The fourth human endowment : a spiritual autobiography

Full Title
The fourth human endowment : a spiritual autobiography
Sherwin Brantsen
Chapter One explains that this D.Min. program started out with a desire to study church growth methods, find one that works in a suburban RCA congregation and implement it.

Chapter Two describes the author's personal conflict with the decretal theism of his youth. It starts with childhood perceptions of God while growing up in a Reformed context. The chapter travels through a personal history with Dort and concludes with the discovery of the writings of Stephen Covey and John Sanders.

Chapter Three discusses the history of the Canons of Dort, questioning the doctrine of reprobation. It goes into a pastoral evaluation of decretal theism and concludes with a study of the contemporary influence of the teachings of Dort in the RCA.

Chapter Four compares the decretal theism of the Westminster Confession and the Canons of Dort with the teachings of modern business consultant and best-selling author, Stephen Covey. This chapter asserts that, especially in today's context, emphasis needs to placed more on human responsibility than on God's eternal decrees.

Chapter Five compares decretal theism to relational theism. It discusses the risk-free nature of Dort and compares it to the relational "risk" theism of John Sanders.

Chapter Six discusses various implications decretal theism may have for the RCA. The suggestion is made that we further examine our theology as perhaps one of the contributing causes of our decline.
Chapter Seven concludes the paper with statistics of decline in the RCA. The suggestion is again made that perhaps our lack of growth is due, at least in part, to our lack of motivation to evangelize. It may be that our lack of motivation is due to our theology that does not put enough emphasis on human responsibility.
Degree Granting Institution
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
Number of Pages
Copyright Statement
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