The study of Systematic Theology helps believers to systematize what the Bible teaches on a specific subject. As a Christian in our time, we need to study the following areas of systematic theology:
* Historical (Looks at the history of the church. Looks at how different doctrines
Systematic Theology involves the doctrines of the Bible, plus their theological definitions. Your theological definitions are only as good as your biblical knowledge (biblical data).
Systematic Theology is like a chain and all the doctrines are linked together. If you get one wrong it starts the domino effect.
All Christian doctrine should flow from the Bible. Atheist denies God, but many of them study God.
Canon means the standard or the rule, Authorized Books 66 Books, 39 O.T. and 27 N.T.
The doctrine of the Inspiration of the Bible is of tremendous importance for all Christian doctrines are developed from the Bible and rests upon it for authority.
Inspiration is defined as God’s power enabling man to accurately record the revealed truth. To accept the inspiration of the Bible does not mean that every passage can be explained or understood. But If any man will do Gods will, he shall know that the doctrine is from God - John 7:17.
The word inspiration is only used twice in the bible (Job 32: 8, II Tim 3:16) We need to know the external and the internal.
Inspiration means the inbreathing of God into man. God breathed out:
II PETER 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
If the bible was the white man’s book (wrote it or changed it), surely a white racist would not have included this verse Numbers 12:1. There is no place in the Bible that is not inspired.
The Bible is infallible in all that it teaches, it does not fail.
The bible is inerrant it makes no mistakes in what it teaches and without error. This is not saying the copies are without error because we recognize that there are minor errors in the copies, but those errors does not change the doctrine.
The autographs (the originals that the writers wrote) were without error, but we don’t have them.
The evidence that exist for scripture is not only internal, but external. The Christian student’s goal should be (II Timothy 2:15) :
· Internally, what does the Bible say.
· Externally, verifying the bible.
The EXTENT of Inspiration
1) Natural Inspiration: this theory identifies inspirations with a high Order of human ability. Denies anything supernatural in the scripture.
2) Mechanical Inspiration: This view ignores human instrumentality in the preparation of the Scriptures and claims that the writers were like robots.
3) Partial Inspiration: It is held by some with superficial knowledge of the bible who accepts scientists’ Theories as fact. They say the Bible contains the word of God, but is not the word of God.
4) Plenary Inspiration: This is the belief of the Christian Church. We believe that all scripture is inspired by God. 2 Timothy 3:16.
The Nature of' inspiration:
careful study will reveal several
different ways God Transmitted his word to his people.
1) Divine utterance: In both the O.T. and the NT. The exact words of God were reproduced in writing (Exod. 32:16; 1 Chron. 28:19, Dan 5:85).
2) Divine Dictation: God puts into the mouth of certain men the very words they should speak, (Exod, 4:10-15; Isa. 8:11; Jere. 1: 7).
3) Human Expression: The Scripture writer’s individuality and literary style, in relating divine truth, was not destroyed by divine inspiration.
The Claims for inspiration
The writers themselves Claimed to write the Scriptures under the direct influence of the Holy Spirit.
1) O. T. writers: one cannot Read the O.T. without being Impressed with the repetition of such phases as “Thus saith the Lord” which occurs 1900 times. It is claimed that such expressions as “the Lord said,” “the Lord spoke,” “ the word of the Lord came,” 3,808 times in the O.T.
2) N.T. writers: The N.T. contains more than 280 quotations from 30 of the 39 O.T. books, spread over 18 of its 27 books (Matt 19:20; Mark 13:14). Paul quotes Scripture from Luke in the same breath as from Deuteronomy (“1 Tim 5:18; cf. Deut 25: 4; Luke 10: 7). Paul did not modify his absolute confidence in the inspiration of the O.T. It always remained the Holy Scriptures with the same divine authority in establishing Christian truth as his own writings which he knew were inspired:
I CORINTHIANS 14:37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.
I THESSALONIANS 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
II PETER 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:
II PETER 3:2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:
II PETER 3:15 And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
II PETER 3:16 As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Peter classes ‘Paul’s writing’ with the “other scriptures” (II Peter 3: 1, 2, 16). The Discourse of Peter, Stephen, and Paul in the Acts are composed almost entirely of the O.T. quotations.
One object of Christ’s coming was to bear witness of the truth (John 18:37). His attitude towards Scripture was as follows:
· He regarded them as Authentic in their entirety. He shows this by quoting from Pentateuch, Prophets, and Psalms (Luke 24:27).
· He applied the whole Scripture to Himself. See Isaiah 61:1, Like 4:16-21, and John 5:39).
