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Introduction to Systematic Theology

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Mediated by the teaching office of the Church. ... Also, some forms of Pentecostalism. 9/17/09. Intro to Systematic Theology 2. 4 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Introduction to Systematic Theology


1
Introduction to Systematic Theology
2
SOURCES OF REVELATION
  • Objective View Roman Catholic Theology
  • There is One Source (tradition) in two kinds
  • Tradition One
  • Tradition Two
  • Mediated by the teaching office of the Church.
  • See The Documents of Vatican Two, the dogmatic
    constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum)
    9,10 which speaks of a single sacred deposit.
  • Scripture is tradition one
  • Oral Tradition is tradition two
  • The Magisterium Ecclesiae is the teaching office
    of the Church

3
SOURCES OF REVELATION
  • Subjective View
  • Some say the source of revelation is not to be
    found in any objective source
  • Essentially, Christian Experience is the source
    of revelation
  • This is the preponderant view of classical
    Protestant Liberalism (Consciousness theologians)
  • Schleiermacher
  • Ritschl
  • Also, some forms of Pentecostalism

4
SOURCES OF REVELATION
  • The Multiple Source View
  • The Wesleyan Quadrilateral
  • Scripture (Supreme Authority)
  • Reason
  • Tradition
  • Experience
  • Scripture, Reason, and Tradition are the
    traditional sources in the Anglican Formula

5
SOURCES OF REVELATION
  • The Multiple Source View
  • B.B. Warfield
  • Nature (What God has created would include
    Reason)
  • Providence (What God has done in history, in the
    Church) Tradition???
  • Experience (What God has done in your life)
  • Scripture (What God has said)
  • The revelation of God in his written Word is
    easily shown not only to be incomparably superior
    to all other manifestations of him in the
    fullness, richness and clearness of its
    communications, but also to contain the sole
    discovery of much that is most important for the
    soul to know as to its state and destiny.
    Warfield, Studies in Theology, 60-1.

6
SOURCES OF REVELATION
  • God reveals himself through many means, all of
    which contribute to our knowledge of God- but
    Scripture is Fons Unicum
  • However, we must distinguish between
  • Scripture, as the unique source of revelation,
    and
  • Other sources as subordinate to Scripture
  • The Latin terms norma normans and norma normativa
    provide help
  • Scripture is norma normans, a rule that rules
  • All other revelatory media (Experience,
    Tradition, Providence, Reason) are norma
    normativa, a rule that is governed- by Scripture,
    in this instance

7
THE ACTION OF THEOLOGY
  • The Meaning of Systematic
  • Does not imply other disciplines are not
    systematic
  • Rather, it refers to the logical coherence that
    exists among divine truths
  • The Action of Systematic Theology
  • Is not bringing order out of chaos
  • Is not imposing an external system on Scripture

8
THE ACTION OF THEOLOGY
  • Doing Systematic Theology does not imply an
    infinite number of strands we can weave into any
    theological tapestry of our own design
  • The Action, instead, is recognizing the fabric
    of revealed truth that already exists in sacred
    Scripture
  • Doing Theology does not produce new truth.
    Rather, it reproduces the truth
  • Doing theology, however, may bring to light new
    truth as at the time of the Protestant Reformation

9
THE ACTION OF THEOLOGY
  • Theological Presuppositions
  • There is Unity in the Scriptures by virtue of
    their ultimate author, God himself
  • There is an Integrity to the Scriptures it
    represents the truth its author intended us to
    know
  • There is a Coherence to the Scriptures
  • It holds together presenting a seamless fabric of
    redemptive truth
  • From the first promise of the Savior to the final
    consummation- the Bible hangs together
  • There is not a diffusion of themes or ideas, as
    in a college course anthology

10
THE WARRANT FOR THEOLOGY
  • New Testament Fulfillment Language
  • For example, Matt. 122, All this took place to
    fulfill what the Lord had said through the
    prophet.
  • The Analogy of Scripture
  • Often, the illumination of one part of Scripture
    is based upon another
  • For example, it is not possible fully to
    understand I Corinthians 6 apart from Genesis 2
  • The understanding of one part is often based on
    other parts
  • For example, it is impossible to understand
    Romans 830 fully without knowing what the
    Scripture teaches elsewhere about predestination,
    calling, justification, and glorification

