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Thread: Systematic theologies

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    Systematic theologies

    Hi everyone,

    It seems a lot of questions that people have could be addressed by reading a systematic theology book, I'm currently reading Grudem's Systematic Theology, which addresses such questions as:

    • What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
    • Can true Christians lose their salvation?
    • How can we know if we are truly born again?


    Such books delve into various questions, listing pertinent Scripture references, which I have found very helpful. Glad to hear of other systematic theologies that people have found helpful.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    I'm kind of lukewarm on the whole idea of Systematic Theologies. Once upon a time, I kind of had the idea that a good ST would take most of the important stuff I needed to know from Scripture and give it to me in organized form. That appealed to me, perhaps in part because my college degree was in electrical engineering.

    Eventually, reality rose up and confronted me: There are many STs, and they contradict on some non-trivial issues. And when the "proof-texts" adduced in STs are considered in context, they often seem dubious. I get the impression that often, STs start with a theological and philosophical framework based on a few texts, into which framework all other texts are force-fit. The resulting System is often comprehensive, concise, consistent, comprehensible, even convincing -- but also contrived; when one is reading or studying Scripture, and finds oneself "working" to make a passage fit the "system" he's been taught, something is amiss.


    These days, I prefer the work of Biblical Scholars and Biblical Theologians.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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  3. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    Thread Killer QuantaFille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorrinRadd View Post
    I get the impression that often, STs start with a theological and philosophical framework based on a few texts, into which framework all other texts are force-fit.
    Have you heard of or read anything from Michael Heiser?
    http://drmsh.com
    He hasn't written a systematic theology, but his podcast is built around the idea that you should get your theology from the bible, instead of trying to find your preconceived theology in it.
    Curiosity never hurt anyone. It was stupidity that killed the cat.

  5. Amen Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
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    Theologyweb's Official Grandfather
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuantaFille View Post
    Have you heard of or read anything from Michael Heiser?
    http://drmsh.com
    He hasn't written a systematic theology, but his podcast is built around the idea that you should get your theology from the bible, instead of trying to find your preconceived theology in it.
    The point that NorrinRadd is making seems to be that too often systematic theologies are not done following the the Bible as they should be, but built upon preconceived ideas instead.
    Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedidiah View Post
    The point that NorrinRadd is making seems to be that too often systematic theologies are not done following the the Bible as they should be, but built upon preconceived ideas instead.
    Grudem's recent book on how a Christian should view political issues seems very much to do that. He finds a biblical justification for his views on all sorts of issues not mentioned in the Bible, even including his specific stance on emissions standards for trucks.
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

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    tWebber NorrinRadd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingsGambit View Post
    Grudem's recent book on how a Christian should view political issues seems very much to do that. He finds a biblical justification for his views on all sorts of issues not mentioned in the Bible, even including his specific stance on emissions standards for trucks.
    Grudem is a well respected scholar. His ST is thorough and detailed. That's good, in that with a bit of work, one can pin down his beliefs about a lot of specific things. But as you show, he can be pedantic-to-legalistic. IIRC, he has a page-long list detailing when and where women can and cannot properly be in leadership.
    Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

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    "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

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    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    What I was hoping to do was to recommend resources which address many such questions, in detail and with Scripture. For the thorniest issues, I like the "Four Views on XXX" style of books, where the different views are presented and debated. But I find Grudem helpful on the fundamental issues of Christianity.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee_merrill View Post
    Hi everyone,

    It seems a lot of questions that people have could be addressed by reading a systematic theology book, I'm currently reading Grudem's Systematic Theology, which addresses such questions as:

    • What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?
    • Can true Christians lose their salvation?
    • How can we know if we are truly born again?


    Such books delve into various questions, listing pertinent Scripture references, which I have found very helpful. Glad to hear of other systematic theologies that people have found helpful.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    I have a copy of Culver’s mammoth Reformed theology. The print is tiny. Otherwise, there is Calvin (of course !), and the Summa Theologiae of St Thomas Aquinas. (I have the Banner edition of the 1541 edition of the Institutes, but not the 1559 and finalised edition.)

    Two other STs I have found helpful are A. A. Hodge’s “Outlines of Theology” (old, but still useful) & Louis Berkhof’s ST. A lot of people swear by Barth’s Church Dogmatics, which is a classic - but fantasy series-long.

    I read more Biblical exegesis and theology than ST these days though.

  11. Amen lee_merrill amen'd this post.
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    Professor KingsGambit's Avatar
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    I like this quote from Karl Barth's mother:

    What is the most brilliant theology good for if it is to be shipwrecked in one's own house?
    "Technology has, in an enhanced way, given mockers a platform to set society on fire with polarizing speech. Internet culture privileges those whose insults are click bait." - Timothy Keller

  13. Amen lee_merrill, Rushing Jaws amen'd this post.
  14. #10
    tWebber lee_merrill's Avatar
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    One way I have found it helpful for reading systematic-theology-type books is to use the Logos computer program. All the Scripture references can be shown by hovering the mouse over them, which makes it much easier to follow the line of thought.

    Blessings,
    Lee
    "What I pray of you is, to keep your eye upon Him, for that is everything. Do you say, 'How am I to keep my eye on Him?' I reply, keep your eye off everything else, and you will soon see Him. All depends on the eye of faith being kept on Him. How simple it is!" (J.B. Stoney)

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