Systematic Theology (All 3 Parts Complete)

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Systematic theology makes use of biblical theology and often builds on its results. At some points, especially where great detail and care is needed in the development of a doctrine, systematic theology will even use the same methods as biblical theology, analyzing the development of each doctrine through the historical development of Scripture. But the focus of systematic theology remains different: it focuses on the collection and summary of all biblical passages on a subject, and attempts to summarize the teachings of Scripture in brief, understandable, and carefully formulated statements.

The term Trinity isn't in the Bible. Neither is incarnation. But both describe concepts based on a combination of biblical teachings. Systematic theology summarizes doctrines about modern-day topics like these. Nowhere in Scripture do we find doctrine separated from life. Each doctrine connects to the Christian life. Most Christians practice systematic theology without even realizing it. Or at least they make systematic-theological statements. Here are some ways people do this all the time:.

But formal systematic theology has several main differences from the way people usually approach these questions. It treats biblical topics in a carefully organized way. This helps guarantee that all topics receive thorough consideration, and it also provides a check against inaccurate analysis of individual topics.

It treats topics in much more detail. It treats the summaries of biblical teachings more accurately. In formal systematic theology, summaries of biblical teachings must be worded precisely to guard against misunderstandings and exclude false teachings. It treats all relevant Bible passages fairly for each topic. A doctrine is what the whole Bible teaches us today about a particular topic. So why should we bother collecting and summarizing the teachings of individual passages on particular topics? Fulfilling the Great Commission includes teaching —not just evangelism.

Lecture 1: Introduction to Systematic Theology | Free Online Biblical Library

Jesus commanded his disciples to teach believers to observe all that he commanded:. Teaching all that Jesus commanded includes teaching what the whole Bible says to us today. To effectively teach ourselves and others what the whole Bible says, we need to collect and summarize all passages on a particular subject. We can teach others most effectively if we can direct them to the most relevant passages and suggest an appropriate summary of the teachings of those passages.

Lecture 1: Introduction to Systematic Theology

Studying systematic theology helps us overcome our wrong ideas. We need to address the total weight of the teaching of Scripture in these areas, so that we can confront our faulty inclinations. But if we show them twenty-five or thirty verses that say that Jesus is coming back, our friend is much more likely to be persuaded by the breadth and diversity of biblical evidence for this doctrine. Studying systematic theology prepares us to answer new questions of doctrine. These new controversies will likely include questions no one has faced very carefully before. And this goes beyond formal doctrinal problems of applying Scripture to life. Systematic theology prepares us to answer questions like:.

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Theological principles come to bear on every question about applying Scripture to our lives. Those who have learned the theological teachings of the Bible will be more prepared to make decisions that please God. Studying systematic theology helps us grow as Christians. The more we know about God, his Word, and his relationships to the world and mankind, the more we will trust him, praise him, and obey him. Trying to understand what the Bible teaches us is like fitting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Systematic theology helps us fill in the border and some of the major pieces. The doctrines studied in systematic theology act as guidelines to help us continue filling in other areas and adding new pieces for the rest of our lives. So, we can confidently take all these different passages and use them to show us the big picture. Wayne Grudem is a fantastic theologian and Greek scholar. Listen to him simply explain systematic theology and why it is important in this short video. Setting the bucket illustration aside, another way to imagine systematic theology is that it is a 15,ft view of the Bible.

Systematic Theology Video Lectures, Chapter 36: Justification - Wayne A. Grudem

Imagine you are on top of a mountain, and below you is scripture laid out from beginning to end. You can make a lot of connections this way! But biblical theology takes a different approach. This time, you are seeing the Bible from the ground. You traverse hills, wander in the desert, and cross rivers. Instead of plucking ideas from Genesis, Matthew, and Revelation to make one statement about God, you only make statements based on what is right in front of you at a given moment.

Instead, those who study biblical theology go deep into the history, culture, and context of the passage they are reading.

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Verse-by-verse, they trudge through waist-deep research. Then, once they are very sure of their surroundings, they make a statement about God. Want a better explanation? Here one seeks to understand, e. In most cases these are books with discrete chapters devoted to the distinctive theological emphases of each book or corpus in the NT.

Systematic Theology (3 Volume Set) by Charles Hodge

Alternatively, one may trace certain themes running through the entire Bible, carefully observing how the passage of time enlarges and enriches them. Many of the ensuing articles in this study Bible are devoted to that kind of biblical theology. For example, the study of how the theme of the temple develops across time within the Bible not only generates insight on that theme but also enables us to see more clearly how the entire Bible holds together.

Some writers have recently studied a particular biblical book, then carefully noted how that book uses earlier biblical material, and then examined how later biblical books cite or allude to that book. For example, one might study the theology of the book of Daniel, paying close attention to the ways in which Daniel picks up themes and specific passages from earlier OT material, and then study how Daniel is cited and used in the rest of the Bible.

Theology can seem overwhelming if you have never been introduced to it before. However, we should work to become aware of the power and importance of the words we use to describe God. These resources are a great place to start! Do you prefer systematic or biblical theology? Why or why not?

Let us know in the comments! Systematic theology, please! I want the big — picture view of each topic so as to better understand where each piece of scripture fits into that picture. Systematic theology is of the most interest because it gets me the the focus of the Bible. I get to know the central themes in the Bible. And if there is a conflict the scientist needs to go back and re-evaluate his positions or the theologian needs to go back and examine his teaching.

By default, I defer to systematic theology. The former is about principles; the latter, application. I need both.

Because I use hermeneutics in my studies, I find biblical theology more rewarding for my understanding of Scripture. When looking at discoveries made in systematic theology I still need hermeneutics to correctly exegete the passage and understand if the conclusions they made are correct. Knowing the theology of a particular book will reveal this.

This is off topic but concerning hermeneutics I recommend green Osbournes hermeneutical spiral. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Face Two Alternatively, one may trace certain themes running through the entire Bible, carefully observing how the passage of time enlarges and enriches them. Face Three Some writers have recently studied a particular biblical book, then carefully noted how that book uses earlier biblical material, and then examined how later biblical books cite or allude to that book.