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Rick Bates
Rick Bates
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john Offline OP
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So, I've finally got around to starting Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology". Due to the amount of time work has been taking recently, I think this is going to be a very slow read. After just finished the introductory chapter, and have a few questions.

1. The initial assumptions Grudem starts of with are
A. "the Bible is true and that it is, in fact, our only absolute standard of truth"
B. "the God who is spoken of in the Bible exists, and that he is who the Bible says he is: the Create of heaven and earth and all things in them."

These initial assumptions seem correct to me, but, then I may be missing something. Are there any flaws in these assumptions as the basis for a systematic theology? What initial assumptions do other systematic theology books begin with?

2.
Quote
The basic reason for studying systematic theology, then, is that it enables us to teach ourselves and others what the whole Bible says, thus fulfilling the second part of the Great Commission

Is this the main reason we study systematic theology? It seems ok to me.

3. Definition of doctrine
Quote
A doctrine is what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic.

This seems like a somewhat imprecise definition of doctrine. Is this an ok definition of doctrine, or should it be more precise. I'm also concerned about the word "today" in his definition. In my opinion, it seems to make the doctrines of the Bible less absolute and more relative. Does the Bible teach us something different today then it did 100, 500, 1000 years ago. Later on in the section, Grudem comments that the reason for "today" is that some doctrines of the Bible may be more of interest to the church at different times in history. For example, the doctrine of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

4. Major and minor doctrines
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A major doctrine is one that has a significant impact on our thinking about other doctrines, or that has a significant impact on how we live the Christian life. A minor doctrine is one that has a very little impact on how we think about other doctrines, and very little impact on how we live the Christian life.

Is this a decent definition? It seems like it could be problematic. Many people put eschatology under a minor doctrine (which I would agree with). But, for many people (especially dispensational pre-millenialists), their eschatology seems to completely drive their actions and thoughts as Christians (of course, in this case, their theology probably has many other problems as well that affect their action). According to the above definition, then, it should be a major doctrine.

5. Grudem mentions "the extent of the atonement" as a minor doctrine. Is this really a minor doctrine? I would say this is one of the major doctrines of the Bible. Just from discussions I've seen on this board, one's view on the extent of the atonement has far-reaching implications on how one views many other Biblical doctrines.

I look forward to any comments.

Thanks,
John

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Hi John,<img src="/forum/images/graemlins/hello.gif" alt="" />

Grudem is very user friendly but at this rate you may never get on your way. I might suggest that you give the book a little air and just read for a while <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" /> before getting into too much detail over what is doctrine, etc. He's great on providence but lousy on the gifts. I think he's off on baptism as well but I better duck when saying that on this site! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/spin.gif" alt="" />

Hi old friends!

Blessings in Christ,

Ron

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Ron, good to see you back.


(Latin phrase goes here.)
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Henry said:
Ron, good to see you back.

Hi Henry. Good to see you too.

Ron

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john Offline OP
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Hi Ron,

You're right that at my current pace it will take a long time to finish. Actually, I don't mind reading slowly though. Hopefully, by asking a lot of questions, I can firm up my own beliefs. I don't think I'll read all the chapters as slowly as the first though. I've already breezed throught the next couple of chapters without many questions at all. Probably, I will have few questions in the chapters where I agree with Grudem, but lots of questions in the chapters where I disagree.

John

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I second Ron's opinions. I also found Grudem's treatment of the "complimentarian" position [i.e. differing roles of men and women the church] to be excellent.

Hi Ron! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" /> I, too, have not been able to post in while.

in His Grace,
Carlos


"Let all that mind...the peace and comfort of their own souls, wholly apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ, and him crucified"(Flavel)
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john Offline OP
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carlos said:
I second Ron's opinions. I also found Grudem's treatment of the "complimentarian" position [i.e. differing roles of men and women the church] to be excellent.

Hi Ron! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/bravo.gif" alt="" /> I, too, have not been able to post in while.

in His Grace,
Carlos

Hi Carlos,

I'll keep that in mind when I get to those sections. By the way, I'm happy to be in your 500th post.

John

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john Offline OP
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Ron,

After reading some of your recent posts in other threads, I'm curious what you think of the fifth comment in my original post.

Quote
5. Grudem mentions "the extent of the atonement" as a minor doctrine. Is this really a minor doctrine? I would say this is one of the major doctrines of the Bible. Just from discussions I've seen on this board, one's view on the extent of the atonement has far-reaching implications on how one views many other Biblical doctrines.

Personally, I think I would put this in a major doctrine category. I'm not trying to single you out, but since you responded, I thought I would pick on you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

John

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john said:
Ron,

After reading some of your recent posts in other threads, I'm curious what you think of the fifth comment in my original post.

Quote
5. Grudem mentions "the extent of the atonement" as a minor doctrine. Is this really a minor doctrine? I would say this is one of the major doctrines of the Bible. Just from discussions I've seen on this board, one's view on the extent of the atonement has far-reaching implications on how one views many other Biblical doctrines.

Personally, I think I would put this in a major doctrine category. I'm not trying to single you out, but since you responded, I thought I would pick on you. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

John

John,

Yes I agree with you 100%. The L of TULIP is the gospel. Jesus died for our sins!

Blessings,

Ron

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Hi Carlos,

Good to be here! <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/BigThumbUp.gif" alt="" />

Ron


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