The sermon starts well; talking about the Bible (which version and why), the creeds (choose one) as a summary of Christian theology hammered out over the early centuries, and the teaching of various books: Romans and John's gospel.
I agree with it all, particularly that the speaker prefers the literal translations: NASB and ESV; me too. The dynamic equivalence approach leaves me unstimulated. It is too fuzzy.
I also like the reference to the creeds (Apostles is my favourite, but needs clarification about the 'descent into hell'). The church I was brought up in was isolated from the vast Christian tradition, being an individualistic non-conformist crowd; although the politics had some benefits that appeal to my volunteerist leanings (I was going to say anarchist, but people mis-understand that word) in that each congregation was self-organising; no bishops or bosses from elsewhere.
He spoke well, if too long, about spiritual experience and the theology of redemption.
Where it fell down was in not talking about:
- prayer! and study of the Bible (use of references)
- the church: what it is and what it is for
- the thematic structure of the biblical arc between creation and new creation--this orients the reader to the vast literature in the Bible and simplifies initial reading.
- the implicit view of reality in the Bible (philosophical theology without the big words)
- what the detractors say, and what their implicit view of reality is (usually materialist, but sometimes impersonal monist or idealist: the parlous influence on theology and apologetics)
Working with new converts is a wonderful privilege. I hope to write more about this in the future.