Systematic theology

Discussion in 'Systematic Theology' started by Joe, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. Joe is a Verified MemberJoe Administrator
    Joe

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    Systematic theology is a discipline which addresses theological topics one by one (e.g. God, Sin, Humanity) and attempts to summarize all the biblical teaching on each particular subject. Sometimes called constructive theology or even dogmatic theology, the goal is to present the major themes (i.e. doctrines) of the Christian faith in an organized and ordered overview that remains faithful to the biblical witness.

    Systematic theology integrates biblical, historical and sometimes philosophical theology into its methodology. Its main goal is to draw a clear description of what the Bible teaches about a particular doctrine. Furthermore, systematic theology not only looks to biblically construct individual doctrines of the Christian faith, but remains aware of the cause-effect relationship of each doctrine. That is, on the one hand, if one doctrine is changed, effects will take place in other areas of doctrine. On the other hand, each doctrine has implications for other doctrines. For example, within the doctrine of Christ (i.e., Christology) the belief in Jesus' resurrection means that we are not left in our sins (cf. 1 Cor 15:17). Jesus has conquered sin, and those who are in Christ also experience this victory (cf. Rom 6). Moreover, Christians have a future hope that they too will be resurrected and experience eternal life. These are just a few of many other examples of how each doctrine is interrelated to one another. In the end, systematic theology should naturally flow into practical theology where the conclusions drawn from Scripture are made applicable to the Church.

    General areas of systematic theology
    • Prolegomena - the study of methods and presuppositions before one does systematic theology (sometimes this involves the study of how God reveals himself).
    • Bibliology - the study of the Bible.
    • Theology Proper - the study of the doctrine of God.
    • Christology - the study of Jesus.
    • Pneumatology - the study of the Holy Spirit.
    • Anthropology - the study of humanity.
    • Soteriology - the study of Salvation.
    • Ecclesiology - the study of the Church.
    • Eschatology - the study of last things or end times.
    • Angelology - the study of the angelic beings.
    History
    The systematic presentation of the Christian faith is not a new concept. Wolfhart Pannenberg writes that "systematic theology... emerged long before the term came into common use. Materially the systematic presentation of Christian teaching is very much older. It was already the object of Gnostic systems in the 2nd century, and although it remained merely implicit in the works of the early Apologists, and anti-Gnostic fathers like Irenaeus, Origen presented his work on origins (peri-archon) in the form of a systematic presentation of the Christian doctrine of God." ^[1]^

    This is a section stub. Please edit it to add information.

    Interpreting the Bible
    Systematic theology also has major implications in the area of interpreting scripture. For example, the doctrine of the Trinity is not gathered from one passage of the Bible. Instead, the Trinity is an authoritative interpretation of what all of scripture says. Or, as David Yeago puts it, scripture contains "a pattern of implicit and explicit judgments concerning the God of Israel and his relationship to the crucified and risen Jesus of Nazareth."^ [2]^ Although some passages in the New Testament may appear to show a clear distinction between Jesus and God the Father(e.g. John 17), other passages that clearly teach monotheism (e.g. Ex. 20:3; Deut. 6:4) must be taken into account before a final interpretation can be concluded. A correct interpretation of scripture must take into account all relevant passages in the Bible, and this is done through the method of a systematic reading of scripture.

    source
     
  2. TCassidy Particular Baptist
    TCassidy

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    I think Theopedia may be a little lacking in its definition.

    I would add: Hamartiology - The study of sin. It is difficult to ascertain where we are and where we are going, and how, without understanding how we got here. :)

    Here is a series of lectures on Systematic Theology. The first session is very informative regarding what Systematic Theology actually is. (The entire series is 4 hours long, but the for section is quite short.)



    (In the interests of full disclosure, my Th.D. is in Systematic Theology so I may be a bit biased when discussing this subject.) :)
     
  3. Joe is a Verified MemberJoe Administrator
    Joe

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    I've got a 3 hour commute, going to have to give this a listen and come back to discuss.
    I'd have to say systematic theology is one area I have spent very little time learning.
     
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  4. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    http://www.reformedreader.org/rbb/dagg/mottoc.htm

    BOOK SECOND.

    DOCTRINE CONCERNING GOD.

    INTRODUCTION.

    DUTY OF LOVE TO GOD.


    "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might."[1] In this manner the Bible commands the chief of all duties. No reasons are assigned for the requirement. No proof is adduced that God exists, or that he possesses such perfections as entitle him to the supreme love of his creatures. Jehovah steps forth before the subjects of his government, and issues his command. He waits for no formal introduction. He lifts up his voice with majesty. Without promise, and without threat, he proclaims his law, and leaves his subjects to their responsibility.

    From the manner of this announcement, we may derive instruction. It is not necessary that we should enter into a formal demonstration that God exists, or a formal investigation of his attributes, before we begin the duty of loving him. We already know enough of him for this; and to postpone the performance of the duty until we have completed our investigations, is to commence them with unsanctified hearts, and in rebellion against God. From the dawn of our being we have had demonstrations of God's existence and character, blazing around us like the light of noonday. The heavens and the earth have declared his glory; his ministers and people have proclaimed his name; he is not to us an unknown God, except so far as our minds are wilfully blind to the displays of his glory. If, therefore, we withhold the affections of our hearts, we can have no excuse in the plea that more evidence is needed. And with hearts so alienated from God at the outset, all our religious inquiries are likely to be unprofitable. What probability is there that further proof will produce its proper impression and effect on our minds, if that which is already in our possession is unheeded or abused? If, from what we already know of God, we admire and love him, we shall desire to know more of him, and shall prosecute the study with profit and delight; but, if we have already shut him out of our hearts, all our intellectual investigations respecting him may be expected to leave us in spiritual blindness.
     
