Abstract of Systematic Theology

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Systematic Theologies by Viewpoint

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Consequently, trinitarian theology bulks very large, not only in the treatment of the doctrine per se , but across the entire corpus of Christian teaching: In reconstructing Christian teaching, systematic theology proceeds by a process of conceptual abstraction and schematization. Both are necessary for rational representation in that they enable the theologian to generate a projection of Christian claims about reality which will display both the core content of those claims and also their overall shape when taken together.

Rational representation requires skilful use of concepts. This is true not only of speculative inquiries but also of a discipline like systematic theology, which has usually been considered to have a strongly practical dimension insofar as it originates in and aims at the understanding and improvement of Christian practice. Systematic theological concepts Trinity, election, providence, incarnation, regeneration, and so on function as shorthand which enables more deliberate, reflective apprehension than can be had from the more immediate bearers of Christian claims such as scripture.

Of course, scripture is by no means lacking in conceptual vocabulary; but it is more occasional, directed by particular circumstances, and shows less concern for the clarity, consistency, and thoroughness which have to characterize a systematic representation of Christian teaching. The sources of systematic theological concepts are varied. Some are drawn from scripture, though often their systematic deployment involves a measure of generalization and regularization as concepts are put to work in different contexts and for different purposes than those in which they originally functioned p.

Other concepts are borrowed, adapted, or constructed from resources outside the sphere of Christian faith. The most illuminating systematic theologies are often characterized by 1 conceptual ingenuity, resourcefulness, and suppleness, which enable a projection of Christian claims suitable to draw attention to their richness and complexity; 2 conceptual transparency, which enables a more penetrating understanding of the primary modes of Christian articulation of the gospel; and 3 broad knowledge and sensitive and creative deployment of concepts inherited from the Christian theological tradition.

By contrast, systematic theologies are less successful if they are conceptually monotonous or stiff, if concepts threaten to overwhelm or replace that which they are intended to represent, or if the concepts do not have a discernible relation to well-seated theological usage. The systematic theologies of the last two and a half centuries can be divided into two very rough groups, according to the way in which they understand the relation between systematic theological concepts and the Christian reality claims of which these concepts offer a reflective representation the groupings are merely heuristic, and ought not to be generalized.

What lies behind them may be, for example, experiential such as the experience of redemption or liberation , or social and moral a common direction of human ethical purpose. In the second group, Christian reality claims are considered irreducible; they are not expressive, and cannot be translated without serious loss, since their content lies on their surface rather than residing behind or beneath them.

One was appeal to natural religion and morality as anterior and in important ways superior to positive theological teaching, capable of easing intractable confessional conflict. A second was the development of idealist interpretations of Christian teaching notably at the hands of Kant , in which the capacity of doctrines to act as incitements to moral performance was considered to be largely independent of their reference to reality.

To conceptualize is to move beyond the immediate in order to penetrate and rearticulate its essence in language more stable and better grounded. Much of the systematic literature of neo-Protestantism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries works along these lines. Systematic concepts push through the multiple phenomenal realm to its underlying moral foundation. In contemporary systematic theology, this approach remains a significant presence in revisionist theologies and in some styles of comparative theology Ward This approach to the nature of systematic theological concepts ranges from a modest constructivism to something approaching pure nominalism.

Nearly all systematicians even potent realists like Barth or T. Torrance incorporate some element of it.

Abstract Systematic Theology, James Boyce, Bible Commentary Study PDF CD H08 | eBay

When it exercises a strong influence, its effect is to encourage the generation of systematic theological concepts which are relatively detached from the immediate language of Christian self-expression, not only rhetorically but also materially, and which exhibit a distinct preference for the general rather than the particular and dramatic. If, on the other hand, Christian reality claims are considered not to be reducible to general moral or religious proposals, systematic theological conceptualization assumes a different role.

First, both in rhetoric and in genre it is a good deal less distant from the everyday idiom of Christian teaching. Systematic theological concepts are then considered as a discursive enlargement of Christian teaching but not as an improvement upon it or as a means of access to better-warranted apprehension of the truth. Systematic theology in this mode will often invest heavily in persuasion by citation, commending a construal of Christianity not by appeal to external norms but by building up a portrait of Christian doctrine which commends itself by descriptive cogency.

Second, in this p. Published November 28th by Founders Press first published December 31st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Abstract of Systematic Theology , please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Abstract of Systematic Theology. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Nov 18, Zachary Houghton rated it it was amazing. This is a wonderful summary of systematic theology from a Calvinistic Baptist point of view. Not perfect, and laborious to get through in parts, but far less compromising than many systematic theologies today.

Alexander and Charles Hodge. This commentary is unique in that it reflects the Reformed Baptist Biblical tradition of which many Southern Baptists are either unaware or have sadly rejected.

Great for expansion of the mind. Great reference for bible study since he uses enormous amounts of scripture. Nov 07, G Walker rated it it was ok Shelves: If you had a gun to your head, and you "had" to read a systematic theology in the baptistic tradition. This would be THE one.