Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Bible Doctrine - Study of Systematic Theology

I left off without completing the last of four reasons we should study systematic theology last time so here it is:

4) We should study systematic theology because it will help us grow as Christians. We will learn more about God and his Word and how he relates to man which will enable us to trust and then more completely praise him and even be more likely to obey him. This will mature us as Christians. Doctrine is necessary for true Christian maturing

Review Question #4: Name six attitudes or activities that should characterize or accompany the study of systematic theology:

When we study systematic theology we should always pray because we need the Holy Spirit to give us the ability to understand scripture. We also should study with humility and avoid pride. It is appropriate to employ logical reasoning from the scriptures, but we must make certain not to draw conclusions that go beyond what is being taught or contradict other clear teachings of the scripture. If our reasoning brings us to a conclusion that contradicts other scriptural teaching we must realize that what we thought was a valid conclusion is in error and not conclude that the scriptures are in error. We should study with help from others - both teachers and books as well as through talking to other Christians about what is studied. Systematic theology must be studied by collecting and understanding all relevant passages of scripture on that topic by using books books like this one. If you want to study a topic on your own, use a concordance to look up verses with words related to the topic and find many verses with the same key words. After studying those passages, make notes to summarize points made. Once study is complete, the teaching should be summarized into a small number of main points stating what the Bible teaches about that topic. It's also useful to then study other theology books to see the topic from various perspectives that will either strengthen the position stated or make you realize that further research is needed. A study of systematic theology should be accompanied with rejoicing and praise since it's a study of our living and true God and what he did in redemption and as we understand more of God, we won't be able to help but to praise Him.

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