11
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • There is a chronological development of theology-
    this is the lesson of historical theology
  • There are cultural influences on the development
    of theology
  • This, too, is demonstrated by the unfolding of
    Church History
  • Cultural influences include, for example,
    Hebraic, Greek, Roman, North African, and Western
    European

12
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • The Evangelical Presupposition
  • Since the Scriptures, ultimately, are Gods
    revelation to all of mankind, there will be a
    unity of truth even in the midst of diverse
    cultural emphases and contextualized language
  • Some evangelicals have tended to view theology
    as transcultural or culturally neutral. Always
    fearful of the historicist notion of theology,
    these evangelicals have typically championed
    biblical authority by claiming that there is only
    one horizon in theology- the biblical text
    itself. Richard Lints, The Fabric of Theology,
    102

13
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • There are two horizons that must be addressed if
    one is to do theology properly
  • The Ancient World the biblical text and its
    cultural milieu
  • The Modern World the interpreter and the culture
    in which the interpretation occurs and is applied
  • Indeed, . . . there is still the need to link
    those understandings the specific cultural and
    historical meaning of Scripture up with the
    target culture into which we wish to announce
    these words, not to mention our need to be aware
    of our own cultural baggage as interpreters.
    Walter Kaiser and Moses Silva, An Introduction to
    Biblical Hermeneutics, 175

14
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • Some interpreters (usually of the more critical
    schools) have erred on the other extreme
  • They suggest that the meaning of the biblical
    message is actually determined by the constraints
    of the contemporary culture, that the Scriptures
    have no other meaning than that which is
    permitted by the conceptuality of the present-day
    situation. Lints, Fabric, 102
  • Lints gives, as an example, the methodology of
    Rudolf Bultmann
  • The key idea that must be considered is the
    unavoidable fact that we hear the divine
    conversation only after it has passed through
    several filters. Lints, Fabric, 60

15
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • There are a number of INTERPRETIVE FILTERS (or,
    MATRICES) that every interpreter employs
  • Personal/Family Characteristics
  • Individual Religious Tradition
  • National, regional culture
  • Racial heritage
  • Social Relationships
  • Educational Matrix
  • Personal Faith Experience
  • Vocational/Leisure-time Matrix
  • Cross-cultural experience

16
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • There is a transcultural aspect to the doing of
    theology Ought we to give our western creeds to
    the Oriental mind? . . . Of course those Western
    creeds ought to be given to the Oriental mind.
    But that ought to be done only on one condition-
    that those western creeds are true. If they are
    not true, they ought not to be given to the
    Oriental mind or to any other kind of mind but
    if they are true, they are just as true in China
    as they are in the United States. Machen,
    Christian Faith in the Modern World, 93

17
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • Our final and fundamental hope rests in the
    conviction that God himself communicates across
    cultures, principally across that cultural chasm
    that lies between himself and us. As Gabriel
    Fackre has suggested, We are not so locked into
    our ecclesial or cultural positions that its
    truth cannot make itself known to us- the Word
    addresses the hearer- even to the extent that a
    contemporary perspective from which a text is
    viewed can be challenged, modified and even
    overturned by the text. Lints, Fabric, 114

18
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • There is an unavoidable cultural influence in the
    doing of theology and consequentially, a need to
    evaluate critically its effect on the theological
    task Contemporary theologians must also seek to
    challenge the contemporary mind to think more
    critically about its own culturally accepted
    values. Lints, Fabric, 113

19
THEOLOGY AND CULTURE
  • I wonder if we really recognize that all
    theology represents a contextualization, even our
    own theology? We speak of Latin American
    theology, black theology, or feminist theology
    but without the slightest second thought we will
    assume that our own theology is simply theology,
    undoubtedly in its purest form. Do we recognize
    that the versions of evangelical theology held by
    most people in this room are in fact North
    American, white, and male and that they reflect
    and/ or address those values and concerns?
    Stanley Gundry, Evangelical Theology Where
    Should We Be Going? Journal of the Evangelical
    Theological Society 22 (1979) 11

20
Introduction to Systematic Theology
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