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Introduction to Systematic Theology

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  1. Introduction to Systematic Theology

  2. LUTHERAN THEOLOGY • Developed in opposition to R.C. • Sinner is under the wrath of God • Church is institution of salvation • Key Lutheran Formulations • Formal Principle- Sola Scriptura • Material Principle- Sola Fides • Righteousness a gift from God- assurance not based on human merit (imputation/not infusion) • Believer is simul iustus et peccator Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  3. LUTHERAN THEOLOGY • Key Lutheran Formulations • Faith, the instrument of justification • Sharp antithesis between faith and works • Believer not under the law (undermine justification by grace through faith) • Civil use to regulate society- OKAY • Elenctic to show one’s sin- OKAY • Normative to regulate life of the believer- IXNAY! • Law/Gospel dichotomy • Two kingdoms • Means of Grace- always effect salvation unless there is resistance Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  4. CALVINISM • Work of the Holy Spirit prominent • Works directly with individuals • Works with means- but not always • Lutheran- per verbum • Calvinism- cum verbo • Doctrine of election prominent • Related to Total Depravity • Election worked out in definite atonement • Grace irresistibly applied • Summarized in sovereignty of God Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  5. CALVINISM • Justification • Agrees with Lutheranism • Christ’s righteousness is the ground • Faith is the instrument • Gospel brings two benefits (dupla gratia) • Justification and sanctification, 1 Cor. 1:30 • Soteriology not exhausted in justification- law has normative value • Faith • Gift of God- based on God’s regenerating work that leads to repentance • Lutherans see this repentance as a work Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  6. CALVINISM • World and Life View • Calvinism makes many of the same distinctions as Lutheranism • But- not opposed antithetically; rather, viewed as complementary • Thus- all of life religious and under the Lordship of Christ • Thus- Calvinists are interested in all of life- not just saving souls • The Cultural Mandate! Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  7. ARMINIANISM • Developed on Reformed soil • Jacobus Arminius (pastor of Reformed church in Amsterdam) was student of Beza and colleague of Gomarus (died 1609) • Preached on Romans 7 • Decided this struggle was that of the unregenerate • Implication is that the unregenerate is able to believe the gospel Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  8. ARMINIANISM • 1610, Five Articles of Remonstrance • Election based on foreseen faith • Christ died for every person • Humanity depraved, grace necessary for believing • Grace of God may be resisted • Perseverance uncertain • Condemned by Synod of Dordt, 1619 • TULIP part of Calvinist response Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  9. ARMINIANISM • Evangelical Arminians (Wesleyans) • Largely influenced by Pietism • Major emphasis on conversion, strong assertion of free will • Often distinction between Christ as Savior, Christ as Lord (“carnal Christians”) • Key Arminian theologians: Limborch, Episcopius, Curcellaius • Key Wesleyan theologians: Watson, Miley, Wiley, Fletcher, Oden Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  10. BAPTIST THEOLOGY • Rooted in Anabaptist (ecclesiology) and Calvinist (soteriology) traditions • Church • Consists of those regenerated by Spirit and baptized as covenanted community • Cf. this to Reformed which identified believers and children as covenant partners • Anabaptists scandalized over RC Church and infant baptism Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  11. BAPTIST THEOLOGY • Hermeneutical Question • Continuity versus Discontinuity • Does NT contain same covenant promises as OT • Does NT warrant discontinuance of OT covenant promises to children • Does silence favor continuity or discontinuity? • Or, is the NT silent?? • Does NT supersede OT excepting portions that are reiterated? Or is OT still in effect except those portions clearly fultilled? Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  12. BAPTIST THEOLOGY • Historic Baptist Confessions • London Confession, A.D. 1677 • Philadelphia Confession, A.D. 1688 • New Hampshire Confession, A.D. 1833 • Contemporary Trends • Largely Arminian, though some Calvinists • Great tension between Fundamentalists/Moderates • Many Baptists are Dispensational • Key theologians: Gill, Boyce, Strong, Erickson Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  13. FUNDAMENTALISM • Roots of Name • Five Fundamentals in PCUSA General Assemblies, 1910,1916,1923 • Inerrancy of Scripture • Virgin Birth • Vicarious, Substitutionary Atonement • Bodily Resurrection • Miracles • The Fundamentals, 12 vols. from 1910-1912 Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  14. FUNDAMENTALISM • Roots of Name • World’s Christian Fundamentals Association (1910) • Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture • Trinity • Deity, Virgin Birth • Creation, Fall of Man • Substitutionary Atonement • Bodily Resurrection, Ascension of Christ • Regeneration of Believer • Personal, Imminent Return of Christ • Resurrection to Eternal