Mister Richardson's
Bible Doctrine Class


Chapter 1: Introduction to Systematic Theology


And Jesus came and spake unto them saying, "All power is given unto Me in heaven and earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Amen. - Matthew 28:18-20.

A. Definition of Systematic Theology
Systematic theology is any study that answers the question, "What does the whole Bible teach us about any particular topic?"

  1. Relationship to other disciplines
  2. Application
  3. Systematic instead of disorganized
  4. What are doctrines?
  5. Major and minor doctrines

B. Assumptions

  1. That the Bible is completely true.
  2. That the Bible is our only and final standard of authority.
  3. That God exists as He is spoken of in the Bible.
  4. That God is our creator.

C. Why Study Theology?

  1. We are commanded by God to teach and to be disciple - Matt 28:19,20.
  2. The benefits to our lives.

D. How should we study theology?

  1. With prayer - Psalm 119:18; 1 Cor 2:14; Eph 1:17-19.
  2. With humility - 1 Peter 5:5; James 1:19-20; 1 Cor 8:1.
  3. With reason and logic - Psalm 119:160.
  4. With help from others - 1 Cor 12:28.
  5. By collecting and understanding all relevant passages of Scripture
  6. With rejoicing and praise.

CATECHISM
Q1: What is the chief end of man?
A1: Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.

REVIEW QUESTIONS
1. How is systematic theology different from other theological disciplines?
2. Give four reasons why Christians should study theology.
3. Name six things that should accompany your study of theology.

PERSONAL APPLICATION
What is likely to happen to a church or denomination that gives up learning systematic theology for a generation or more? Has that been true of your church?

TERMS
apologetics, biblical theology, Christian ethics, contradiction, doctrine, historical theology, major doctrine, minor doctrine, New Testament theology, Old Testament theology, paradox, philosophical theology, presupposition, systematic theology.

LINKS
Shouldn't We Evangelise Instead of Arguing About Theology? - William Harrell
Who Needs Systematic Theology? - Michael Horton

QUOTES
"The big difference between Christian faith and any kind of philosophical theology is that Christians claim to know God, the ulitmate reality, personally."
- Gerald Bray, The Doctrine of God


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