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Introduction to theology. What is systematic theology?.

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what is systematic theology
What is systematic theology?
  • VMK: “Systematic theology is an integrative discipline, which continuously searches for a coherent, balanced understanding of Christian truth and faith in light of God’s revelation and in the context of the history of theology and contemporary world and cultures”
doing theology vmk s two modes of theology
Doing Theology: VmK’s two modes of theology

Embedded theology

Deliberative theology




  • “Faith seeking understanding,“ St. Anslem
  • All Christians are theologians

In thinking theologically we:

  • Raise questions
  • Think critically
  • Hazards of unexamined belief
branches of theology
Branches of theology
  • Biblical Theology
  • Historical Theology
  • Pastoral and Practical Theology
  • Ethics
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Apologetics
  • Systematic Theology
sources of theology cont
Sources of theology (cont.)
  • Scripture: (Theology’s Norming Norm)
  • Heritage
  • Culture
  • Stanley Grenz notes three sources of theology :
  • (Placher, 21-33; Grenz, 16-20)
fuller seminary
Fuller Seminary

Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,  creator of heaven and earth. 

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,  who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,  born of the Virgin Mary,  suffered under Pontius Pilate,  was crucified, died, and was buried;  he descended to the dead.  On the third day he rose again;  he ascended into heaven,  he is seated at the right hand of the Father,  and he will come again to judge the living and the dead. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit,  the holy catholic church,  the communion of saints,  the forgiveness of sins,  the resurrection of the body,  and the life everlasting. AMEN.

  • Systematic Theology I
    • Revelation
    • God
    • Creation
    • Humanity (anthropology)
    • Fall and Sin (hamartiology)
  • Systematic Theology II
    • Jesus Christ (Christology)
    • Holy Spirit (Pneumatology)
    • Salvation (soteriology)
  • Systematic Theology III
    • Church (ecclesiology)
    • Last Things (eschatology)
goal of theology
Goal of theology
  • Cannot simply look to the past but interpret for our own time
  • Doxological- To glorify God
  • Think theologically
  • Live accordingly
  • “Theology connects faith and practice”
        • There is no area of life that is not touched by theology, because there is no area of life that is not touched by God
        • Interdisciplinary
interweaving doctrines
Interweaving doctrines
  • Faith as more than mental assent of propositional truth, as if that truth was accessible directly through human reason; complement of sacramental reality
  • e.g. preaching as having sacramental efficacy