Life, Death Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  15. FUNDAMENTALISM • Theology of Fundamentalism • In many denominations/across denominations (cooperation) • Move a movement, ideology than theology • Emphasis on doctrines of common faith • Held to supremacy of Scripture • Evangelistic outreach • Many new denominations, schools Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  16. FUNDAMENTALISM • Negatives of Fundamentalism • Reactionary re modernism, liberal theology • Reductionist in theology • Obscurantist re theology, challenges of science • Intellectual responses, precise formulas avoided in order to preserve unity, save souls • Anti-intellectual de-emphasis on cultural mandate • Embraced Arminianism and Dispensationalism Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  17. DISPENSATIONALISM • Origins • Begins with Plymouth Brethren movement • John Nelson Darby, 1800-1882, leading figure • Focus on purity of church, literal hermeneutic • Peculiar doctrines • God has two peoples: Israel and Church • God operates through “dispensations” (often, 7) • Older dispensationalism said keeping of law necessary for salvation in Old Testament Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  18. DISPENSATIONALISM • CHARACTERISTICS • Israel/Church • Wife of Jehovah/Bride of Christ • Law/Grace • Kingdom of Heaven/Kingdom of God • Two new covenants • Rapture/Revelation Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  19. DISPENSATIONALISM • Modern Dispensationalism • More circumspect- all saved by grace • Dominant form of evangelicalism in US • Three stages of development • Classical Dispensationalism- Darby, Scofield • Revised Dispensationalism- New Scofield Bible, Ryrie, Walvoord • Progressive Dispensationalism- less use of systematic dualities- Bock, Blaising Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  20. DISPENSATIONALISM • Positive Contributions • Literal Hermeneutic • Teaching on Second Coming/Prophecy • Emphasized Bible Study and Evangelism • Negative Contributions • Israel/Church distinction absolutized • Postponed Kingdom problematic • Dispensations replace biblical covenants • Literal hermeneutic vs. analogy of faith Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  21. REFORMED THEOLOGY • It is a profound apprehension of God’s majesty and realization of creature’s relation to God • Objectively: Theism come into its own • Subjectively: Religious relations attaining purity • Reformed Theology is Covenant Theology • Covenant is foundational • Covenant balances Immanence (Creator and Creature Relationship) and Transcendence (Creator and Creature Distinction) Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  22. REFORMED THEOLOGY • Characteristics • The sovereignty of God • No basis for human experience apart from the decree of God • The decree of God is the foundation for human freedom • The Creator/creature relationship • Based on the sovereignty of God • It manifests itself in the form of a covenant between God and his image-bearers • Relationship presupposed the distinction between the Creator and creature Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  23. REFORMED THEOLOGY • Characteristics • The Grace of God • There are two sides of covenant relationship: Grace and Responsibility or Promise and Obligation • We have nothing we have not received • Grace expects us to respond (and enables us to respond) in faith, hope, and love • Uniqueness • Sensitive to story of unfolding of the covenant • Story consummated in the New Covenant • Reformed theology is innately consistent • Centrality of the Word Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  24. REFORMED THEOLOGY • Relation to other forms of Evangelicalism • A difference not of kind, but degree • The difference between more perfectly developed species and one less developed • Reformed Theology and Irenic Goal • Reformed Theology does not needlessly polarize • Calvinism is not antithetical to or antagonistic against other kinds of evangelicalism • Reformed theology wants to help implicit Calvinists become explicit • Irenic Goal can be reached only on basis of a structured appreciation for the covenant Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  25. REFORMED THEOLOGY • And Lutheranism • Lutheranism polarizes; Calvinism views the New Covenant supplanting the Old in fulfillment, not in antithesis • And Arminianism • Arminianism views election (“fatalism”) as opposed to human responsibility • Reformed Theology sees the decrees of God as the basis for meaningful human action • Arminians work on a 100% solution; Calvinists on a 200% solution • Covenant dynamic says covenant promise is basis of covenant response Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  26. REFORMED THEOLOGY • And Baptist Theology • Baptists want a regenerate church; Reformed churches maintain a regenerate church through discipline and catechetical instruction • And Fundamentalist Theology • Reformed Theology affirms the “fundamentals” in context of covenant and refuses to ignore any doctrine: whole counsel of God! • And Dispensational Theology • Reformed Theology sees diversity in the administration of God’s grace, but sees only one Covenant of Grace and sees a unity between the Old Testament people of God and the New Testament people of God. Intro to Systematic Theology 7

  27. Introduction to Systematic Theology