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Introduction to Systematic Theology

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See Peter Toon, The End of Liberal Theology, 145ff ... Approach: This is a method that seeks to translate Scripture into a modern idiom. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Systematic Theology


1
Introduction to Systematic Theology
2
TYPES OF THEOLOGY
  • Modern methods of doing theology classified
    according to typologies
  • See Peter Toon, The End of Liberal Theology,
    145ff
  • Typology focuses on the structures of systems of
    thought, 152
  • The Deductive Approach This is a method that
    uses Scripture and/or the tradition of the Church
    to deduce objective truth. Examples would include
    Hodge, Barth, Grudem, Erickson, Oden, Reymond
  • The Inductive Approach This is a method that
    uses human experience as the starting point.
    Examples would include Schleiermacher, Tracy, Kung

3
TYPES OF THEOLOGY
  • The Reductive Approach This is a method that
    seeks to translate Scripture into a modern idiom.
    Examples would include Bultmann, Cone, Gutierrez,
    Fiorenza
  • The Regulative Approach This is a method that
    views the Bible as being primarily and
    essentially . . . narrative or story. Examples
    would include Lindbeck, Frei, Hauerwas, Pinnock

4
TYPES OF THEOLOGY
  • There are three types or ways of doing theology
    according to George Lindbeck, The Nature of
    Doctrine
  • Cognitive/Propositionalist, or the Traditional
    Way, which emphasizes cognitive aspects, truth as
    captured in propositions
  • Experiential/Expressive, or Expressively
    Symbolic, which focuses on feelings, attitudes,
    experience- not propositions
  • Hybrid, combines two methods listed above
    replace by Lindbecks Regulative or
    Cultural-Linguistic approach

5
TYPES OF THEOLOGY
  • Per Donald Bloesch, A Theology of Word and
    Spirit
  • A Theology of Restoration
  • Pieper, Hodge are representatives
  • This affirms a conscious return to known
    theological roots and foundations, Toon, 157
  • It is similar to Niebuhrs Christ Against
    Culture Model
  • A Theology of Accommodation
  • Schleiermacher, Harnack, Herrman are
    representatives
  • This attempts to present the Christian faith in
    modern concepts and symbols, Toon, 158
  • It is similar to Niebuhrs Christ of Culture
    Model

6
TYPES OF THEOLOGY
  • Per Donald Bloesch, A Theology of Word and
    Spirit, cont.
  • A Theology of Correlation
  • Tillich, Kung, Tracy are representatives
  • Human reason finds its goal and fulfillment in
    divine revelation, Toon, 159
  • It is similar to Niebuhrs Christ above Culture
    Model
  • A Theology of Confrontation
  • Calvin, Barth, Kuyper are representatives
  • Human questions and symbols are subordinate to
    the kerygma
  • It is similar to Niebuhrs Christ Transforming
    Culture Model

7
A COVENANTAL APPROACH
  • Makes use of many different perspectives and
    borrows from all types of theology
  • The covenant theologian has experienced the grace
    of God, as in subjective types of theology
  • The covenant theologian seeks to understand what
    God has revealed, as in objective types of
    theology (confronting non-Christian thinking with
    the demand for transformation as well)
  • By beginning with the presupposition of the
    self-contained God and the self-attesting
    Scripture, the covenant theologian avoids the
    rationalistic bent of much of evangelical
    theology
  • By applying the principle of the covenant, I will
    be your God and you will be my people, the
    covenant theologian is very interested in
    correlating the truth of Gods word to the needs
    of Gods covenant people at a given place and in
    a given time, as in reductive types of theology

8
A COVENANTAL APPROACH
  • We begin with the God of the Bible
  • Who has made himself known to us
  • This is axiomatic and presuppositional
  • We trust his Revelation
  • Scriptural authority comes from God. In its
    total extent and in all its parts Scripture is
    the inspired, and thus also the infallible and
    authoritative Word of God. What Paul says, God
    says. Spykman, Reformational Theology, 123
  • Reason is subordinated to Scripture
  • Experience is validated by Scripture
  • We do not begin with any a-priori concepts
    regarding the nature of God or his method of
    dealing with his creatures
  • This avoids the problems of the Greek antinomies
    One and Many determinism/indeterminism
  • God is not the product of philosophical
    speculation, a static, emotionless, unmoved-mover

9
A COVENANTAL APPROACH
  • This method employs the following disciplines and
    questions in its effort to ascertain individual
    truths and their systematic formulation
  • Historical-Grammatical Exegesis
  • What does the text actually say?
  • What bearing does the analogia Scripturae have on
    the text? (Interpret the difficult in light of
    the clear)
  • What did it mean to its original audience?
  • What is its application to us in our culture?
  • Biblical-Theological Constructs
  • What, in the redemptive-historical flow, is the
    import of this teaching?
  • How does it relate, eschatologically, to the
    Kingdom of God and the rule of Christ?

10
A COVENANTAL APPROACH, cont.
  • Historical Reflection
  • How has the Church viewed this teaching in the
    past?
  • What bearing does the common consent of the
    church have on the text and its teaching?
  • What current challenges, reflections are
    important to this teaching?
  • Systematic Development and Formulation
  • How does this truth relate to all other
    biblical-theological truths?
  • What bearing does the analogia fidei (the
    analogy of faith, or the use of the general
    theological meaning of Scripture as guide to the
    interpretation of a particular text) have on the
    text? Interpret Scripture in light of the
    theology of the church
  • How does this truth relate to all other truth,
    from whatever source?
  • Generally, various doctrinal formulations are
    discussed under the rubric of theological loci.
  • Practical Application
  • How does the Church faithfully live this truth
    today in this culture?
  • How do we apply Gods truth to concrete
    situations of covenantal living?

