In a detailed discussion of the differences in existing approaches to the study of the Bible, it is worth emphasizing the nature of the object understudy in the first place. Strictly speaking, theology itself involves studying the nature of God and the religious beliefs that enable followers to believe in Him . On the other hand, in his chapter, Demarest defines theology as the science of God and his relationship to the world . It is clear from these definitions that the purpose of theology is not to investigate God’s phenomenon but to explore issues of belief and approaches to following biblical teaching.
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The focus of this discussion is the positioning of systematic theology. Demarest revealed the important aspects to define systematic theology: this type of teaching explores but is not limited to biblical texts using a broad methodology to create a broad, comprehensive conception of divine revelation . In this sense, as the author continued, systematic theology is focused on establishing hidden connections in various sections of the Bible. It is worth noting right away that this approach is not a skeptical style of inquiry and does not seek to find errors or contradictions in the aspects under study , . Systematic theologians are convinced that the Bible is infallible but that there are non-obvious connections and facets to it which can only be addressed by extensive analysis. Loux showed that the idea of systematic theology could be described with an illustrative example . When one is on top of a mountain, one can see the whole picture and operate only with those details — even if from different sources — to create hypotheses and give them Biblical answers.
It is not challenging to develop thought and understand that biblical theology shows a person only a particular way. This theology focuses on a particular sacred book and highlights the various aspects of the material. For example, biblical theology teaches us about the Creation’s chronology, which went through five great stages . Philosophical theology is also a branch of general theology, but studying the Bible here is based on philosophical concepts . Its objectives are to form morals or conclusions that are observed in reading the Bible. Finally, the last form of theology, historical theology, answers questions about religious studies’ historical legacy . The study of how the Bible has been perceived over the centuries or how the image of Christ has changed in the minds of believers: are the questions that are the focus of historical theology.
Systematic theology by no means rejects or diminishes the significance of other theologies. On the contrary, it is appropriate to say that this type of biblical scholarship complements religious analysis and allows us to look at the sacred texts from a different perspective . This type of study can use historical data, philosophical morals, or biblical stories to form a coherent theory. For example, to answer how the Bible teaches about salvation, a systematic theologian must use both the individual stories of the Bible and their philosophical interpretation . After all, the study can be supported by a historical assessment of the phenomenon of salvation through the lens of different eras. It is a systematic theology of heightened interest to me because it refers to an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of the Bible. I am convinced that through the paradigm of this teaching, I can learn more about salvation and God’s philosophy.
- B. Demarest, “Systematic Theology,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter Ewell (Ada: Baker Academic, 1984).
- “Biblical vs Systematic Theology,” Olive Tree Blog, Cierra Loux. Web.
- G. F. Hasel, “Biblical Theology Movement.” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter Ewell (Ada: Baker Academic, 1984).
- Millard Erickson, “Chapter 1 What Is Theology,” in Christian Theology, ed. Millard Erickson (Ada: Baker Academic, 2013).
- R. J. Vandermolen “Pragmatism,” in Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, ed. Walter Ewell (Ada: Baker Academic, 1984).
- “What Is Theology,” Reformation Bible College, John Tweeddale. Web.