM?
Not yet, but stay tuned. Now that the lessons are complete, this will be the next step.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT CAN BENEFIT MOST FROM THIS MATERIAL?
I think a lot of different kinds of people. As I mentioned above, the original audience for this material was local pastors and leaders in a South Asian context. So, the material is written in a way that's extremely accessible. But at the same time, we believe the material is truly extensive in its content and scope. It can be used to train pastors where seminary isn't an option. It can be used as a tool for training elders or as curriculum for Sunday School. It could also be used as just solid discipleship material.