  5. Mungo Member
    Mungo

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    You could also add Mariology.

    Mariology is the theological study of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mariology methodically presents teachings about her to other parts of the faith, such as teachings about Jesus, redemption and grace. Christian Mariology aims to connect scripture, tradition and the teachings of the Church on Mary. In the context of social history, Mariology may be broadly defined as the study of devotion to and thinking about Mary throughout the history of Christianity. (Wikipedia)
     
  6. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    Do you think there is that much to study about mary in scripture?
     
  7. Mungo Member
    Mungo

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    Indeed there is.

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church says this:
    What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.” (para 487).
    Anything that illumines our faith in Christ is worth studying. But note that we start with Christ.

    I think it is well put by and Orthodox priest who wrote:
    There is no room for the Mother of God in a "reduced Christology." Protestant theologians simply have nothing to say about her. Yet to ignore the Mother means to misinterpret the Son. On the other hand, the person of the Blessed Virgin can be properly understood and rightly described only in a Christological setting and context. Mariology is to be but a chapter in the treatise on the Incarnation, never to be extended into an independent "treatise." Not, of course, an optional or occasional chapter, not an appendix. It belongs to the very body of doctrine. The Mystery of the Incarnation includes the Mother of the Incarnate. Sometimes, however, this Christological perspective has been obscured by a devotional exaggeration, by an unbalanced pietism. Piety must always be guided and checked by dogma. Again, there must be a Mariological chapter in the treatise on the Church. But the doctrine of the Church itself is but an "extended Christology," the doctrine of the "total Christ," totus Christus, caput et corpus.
     
  8. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    I like that Mary acknowledged her sin in trusting Jesus as her Savior.
     
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  9. Mungo Member
    Mungo

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    I would answer that but I don't want to derail the thread which is about systematic - theology rather than particular doctrines. And discussions on Marian topics tend to go all over the place. :)
     
  10. Him New Member
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    Add Satanology
     
  11. Him New Member
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  12. John Lawless Reader
    John Lawless

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    As my introduction states, I will soon be completing my ThD. My area of study is systematic theology. I have posted my ten papers as a result of my doctoral course work. Feel free to take a look at academia.edu. The goal of my dissertation is to add to the base of knowledge of what it means to have an enhanced understanding of God. The basic question is, "What is God's essence." Men such as Barth and Pannenberg believe it is love, while men such as Mohler, Armstrong, and Culver believes it is holiness. It is an interesting area of reserch.
     
  13. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
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    All of God's attributes can be prefaced by the word....HOLY...
    God's love is a Holy love
    God's wisdom is perfect in Holiness...
    In isa 6 he did not say, love, love, love....but rather Holy,holy ,holy....
     
  14. John Lawless Reader
    John Lawless

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    There are many who agree with your position. In the field of Theological Essencology this is known as declaring God's holiness as being God's essence. There are some issues that arise. How does one define essence. How does one define holiness? What if any exegetical fallacies exist in this position? Can an essence be an attribute and visa versa? The idea of essence and the research in the subject dates back 2500 years, how does their research effect our 21st-century view of essence? These are all questions I seek to answer in my dissertation. I would love to hear your response to these questions.
     
  15. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    No...I am fairly simple and consider revealed truth.When we say God is perfect in that nothing can be added to Him or taken from Him that is about as far as I go.
    I do not entertain speculations as the mind of man is too feeble to take in anything other than Spirit revealed truth.

    deut32;
    4 The Rock! -- perfect [is] His work, For all His ways [are] just; God of stedfastness, and without iniquity: Righteous and upright [is] He.

    hab1:
    12 Art thou not from everlasting, O Lord my God, mine Holy One? we shall not die. O Lord, thou hast ordained them for judgment; and, O mighty God, thou hast established them for correction.

    13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

    isa6:
    6 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

    2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.

    3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

    4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.

    5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.
     
  16. John Lawless Reader
    John Lawless

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    So men such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle of antiquity, Anselm of Canterbury, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine of Hippo of the Middle Ages, and Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz, Rene Descartes, Norman Geisler, and Wayne Grudem just wasted their time? Many of the truths we as Christians now take for granted come from the work of philosophers through out the ages. The very nature of truth comes from ideas postulated by men such as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, and Theophilus of Antioch. Some of the great arguments crafted by Norman Geisler uses the syllogism which was devised and documented by Aristotle. The very basic for Calculus comes from the great Christian Philosopher Leibniz. These men have contributed much to what we as 21st-Century Christians take for granted. For instance, the Council of Chalcedon in 451 AD, where it was determined Jesus was the same substance as the Father used the Greek word and concept ousias developed by Aristotle to declare Jesus was homoousias not homoiousias. These may seem like splitting hairs but these things have contributed volumes to our understanding of who God is. I don't believe speculation as you call it is a waste of time.
     
  17. Anthony D'Arienzo is a Verified MemberAnthony D'Arienzo Moderator
    Anthony D'Arienzo

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    I in no way would want to bind your conscience as you study as you do.
    I do not trust my own mind to reach up to God,rather I am content to try to understand God revealed truth.
    In 1 cor. We are told man by wisdom did not know God.
    If some of these men have offered some things that have been found helpful that's fine.
    Some of these people have offered error by their speculations. ...many which helped the Roman Church get off track.
    I have little use for Wayne Grudem...
    I think an example of his errant speculation ....going from memory,but I think on page1067?he has a diagram of an arrow representing new revelation coming into a person's mind,then he suggests it is up to the person to put it in his own words....no thanks wayne.
     

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