11
SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY SCIENCE?
  • Scientific study the God-given impulse to seek
    knowledge to exercise dominion over the realm of
    nature
  • Cultural Dominion-an exercise in image-bearing,
    committed to the creature as image-bearer of God
  • The task given to Adam, to cultivate the garden,
    provides insight. CULTUS
  • Refers to religion, worship
  • Refers to tilling soil, bringing forth fruit
  • Humanitys task the exploration of creation, at
    once religious and scientific. Scientific
    inquiry, at root, should be a religious activity

12
KINDS OF KNOWLEDGE
  • Archetypal Knowledge
  • Original, Transcendent, Intuitive, Immediate,
    Comprehensive
  • God alone knows himself (archetypal knowledge
    of God, cognitio Dei archetypa) A. Kuyper,
    Principles of Sacred Theology, 215
  • Ectypal Knowledge
  • Derivative, Immanent, Discursive, Mediated,
    Partial
  • there is no created being that can know aught
    sic of Him, except He himself reveals something
    from His self-knowledge and self-consciousness in
    a form that falls within the comprehension of the
    creature A. Kuyper, PST, 215-16

13
ECTYPAL (Creaturely) KNOWLEDGE
  • Ectypal knowledge is perfectly adapted to the
    creatures environment
  • It is sufficient for its intended purposes
  • The opportunity for Adam to expand the base of
    knowledge was implicit in the command to have
    dominion
  • THUS The knowledge that God has given concerning
    himself in Nature, Providence, Experience, and
    most importantly, Scripture are all within the
    scope of our legitimate investigation

14
THE ANTITHESIS
  • Concept offered by Dutch Calvinists
  • It seeks to provide a way of viewing the entire
    cosmos as belonging to God
  • But, short of the eschaton, all creation is under
    siege by the forces of evil
  • The antithesis is critical to all theological
    enterprise
  • It runs through every part of the created order
  • It affects every issue arising in creation
  • It reminds us of the danger of relying upon reason

15
THE ANTITHESIS
  • The antithesis represents a spiritual warfare
    between good and evil which knows no territorial
    boundaries. It is not geographically, locally,
    or spatially definable. The enmity between these
    two hostile forces does not coincide with two
    parts of reality, as though one sector of life
    were holy and the other unholy, or one bloc
    righteous and the other unrighteous. It is a
    directional antithesis which runs through all the
    structures of life. Sin is totally pervasive.
    Grace, too, lays its claim on all reality. The
    antithesis may therefore not be dualistically
    misconstrued as though it drives a wedge between
    soul and body, faith and reason, theology and
    philosophy, church and world- with the former
    viewed as good and the latter as evil. Spykman,
    Reformational Theology, 66

16
THEOLOGY AND COVENANT
  • The Children of the Palingenesis (regeneration)
  • Believe on Jesus Christ and are part of His
    Kingdom
  • Will think with new hearts and minds
  • Will engage faithfully in Theology as a Science
  • Theology is simply a part of their Heavenly
    Fathers creation and, like all other parts, is a
    fruitful area for investigation and exploration
    a proper venue for the exercise of dominion
  • The Children of Darkness (unregenerate)
  • Believe there is no God to whom they are
    accountable (in their estimation)
  • Will rule out theology according to their own,
    autonomous definition of science

17
REVELATI0N AND REASON
  • Scientific Investigation employs Logic, the use
    of Reason Induction and Deduction
  • Scientific Investigation employs the use of the
    senses, perception
  • Reason and the Senses are part of our
    image-bearing, part of the created order. Frame,
    Doctrine of the Knowledge of God, 29
  • Both have validity, enabling us to analyze the
    data of creation, to think and ponder its
    implications
  • Both are subordinated to Revelation in a truly
    covenantal methodology

18
REVELATI0N AND REASON
  • SCRIPTURE IS NOT PLACED UNDER THE SCRUTINY OF OUR
    REASON
  • Reason is subject to Scriptural authority
  • There are truths concerning God that transcend
    our reason and our senses
  • It will readily be inferred what as Christians
    we mean by antinomies. They are involved in the
    fact that human knowledge can never be completely
    comprehensive knowledge. Every knowledge
    transaction has in it somewhere a reference point
    to God. Now since God is not fully comprehensible
    to us we are bound to come into what seems to be
    contradiction in all our knowledge. Our knowledge
    is analogical and therefore must be paradoxical.
    We say that if there is to be any true knowledge
    at all there must be in God an absolute system of
    knowledge. . . . Yet we ourselves cannot fully
    understand that system. C. Van Til, The Defense
    of the Faith, 44.

19
THEOLOGY AS SCIENCE
  • It is a Practical Science it has more than mere
    Ontology (existence)
  • Theology has Teleology it has purpose and
    direction
  • The end of theological inquiry is not merely
    mental equilibrium
  • The goal of scientific inquiry is knowledge that
    responds in doxology- how Great is the Knowledge
    of the Lord. - Norman Shepherd
  • Per John Frame, all proper theology is engaged
    theology. Theology done in abstraction does not
    fit w/the covenantal character of Scripture.

20
THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY
  • The relationship is as follows
  • The most fitting prolegomena to theology is
    Christian philosophy
  • The noetic point of departure for both is
    Scripture, Spykman, Reformational Theology, 101
  • There is a real danger in the juxtaposition of
    theology with non-Christian philosophy as in much
    modern theology. That is, to do theology based on
    non-Christian presuppositions or to do theology
    employing a methodology not governed by Scripture
    is inherently unacceptable for the Reformed
    theologian

21
Introduction to Systematic Theology
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