Theology and its task
- “Faith seeking understanding.” – St. Anselm
- Providing an ordered view of the faith of the Christian community.
- Articulating Christian faith in terms that are intelligible to the wider culture.
- “A continuing search for the fullness of truth of God made known in Jesus Christ.” – Daniel Migliore
- “The science of living blessedly forever.” – William Perkins
- “Theology teaches of God, is taught by God and leads to God.” – Thomas Aquinas
- “When rightly pursued, theology reminds us of who we are in light of who God is and moves us to worship Him with our whole being.” – R.C. Sproul
- “One is sometimes (not often) glad not to be a great theologian; one might so easily mistake it for being a good Christian.” – C.S. Lewis
Divisions of Theology
adapted from J.I. Packer
- Exegesis: What did the author intend to convey in this text/passage? This leads to the question, what then does it mean to us?
- Biblical Theology: What is the message of each author and of the Bible as a whole about various topics?
- Historical Theology: How have Christians understood various elements of the faith in the past?
- Systematic Theology: How should we state the total Christian faith today, topic by topic, and as a whole, in light of current interests, assumptions, questions, challenges and culture?
- Apologetics: How should we explain and defend the faith today in the face of contemporary unbelief, mistaken belief and puzzlement?
- Ethics: What are the ideals and standards of Christian behavior? How do we justify them against criticism and bring them to bear upon particular situations?
- Missiology: How should we understand and fulfill the ministering tasks on which God sends His people in this world?
- Spiritual Theology: How should we understand and practice the life of communion with God?
- Liturgical or doxological: How is God best and most truly worshiped by His people, and how may we achieve true worship in our churches?
- Practical: How should we understand and further God’s work in our particular roles, situations, professions, etc.?
- What is Reformed Theology? Understanding the Basics by R.C. Sproul — this book will help you begin to put all the pieces together.
- Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theology (DVD series) by RC Sproul
- An Old Testament Theology: An Exegetical, Canonical and Thematic Approach by Bruce Waltke and Charles Yu — this book looks intimidating, but it’s worth it!
- Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem (Audio Lectures or book)
- Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching by Walter Kaiser
- The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments by Walter Kaiser
- New Testament Development of Old Testament Themes – by FF Bruce
- Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs – JI Packer
- The Eternity of God – A W Tozer
Where to next?
Bible Study 101: Learn how to study the Bible
General Study Resources: Maps, charts, reference works, websites & tools
Study Resources: by Book of the Bible
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