Archive for January 2nd, 2019

God’s First Responders Day 1

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

Introduction to Systematic Theology

  1.  Definitions and approach to Systematic Theology
  1.  Theology = theos – God / Logos – discourse
  1.  Doctrine of God

But in the broad and more usual sense, the term has come to mean all Christian doctrines, not only the specific doctrine of God, but also all the doctrines that deal with the relations God sustains to the universe. In this broad sense, we may define theology as the science of God and his relations to the universe.[1]

  • The science of God and His Works

Science may question the regularity even of the laws of nature, but the experienced believer in God sees in these apparent irregularities the intervention of God and the manifestation of his miraculous power. He maintains that while the apprehension of the divine revelation is progressive, the revelation itself is as stable as the righteousness and truth of God themselves. He, therefore, believes in the possibility of theology and of systematic theology, and he regards them with the same favor as did the ancients. Even the modern student who does not formulate his theological beliefs has fairly definite views with regard to the major questions in the field. The reason for this is found in his own mental and moral constitution[2]

  •  Systematic Theology vs. Biblical theology.
  1.  Biblical Theology = the study of various types of theology on a book by book basis through the Bible.
  2. Systematic Theology = breaks down Biblical theology into categories or systems to form a helpful overviews of various doctrines.
  •  Liberal presuppositions
  1.  The Word of God is not perfect.
  2. Truth is in a constant state of flux
  3. It is unsafe to form fixed views of theological truths.
  • Evangelical Presuppositions
  1.  There are constants to our universe.
  2. Evidence of these constants can be seen in nature and mathematics.
  3. There is a perfect, constant, infallible source of truth.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” (Romans 1:20, KJV 1900)

  1.  The Nature of Theology
  1.  Theology and Ethics
  1.  Philosophical Ethics = developed on a purely naturalistic basis – no doctrine of sin.
  2. Christian Ethics = motivated by an affection for and willing submission to God.
  •  Theology and Religion
  1. In theology man organizes His thoughts concerning God and the universe.
  2. In religion man expresses in attitudes and actions the effects that those thoughts have produced in him.

In other words, in theology a man organizes his thoughts concerning God and the universe, and in religion he expresses in attitudes and actions the effects these thoughts have produced in him.[3]

  •  Theology and Philosophy
  1.  Theology begins with the belief in the eternal existence of God.
  2. Philosophy begins with the belief in the eternal existence of matter – denying special revelation from an eternal God.

To know a man’s philosophy is, therefore, to get possession of the key to understanding him and also to dealing with him (Acts 14:17; 17:22–31). But the Christian must recognize that philosophy will never bring a person to Christ. Paul writes, “The world through its wisdom   p 4  did not come to know God” (1 Cor. 1:21)[4]

To know a man’s philosophy is, therefore, to get possession of the key to understanding him and also to dealing with him (Acts 14:17; 17:22–31). But the Christian must recognize that philosophy will never bring a person to Christ. Paul writes, “The world through its wisdom   p 4  did not come to know God” (1 Cor. 1:21)[5]

  1.  Necessity of Theology
  1.  The Organizing instinct of the intellect.
  1.  Not content with the accumulation of facts.
  2. One must find a way to organize these findings into a system.
  •  Character of unbelief of this age.
  1.  Dangers threaten the Church from philosophy. – Colossians 2:8
  2. The Christian must be ready with a Biblical answer. 1 Peter 3:15
  •  The Character of Scripture.
  1.  The Bible is to the theologian what nature is to the scientist.
  2. There are certain passages focused on a particular theology.
  3. None of these themes are exhaustive in any one passage.
  4. It is necessary therefore that we gather truth and organize it into a system.
  •  The development of an intelligent Christian Character.
  1.  Theology must be more than mere theory.
  2. Theology must be the guide to intelligent thinking about religious problems and a stimulus to Holy living.
  •  Conditions for effective Christian Service.
  1.  Know Doctrine
  2. Preach Doctrine
  3. Live Doctrine

[1] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 2). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[2] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 1). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[3] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (p. 3). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (pp. 3–4). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Thiessen, H. C., & Doerksen, V. D. (1979). Lectures in systematic theology (pp. 3–4). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.