Theology: The bible and systems

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jonathanD, Jun 8, 2012.

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Are systematic theology and biblical theology at odds?

  1. Yes

    3 vote(s)
    17.6%
  2. No

    13 vote(s)
    76.5%
  3. Not sure

    1 vote(s)
    5.9%
  1. jonathanD

    jonathanD
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    For the first time in my life, I'm in a ministerial situation where some of my colleagues pit systematic theology against biblical theology. I had NEVER thought of the two in such a way. I understand that we must be cautious in our study of systematic so that we don't rely on the system or practically "canonize" them, but I still don't see the two at odds.

    Do you?
     
  2. 12strings

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    Not at odds, both are necessary and unavoidable. Everyone who speaks and thinks about the bible in any way is doing both. Unless they only know 1 verse...

    Anyone who gives a simple gospel summary is doing both biblical and systematic theology.
     
  3. Greektim

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    I say they are at odds in the sense of methodology and what they produce. Much of systematics is done through prooftexting. The reality is, systematic theology should be an outgrowth of biblical theology, but rarely ever is. Biblical theology produces a more comprehensive understanding of Scripture and its narrative as well as produces good hermeneutical practices. Therefore, the priority in my mind is that biblical theology far outweighs systematic in importance. Thus they are at odds.

    This comes from a person completely entrenched in systematic that biblical looked strange and border-line heresy (exaggeration). I see much more value and fruit in biblical theology.

    Good thread!!! Many I"m sure will disagree, but it is a great discussion.
     
  4. Greektim

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    Actually, when I "give the gospel" I go through the story of redemption from creation to new creation. I utilize a biblical theological approach even in my gospel presentation. Part of the difference is that I refuse to "give a simple gospel" as you say. I advocate a comprehensive gospel approach.
     
  5. humblethinker

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    Surely we have to have a systematic theology to interpret the Bible correctly. We can't just believe what the Bible says.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    The two are related disciplines and provide insight in different aspects of theological reflection.

    Systematic theology has long been the primary means by which Christian theological reflection has been done. When we think of some of the great theologians of the Christian tradition their specialty has almost always been systematic theology. It is necessary and important. Systematic theology builds coherent theological reflection by using logic, philosophy, and biblical references to understand God and His revelation.

    Biblical theology has been a growing field and is similar to systematic theology. Obviously it begins, exists in, and ends in biblical references. Though in reality is also uses philosophy and logic to make some conclusions.

    I just don't know why we must pit the two against each other. They have different emphases and help Christian theology uniquely. One's not better than the other.
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    At the end of the day we understand and interpret the Bible through our preexisting hermeneutical lenses which properly understand the texts. No one comes to the Bible without presuppositions. However to properly understand how to read the Bible we first must remember it has a lot to do with how we approach it philosophically. :)
     
  8. 12strings

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    You need systematic theology in order to rightly understand what the bible says.

    If you ask the question, what does the bible say about angels, you could read a specific verse and conclude that "angels have wheels" Not necessarily false, but very incomplete.

    Systematic theology simply tries to answer the question: "what does the whole Bible teach about ______________________? (angels, God, sin, people, marraige). It must rely and interact with biblical theology, but it is itself necessary and unavoidable also.
     
  9. jonathan.borland

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    There has always been a tension, since the whole initial premise of biblical theology was that each book (and even various parts of each book) had different theologies based on the different redactors, their sources, and even the question of which were inspired and which were not.
     
  10. Herald

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    I voted "yes." The problem with biblical theology is that it's subjective in nature. Biblical theology is based on an individual understanding whereas systematic theology is built on a logical understanding of how God reveals Himself through His word.
     
  11. humblethinker

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup: You're spot on once again pj!
     
  12. Greektim

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    I'd like to know which works you are referring to. I'd say what sets biblical theology apart from systematic more than anything else is that it is less philosophical and much more textual.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    That would beg the question though...

    why even have various redacters and critical sources, why not believe that the Lord had most written by primary author assigned, ALL inspired revelation from Him, and minor editing in compiling final product?
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    Does biblical theology assume though much of the critical stances upon the composition/dating/various authorship/varybing inspiration as modern critical/liberal scholarship does?

    As systematic theologians seemed, at least the reputable conservative ones, to come from the premise that the bible is inerrant/infallible word of God, andmain stream of theologycoomon throughout it, as ALL given by same being to us, God!
     
  15. Luke2427

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    There is no Trinity without systematics.

    Systematics is not at odds with the Bible. It is one of the necessary ways to study the Bible.

    One doctrine in one place must be consistent with another doctrine in another place and they both must be consistent with reality about us.

    All truth is God's truth and systematics is a necessary means whereby we uncover it.

    This is the problem with whatever "non-cal" is.

    It is no theology. They have not taken their doctrines and reconciled them to one another. Non-cals have no theology; they just exist to stand against a theology. They have none of their own.
     
  16. Herald

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    I'm a Covenant Theologian, so I'm obviously in disagreement with dispensationalism. But wouldn't you consider dispensationalism a systematic theology?
     
  17. Luke2427

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    An errant one.
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    This is perhaps the most uninformed, intentionally polarizing, spurious statement I've read on this board today.

    If you actually believe this than you sir, have no idea what is and is not theology.

    If this is what you believe you lack the basic intellectual components necessary to formulate and express basic erudition that is the foundation of understanding theological prolegomena as the systematic outworking of a developed system of thought. The torpor of your intellectual indolence is a sign of the cravenness of your position. Sitting there and attempting to make any other theological system than your own, myopic, position some kind anti-intellectual fideism only accentuates the foolishness of your hubris. Some of the greatest theology ever written has been done so from outside the Reformed position.

    You need to seriously revise your position and reconcile your arrogance against those who disagree with you.
     
  19. Luke2427

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    This is madness and silly hyperbole.

    Where might one find this "non-cal" systematic theology? What is it called? When was it systematized? Who are its champions?
     
  20. Greektim

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    Aren't we showing off our verbose and loquacious philology??? ;)
     

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