Last week we kicked off our reading of Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology by looking at the preface. Today we are moving on to Chapter 1. In this chapter, Dr. Grudem defines for us what a systematic theology is in relation to other theologies and also highlights some of the reasons we should study it. I have included the personal application questions from the end of the chapter and I have also provided the key terms brought out in the text. For discussion please answer the personal application questions in the comments section.
Questions for Personal Application
- In what ways (if any) has this chapter changed your understanding of what systematic theology is? What was your attitude toward the study of systematic theology before reading this chapter? What is your attitude now?
- What is likely to happen to a church or denomination that gives up learning systematic theology for a generation or longer? Has that been true of your church?
- Are there any doctrines listed in the Contents for which a fuller understanding would help to solve a personal difficulty in your life at the present time?
- What are the spiritual and emotional dangers that you personally need to be aware of in studying systematic theology?
Chapter Vocabulary defined from the text.
Systematic Theology – any study that answers the question “What does the whole Bible teach us today?” about any given topic. (Kindle, 417)
Historical Theology – a historical study of how Christians in different periods have understood various theological topics. (Kindle, 421)
Philosophical Theology – studying theological topics largely without the use of the Bible , but using the tools and methods of philosophical reasoning and what can be known about God from observing the universe. (Kindle, 422)
Apologetics – providing a defense of the truthfulness of the Christian faith for the purpose of convincing unbelievers. (Kindle, 423)
Old Testament Theology – teaches what the Old Testament teaches about a particular topic. (Kindle, 438)
New Testament Theology – teaches what the New Testament teaches about a topic. (Kindle, 443)
Biblical Theology – many times a summation of Old and New Testament theology, Biblical theology gives special attentions to individual authors and section of Scripture and it attempts to show the historical development of the Scripture. (Kindle, 445)
Doctrine – what the whole Bible teaches us today about some particular topic. (Kindle, 504)
Christian Ethics – any study that answers the question, “What does God require us to do and what attitudes does he require us to have today?” with regard to any situation. (Kindle, 523)
Presupposition – Ideas or ideas that we use a basis or starting point for further understanding. (Kindle, 535)
Major Doctrine – a doctrine that has significant impact on out thinking about other doctrines or that has a significant impact on how we live the Christian life. (Kindle, 616)
Minor Doctrine – a doctrine that has very little impact on how we think about other doctrines, and very little impact on how we live the Christian life. (Kindle, 617)
Paradox – a seemingly contradictory statement that may nonetheless be true. (Kindle, 736)
Contradiction – a statement or proposition that contradicts or denies another or itself and is logically incongruous. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/contradiction)
Dogmatic Theology – the articles of faith that the Church had officially formulated. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogmatic_theology)