What Is Systematic Theology?

Yesterday my family and I began reading from and discussing Wayne Grudem’s “Systematic Theology” (Zondervan, 1994) in our after breakfast Bible reading time. This will be our third reading of such a book, our having read Marion M. Schoolland’s “Leading Little Ones to God” (Eerdmans, 1981) several years ago and William W. Menzies and Stanley M. Horton’s “Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective” (Logion, 1993) a few years ago. This time I plan to make brief daily reports on our reading and discussion here.

Systematic theology is the organized study of God and His relationship to humans and the world.

Systematic theology is related to these theological fields of study, each of which contributes to but is distinct from systematic theology:

– Historical theology is the study of how Christians in different periods of time have understood various theological topics.

– Philosophical theology is the study of theological topics using observation and reason rather the Bible.

– Apologetics is the defence of the Christian faith against the objections of unbelievers.

– Biblical theology is the study of the teachings of parts of the Bible. It includes Old Testament theology, New Testament theology, and the theology of individual books or sections of the Bible.

Formal systematic theology differs in these ways from the informal systematic theology that most Christians do regularly:

– It is organized.

– It is more detailed.

– It is more accurate.

– It considers all relevant Scriptures.

Comments from followers of and visitors to Open Theism are welcome. However, as I observed when I created it, it is intended to introduce open theism to my family and friends. Thus it is not intended for advanced discussion of open theism or for arguments between supporters and opponents of open theism, other sites being available for both of those activities. Thus I will approve the publication of only those comments that are made in a non-technical and friendly manner.

2 thoughts on “What Is Systematic Theology?

  1. Allison

    I didn’t realize before that Leading Little Ones to God could be considered systematic theology. 🙂 Interesting to know!

    Currently, Andy and I are using a few books for our Bible Study. Together, we’re studying Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I’m also sharing highlights from Eerdmans’ Handbook to the History of Christianity and Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle.

  2. Bob Hunter Post author

    Actually I’m probably the only person who’s ever described Leading Little Ones to God as systematic theology.

    Thanks for the update on Andy’s and your Bible Study. I hope that you’re enjoying it.


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