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a Definition of systematic theology #45362
Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:10 AM
Tue Nov 02, 2010 3:10 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 1,769
Mississippi Gulf Coast
John_C Offline OP

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John_C  Offline OP

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I am looking for a definition in the use of the term, systematic theology, by the Reformed.


John Chaney

"having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith . . ." Colossians 2:7
Re: a Definition of systematic theology [Re: John_C] #45363
Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:54 PM
Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 3,524
Kelowna, British Columbia, Can...
Tom Offline
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Tom  Offline
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Re: a Definition of systematic theology [Re: Tom] #45380
Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:58 AM
Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:58 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Michigan, USA
Kaitiaki Offline
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Kaitiaki  Offline
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While wikipedia can be useful for some things, I would venture to add that Systematic theology is the development of the teaching of Scripture which rests on the conviction that God is consistent in his teaching and actions.

This means that it is possible to gather together all the passages of Scripture on a particular topic and distill the teaching so that the relationship of each of its parts may be seen and appreciated. So, for example, when we look at the teaching of Scripture on murder we discover that God makes a distinction between killing as a judicial act (commanded by God for those who take the life of another) and killing another human being. We also discover that murder is an act which has as its basis a planned determination to put the other person to death - rather than an act where someone is killed either by accident or as an un-premeditated response.

That the killer was to be pursued by the Avenger of Blood and that God made a provision for his life (in case the death was un-premeditated). That the death penalty was to be enforced if premeditation could be proved and that in all other cases the person was to be confined to the City of Refuge till the death of the High Priest.

There are other provisions but these suffice to show how the development of a systematic understanding of the theology of the Bible proceeds. I hope this is of some assistance.


And the Lord said: "Who will go for me and whom shall I send?"
And I said: "Here am I, send me."
Re: a Definition of systematic theology [Re: Kaitiaki] #45382
Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:42 PM
Tue Nov 09, 2010 6:42 PM
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Posts: 2,920
NH
chestnutmare Offline
Annie Oakley
chestnutmare  Offline
Annie Oakley
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,920
NH
The Westminster Theological Seminary description of the study of Systematic Theology renders the following:

"The task of systematic theology is to set forth in orderly and coherent manner the truth respecting God and his relations to men and the world. This truth is derived from the data of revelation, and revelation comprises all those media by which God makes himself and his will known to us men. All other departments of theological discipline contribute their findings to systematic theology and it brings all the wealth of knowledge derived from these disciplines to bear upon the more inclusive systematization which it undertakes."
– John Murray

Systematic theology seeks rightly to divide the Word of truth, particularly the holy Scriptures. It aims at formulations which correctly understand the Scriptures, through proper exegesis, and applies those formulations to the needs of the church and the issues of the day.
To that end, the Systematic Theology curriculum enables students:
• To understand and be able to articulate “the whole counsel of God” in the form of the system of doctrine taught in Scripture
• To grasp the way this system of doctrine derives from sound interpretation that does justice to the unity of Scripture in its historical and authorial diversity
• To understand the history of doctrine, primarily the theological heritage of the Reformed Churches and their confessional documents, especially the Westminster Standards
• To recognize within the theological heritage of the Reformed Churches what is perennial and undoubted and what is not yet settled
• To value the Westminster Standards as a summary of the system of doctrine taught in Scripture and, where appropriate, be prepared ex animo to subscribe to them as such
• To embrace the system of doctrine taught in Scripture in a way that enhances devotion to God and service to the church and the world, and so, in all, “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge”


The Chestnut Mare
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by frost.
- - - -JRR Tolkien "Lord of the Rings"
Re: a Definition of systematic theology [Re: chestnutmare] #45399
Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:30 AM
Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:30 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 23
Hyderabad, India
Mike Jeshurun Offline
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Mike Jeshurun  Offline
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Hyderabad, India
This is indeed a wonderful post and a much needed one. The Westminster Theological Seminary rightly states that ‘Systematic theology seeks rightly to divide the Word of truth, particularly the Holy Scriptures’.

The Bible however is NOT a work on Systematic Theology, but only the QUARRY out of which the stone for such a temple can be obtained. [Boettner] You can tell me ANY cardinal doctrine of the Christian faith and I’ll show you at least a couple of verses that seem to teach the EXACT OPPOSITE!

Dose one believe in the Holy Trinity? Why, my Bible tells me that ‘But to us there is but ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him’ [1Cor8:6]

Dose one believe that salvation is by Faith alone? My Bible tells me that ‘BY WORKS a man is justified, and NOT BY FAITH ONLY’. [Jam 2:24]

Are there some contending that the ‘Pentecostals’ are wrong and that ‘tongues’ are not for today? My Bible says – “I would that ye ALL spake with tongues”! And “FORBID NOT to speak with tongues” etc. [1Cor 14:5,39]

But you see ‘Doctrine’ is not built on a stray verse here and there, but by the PREPONDERANCE OF SCRIPTURE. What is the overall, dominating teaching of the Scriptures on a given subject? And if a verse or two seem to teach the opposite, we don’t pit Scripture against Scripture but harmonize the seemingly opposing verse or wait till God gives us further light.

God wrote the Bible with one purpose in mind – to SAVE HIS ELECT AND TO CONFUSE AND DAMN THE REPROBATE. Read Mark 4:11, 12.

Many sincere men have erred concerning the truth because of a failure to rightly divide Scripture or by yeilding to the 'god of reason'!.

Especially concerning Calvinism! We have ‘Four-pointers’, ‘three-pointers’ etc.

But, “Calvinism isn't a produce stand from which we can pick and choose which doctrines we wish to keep and pass over the rest in a sort of hermeneutical reprobation. Calvinism is an interwoven system of theology which must be accepted or rejected as a whole. From the acceptance of one point, one is compelled by simple logic to the acceptance of all the rest. You can't deny one without denying them all. The four-point Calvinist is as consistent as a psalm-singing atheist”.



Mikejeshurun
Re: a Definition of systematic theology [Re: Mike Jeshurun] #45400
Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:24 AM
Sun Nov 14, 2010 7:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,512
NH, USA
Pilgrim Offline

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Pilgrim  Offline

Head Honcho
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 13,512
NH, USA
Mike,

All that you said is true. grin But it could have been said in far less words by simply affirming what the Reformers and Puritans learned from Scripture itself; the hermeneutical principle that guides ALL study of Scripture: The Analogy of Faith. Even more simply put it is the comparing of all Scripture with Scripture.

Unfortunately, there have always been those who are content to study the Bible "academically"; like a science and that is all. But "theology" in its true sense is the application of the Bible to all of life. (Col 1:9,10)

You will find people who err on both counts everywhere you go. You will find people who are content to "doctrinize" the Bible by looking outside the Bible for evidence to show that what the Bible teaches isn't sufficient to know God's truth. And on the other hand you will find those who ignore and even deny the teachings of Scripture because they say doctrine isn't necessary. What is most important is to just love Jesus and your neighbor. Of course, HOW one is to do that is left to one's own imagination and not the inspired Scriptures from which truth itself is to be found. (Jh 17:17)


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