What is priority to you/Biblical/Systematic or other Theology?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

    JesusFan
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    When it comes to understanding and interpreting the Bible?

    What about concept of each author had his individual theology, Pauline/Johnaiine/peterine etc, and combine those to make the whole NT theology?
     
  2. Greektim

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    Biblical theology without any doubt. Systematic is based much more on principle and rational inferences. It addresses questions that the Bible never asks. And it is too philosophical to be of any real value to me. Its western origins make it foreign to the writers and readers of the original scriptures.

    My problem w/ biblical theology is its moniker "biblical." It is almost as if all other theological disciplines are unbiblical. Or it conveys the concept of a theology that accords with the Bible. In actuality it is a diachronic, thematic, canonical, intra/inter-textual approach to Scripture. It deals with the meta-narrative of Scripture. It handles the Bible the way an eastern mindset would understand and deliver.
     
  3. 12strings

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    While it is true that the Narrative is very important to theology. I don't think we can seriously do without systematic theology either.

    Systematic theology simply ask "what does the Whole bible teach about ______"?

    We need to know the answers to these questions:
    What does the Bible teach about who Jesus is?
    What does the Bible teach about who God is?
    What does the Bible teach about how to become Christian?
    What does the Bible teach about sin?
    What does the Bible teach about Satan?
    What does the Bible teach about stealing, lying, sex, etc...?

    The entire doctrine of the Trinity IS systematic theology.

    It is true that It can put emphasis where the bible does not, but it we still need to ask the questions, even about things that seem to have only come to dispute in the last 50-100 years:
    -What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
    -what does the Bible say about Gender roles?
    -What does the bible say about killing defenseless babies in seach of financial success?

    These all must be kept in the Biblical theology/Narrative framework, but they need to be addressed by serious Bible Studiers (or "Scholars", for those of you who ARE serious Bible "studiers")
     
  4. Ruiz

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    Why should we have to choose between best friends? If the Bible is perspicuous and the analogy of faith is true, then this demands both Biblical and Systematic Theology.

    Biblical Theology is the bricks of the building that Systematic Theology has built. Without Systematic Theology you only have a messy pile of bricks. Without Biblical Theology you cannot build.

    They both are essential.
     
  5. JesusFan

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    What book would you recommend for either theologies?
     
  6. Ruiz

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    That is a loaded question and not an easy one either. Not because there lacks solid books in theology, but because it depends on where you are in your walk and knowledge.

    As for Biblical Theology, I think nothing beats solid commentaries that are more than mere devotional. In my opinion, every Christian should be constantly reading through a commentary and engaging, if only on a basic level, in Greek and Hebrew.

    As for Systematic Theology I may surprise you. People today often recommend Grudem, which I think is a good theology. However, Grudem lacks in some aspects of Systematic Theology so I recommend Dr. Robert Reymond's. I have disagreements with both theologies, but I believe their strengths compliment the other one. My preference, though, is to find theologies in the specific field of study, rather than a one volume set and ones in history than modern day theologies. Thus, I would recommend a study in ecclesiology as you read through a commentary on Ephesians or Soteriology/Sanctification as you read through a commentary on Romans.

    However, I also think in our modern day we are extremely ignorant of historic theology. To most on this list and in general, theology began about 100-150 years ago. I highly recommend books that engage you in various areas of historic theology. Reading Edwards is great, but also reading scholars' contextualizing his work is good too. One of my favorite authors is Mark Noll, but currently I am reading a book that combines various primary sources throughout history in one volume while giving an historic background. My prayer has been that we can become less focused on theologies birthed in America in the last 200 years (and most anywhere else) and refocus on theologies that have existed for 2000 years.

    This may not be the answer you sought, but I hope it sheds light on what I think.
     
    #6 Ruiz, Sep 27, 2011
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  7. JesusFan

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    read Hodge "green books" theology set right after salvation, made me get a head ache, but worked through it!

    next, read Berkhof and grudem, than Calvin Institutes
    .
    Finally, read for text book Millard Erickson theology...

    Also have read/used a 2 vol NT set by Donald Guthrie, his NT Intro and his NT theology/ He introduced to me the idea of there being "min theologies" in paul/peter/Luke/paul etc and combined as a whole made up biblcal theology...
     
  8. Greektim

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    For biblical theology, I would not recommend commentaries. Mostly because most of them are exegetical theologies not biblical theologies. I would start with a simple canonical theology like "The Drama of Scripture." Currently, I am reading through "The MIssion of God" which is both a biblical theology set with the concept of achieving not merely a biblical basis for mission but a missional basis for the bible. It is great so far. From there, I would just find some solid OT and NT theologies.
     
