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Systematic Theology

Systematic Theology

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Published by: otisburns on Apr 27, 2010
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Systematic Theology
Question: "What is the definition of theology?"Answer:
The word “theology” comes from two Greek words that combined mean “thestudy of God.” Christian theology is simply an attempt to understand God as He isrevealed in the Bible. No theology will ever fully explain God and His ways because Godis infinitely and eternally higher than we are. Therefore, any attempt to describe Him willfall short (Romans 11:33-36). However, God does want us to know Him insofar as we areable, and theology is the art and science of knowing what we can know and understandabout God in an organized and understandable manner. Some people try to avoidtheology because they believe it is divisive. Properly understood, though, theology isuniting. Proper, biblical theology is a good thing; it is the teaching of God's Word (2Timothy 3:16-17).The study of theology, then, is nothing more than digging into God’s Word to discover what He has revealed about Himself. When we do this, we come to know Him as Creator of all things, Sustainer of all things, and Judge of all things. He is the Alpha and Omega,the beginning and end of all things. When Moses asked who was sending him to Pharaoh,God replied “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). The name I AM indicates personality.God has a name, even as He has given names to others. The name I AM stands for a free, purposeful, self-sufficient personality. God is not an ethereal force or a cosmic energy.He is the almighty, self-existing, self-determining Being with a mind and a will—the“personal” God who has revealed Himself to humanity through His Word, and throughHis Son, Jesus Christ.To study theology is to get to know God in order that we may glorify Him through our love and obedience. Notice the progression here: we must get to know Him before we canlove Him, and we must love Him before we can desire to obey Him. As a byproduct, our lives are immeasurably enriched by the comfort and hope He imparts to those who know,love, and obey Him. Poor theology and a superficial, inaccurate understanding of Godwill only make our lives worse instead of bringing the comfort and hope we long for.Knowing about God is crucially important. We are cruel to ourselves if we try to live inthis world without knowing about God. The world is a painful place, and life in it isdisappointing and unpleasant. Reject theology and you doom yourself to life with nosense of direction. Without theology, we waste our lives and lose our souls.All Christians should be consumed with theology—the intense, personal study of God— in order to know, love, and obey the One with whom we will joyfully spend eternity.
"What is systematic theology?"
“Systematic” refers to something being put into a system. Systematic theologyis, therefore, the division of theology into systems that explain its various areas. For example, many books of the Bible give information about the angels. No one book gives
all the information about the angels. Systematic theology takes all the information aboutangels from all the books of the Bible and organizes it into a system called angelology.That is what systematic theology is all about—organizing the teachings of the Bible intocategorical systems.Theology Proper or Paterology is the study of God the Father. Christology is the study of God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Pneumatology is the study of God the Holy Spirit.Bibliology is the study of the Bible. Soteriology is the study of salvation. Ecclesiology isthe study of the church. Eschatology is the study of the end times. Angelology is thestudy of angels. Christian Demonology is the study of demons from a Christian perspective. Christian Anthropology is the study of humanity from a Christian perspective. Hamartiology is the study of sin. Systematic theology is an important tool inhelping us to understand and teach the Bible in an organized manner.In addition to systematic theology, there are other ways that theology can be divided.Biblical theology is the study of a certain book (or books) of the Bible and emphasizingthe different aspects of theology it focuses on. For example, the Gospel of John is veryChristological since it focuses so much on the deity of Christ (John 1:1, 14; 8:58; 10:30;20:28). Historical theology is the study of doctrines and how they have developed over the centuries of the Christian church. Dogmatic theology is the study of the doctrines of certain Christian groups that have systematized doctrine—for example, Calvinistictheology and dispensational theology. Contemporary theology is the study of doctrinesthat have developed or come into focus in recent times. No matter what method of theology is studied, what is important is that theology is studied.
Systematic theology
is a discipline of Christian theologythat attempts to formulate anorderly, rational, and coherent account of the Christian faith and beliefs. Inherent to asystem of theological thought is that a method is developed, one which can be applied both broadly and particularly. Systematic theology draws on the foundations of thesacred textsof Christianity, and also looks to the development of doctrine over the course of history, philosophy, science, and ethics to produce as full a view and as versatile a philosophicalapproach as possible.
Question: "What is Old Testament theology?"Answer:
Old Testament theology is what God has revealed about Himself in the OldTestament. The system of Old Testament theology takes the various truths that the OldTestament books teach us about God and presents them in an organized fashion. God'srevelation of Himself begins in Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavensand the earth." That is a presupposition that all believers accept by faith and is based onthe study of God throughout all the Scripture from Genesis to Revelation. Since the Bibleis true in all of its aspects, then all of it, as it comes from God, is true and eternal. It never  passes away nor will it ever deny itself in any of its parts.God said, "My Word is true...it is eternal...it will never pass away." God Himself is true:Jesus said, "For I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life..." (John 14:6). John 1:1-3 state:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; thesame was in the beginning with God." Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16: "All Scripture isgiven by inspiration of God (God-breathed)." Second Peter 1:21 states: "But men spokefrom God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."Since God revealed Himself, His character, His attributes, etc., then a theological study ismade of the Old Testament and it is discovered that the Old Testament (Old Covenant)gives us an application of theology to a relationship that God established with a created people, the Jews. We must relate the word “theology” to the word "testament" or "covenant." All through this Old Testament there is a progressive revelation of God to his people in order that they might learn who He is, what He is, and what He was doing inthe world, especially with them. The application of the word “testament” carries one beyond the simple fact of books or writings to their main theme. Into the very heart of theOld Testament is woven the idea of a Covenant between God and man, first made withAdam, then with Noah, also with Abraham, the nation of Israel and with David. TheScripture refers again and again through the history, the psalms and proverbs and prophecy, to this covenant into which God entered with His chosen people. In Jeremiah, prophecy reaches its height in the sublime prediction of the New Covenant, a predictiondeclared by the writer of the letter to the Hebrews to be fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Question: "What is dogmatic theology?"Answer:
Dogmatic theology gets its name from the Greek and Latin word dogma which,when referring to theology, simply means “a doctrine or body of doctrines formally andauthoritatively affirmed.” Basically, dogmatic theology refers to the official or “dogmatic” theology as recognized by an organized church body, such as the RomanCatholic Church, Dutch Reformed Church, etc.While the term dogmatic theology is thought to have first appeared in 1659 in the title of a book by L. Reinhardt, the term became more widely used following the Reformationand was used to designate the articles of faith that the church had officially formulated. Agood example of dogmatic theology is the doctrinal statements or dogmas that wereformulated by the early church councils who sought to resolve theological problems andto take a stand against heretical teaching. The creeds or dogmas that came out of thechurch councils were considered to be authoritative and binding on all Christians becausethe church officially affirmed them. One of the purposes of dogmatic theology is toenable a church body to formulate and communicate the doctrine that is consideredessential to Christianity and which, if denied, would constitute heresy.Dogmatic theology is sometimes confused with systematic theology, and the two termsare at times used interchangeably. However, there are subtle but important differences between the two. To understand the difference between systematic theology anddogmatic theology, it is important to notice that the term “dogma” emphasizes not onlythe statements from Scripture, but also the ecclesiastical, authoritative affirmation of those statements. The fundamental difference between systematic theology and dogmatictheology is that systematic theology does not require official sanction or endorsement by

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