  9. Ruiz

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    Biblical theology must begin with Biblical exegesis. Thus, I do not think you can get a better reflection of Biblical Theology than verse-by-verse exegesis. To me, I think this is the best for reformation and revival of the soul.

    Biblical Theology is exegetical and bringing it together. Thus, I see little difference in Biblical Theology exegesis. There is a distinction between Biblical Theology and Systematic, which puts it together. Yet, that is my view on those differences.
     
    #9 Ruiz, Sep 28, 2011
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  10. Greektim

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    No big deal... I just draw a distinction between exegetical and biblical theology. Part of the major point of biblical theology is to get the "big-picture" or major theme. That is hard to do when you are focusing one verse at a time. Thus I would begin w/ exegesis, move to biblical theology, and maybe (only maybe) do systematic. Historical would be thrown in there as well (probably between the exegesis and biblical theology).
     
  11. Ruiz

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    I think we are dividing in two different areas. I would say the big picture is more in line with systematic. Yet, as I noted before, these are friends and should go together.

    I would be interested in a review of the books you mentioned.
     
  12. 12strings

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    I know that Gregory Allison Just recently finished a Historical theology. I have not read it, but would like to.

    -
     
  13. thomas15

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    true freedom in this area is to admit that we are addicted to books on conservative theology and the Bible and then proceed to collect them all.
     
  14. Ruiz

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    I own it and have read it. It is a good basic historic theology and worth having in your library. The problem with his approach in looking at the major areas of theology is that it must be an overview. While it is a solid and scholarly overview, I would wish for books just on ecclesiology (and perhaps just ecclesiology in a certain time period). However, the book is very good for the general overview, which is also needed in our time.
     
  15. JesusFan

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    Where would the NT theology books of say Guthrie/Ladd fit in here?

    Or for OT theology, one by Kaiser about the Covenant promise to isreal?
     
    #15 JesusFan, Sep 28, 2011
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  16. Greektim

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    Systematic is far from "big picture" view other than it takes the Bible as a whole and synchronically prooftexts verses for suppositions and inferences. Biblical theology, rather, examines the Bible diachronically to gain the major theme or idea (or big picture) of the entire canon. It doesn't deal with smaller subjects but broader themes such as the story of redemption or the progression of the covenants.

    Drama of Scripture is excellent even thought it was written for the undergrad level. I think they recently put out a smaller version. I'm hoping to use it in my high school Bible classes.

    The Mission of God was written by Christopher Wright (John Stott's protege). The book has done 2 things to me: (1) adjust my hermeneutic to include a missional aspect (that mission being the mission of God to bless the nations) & (2) see how the mission of God is integrated in biblical theology (or rather see how missional theology is integrated throughout the Bible). It is a great book that leans heavy on biblical theology.

    I also highly recommend Wright's Jesus in the OT which also leans heaven on OT theology. The title might make one thing of a systematic approach. But I can assure you that it is very soft on systematic and thick into biblical theology.
     
  17. Greektim

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    For NT theology, the 2 you mentioned (especially anything by Ladd) are good. Also recommend Schreiner's (not the shorter one either). If you are looking for a biblical theology of just one book (for an example of how it can be narrowed), then Kohstenberger theology on the gospel and letters of John is a great place to start.

    Kaiser of course is good. But if you want a survey/introduction that also integrates biblical theology with it, check out Hill and Walton's OT survey. It is easy to read as well. A buddy of mine (doing a ThM in OT at SEBTS) recommended Dominion and Dynasty by Dempster. I trust his judgment so I would put this at the top of your list.

    I recently finished reading Kohstenberger et. al. in their NT intro Cradle, Cross, and Crown, which was excellent. They do a fine job dealing with the biblical theology of each NT book at the same time covering the other details in a NT intro. The OT counterpart, called The World and the Word: An Intro to the OT, looks pretty good. I hope to be able to check it out soon. Hard when I live in Honduras though.

    Hope this helps.
     
  18. quantumfaith

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    So glad to see someone else mention Wright. I am currently reading "The Mission of God" really love his writing and insights. Really enjoyed also "The God I do not understand". Now with your mention, will have to also read Jesus in the OT. Thanks.

    BTW, Wrights writing reminds me somewhat of an OT Survey by Lasor, Hubbard, Bush.
     
    #18 quantumfaith, Sep 28, 2011
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  19. JesusFan

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    Thanks!

    Also read the OT/NT introductions by FF Bruce, and His spreading the flame, about Missions and the Church!
     
    #19 JesusFan, Sep 29, 2011
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