· He quoted from all Scriptures as of equal authority. Deuteronomy quotation see Matthews 4:4, 7,10. Psalms 8:2 see Matthew 21:16.
· He upheld the verbal inspiration of Scriptures. See Matthews 5:18. Not merely the words were inspired, but according to the Lord, the very letters of the Bible were inspired (jot and tittle). The jot was the smallest Hebrew letter.
· He accepted the miracles of the Bible. Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:26-32). Jonah (Matthew 12:40). Daniel (Matthew 24:15).
See Luke 16:19-31 - Lazarus and the Rich man. People have the Bible, but they don’t want that, they want something miraculous. Notice was Abraham tells the rich man, they have Moses and the prophets (the word, scriptures).
1) Theology Proper: Definition of
Theology - In general it is the study of God. It involves His Existence, Nature, Attributes, and Actions. It is a limited study because no man can understand the mind of God. Romans 11:33-34. Not all is revealed Deut. 19:29. There are some things that God has not told us: the secret things belong to God. There are mysteries 1 Tim3:16: Great is the mystery. It is very rewarding to study God Heb 11:6.
It is very important to know “what is God” and “what is not God”. God has incommunicable attributes that sets Him apart from man: Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotent. God is eternal. God is the Alpha and Omega.
2) Philosophical Theology: It does not recognize the authority of Scripture. Many times you can tell the characteristics of a Philosophical book because it has pretty much no scripture at all and a lot of big words.
It study comes from reflection: But Paul says in Romans 1:20 men are without excused. Acts 17:16, How does man perceive / view God? Geneses 1:1 “In the Beginning God”
Born: 469 B.C.
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 399 B.C. (execution by poison)
Best Known As: The great Greek philosopher who drank hemlock
Socrates is the ancient Greek thinker who laid the early foundations for Western philosophical thought. His "Socratic Method" involved asking probing questions in a give-and-take which would eventually lead to the truth. He spent years in the public places of Athens, engaging his fellow citizens in philosophical discussions and urging them to greater self-analysis. Socrates's iconoclastic attitude didn't sit well with everyone, and at age 70 he was charged with heresy and corruption of local youth. Convicted, he carried out the death sentence by drinking hemlock, becoming one of history's earliest martyrs of conscience. Socrates's most famous pupil was Plato, who in turn instructed the philosopher Aristotle.
Born: c. 428 B.C.
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 347 B.C.
Best Known As: The ancient philosopher who wrote The Republic
Plato was one of the early stars of Western philosophy. The son of an aristocrat, he studied under the great Greek thinker, Socrates. Plato's writings mostly take the form of dialogues, or "dialectics," in which knowledge is revealed as two characters ask and answer questions of each other.
Born: 384 B.C.
Birthplace: Stagira, Greece
Died: 322 B.C.
Best Known As: The author of Ethics
Aristotle is considered the father of biology
As a student of Plato he formed a love of philosophy and logic.
Ancient scholars attributed as many as 400 treatises to Aristotle, encompassing all knowledge in Antiquity about the universe. About 30 have survived and these are thought to have been compiled by his students.
What are four of the powerful proves of God:
l. Cosmological Argument: for every effect there is a cause, and everything that is cause has to have something that CAUSED it. But God is un-caused there for He needs no one to cause. We are caused beings. But God is a necessary being – God is uncaused. An uncaused being does not need a creator.
Logically speaking the cosmological argument for the existence of God is inductive and a posteriori: the evidence is examined, and based on it a conclusion is drawn that God exists. The term cosmological comes from the Greek word cosmos, meaning "world." This argument is based on the fact that a cosmos, or world, exists. Because something cannot come from nothing, there must be an original cause that is the reason for the world's existence. A man wears a Bulova wristwatch. Although he has never seen a watchmaker, the fact of the existence of the wristwatch suggests there is a Swiss watchmaker who made the watch. The cosmological argument says that every effect must have a cause.
2. Teleological Argument = if there is a design, there must be a designer. Intelligent Design. "As in Cosmological Argument case, the teleological argument is inductive and a posteriori. Teleological comes from the Greek word telos, meaning "end." The teleological argument may be defined thus: "Order and useful arrangement in a system imply intelligence and purpose in the organizing cause. The universe is characterized by order and useful arrangement; therefore, the universe has an intelligent and free cause."19-2 The world everywhere evidences intelligence, purpose, and harmony; there must be a master architect behind all this evidence. The psalmist sees the magnificence of God's creation in the universe and recognizes that it testifies to His existence (Ps. 8:3-4; 19:1-4). God's harmony is observed throughout the universe and world: the sun being ninety-three million miles distant is precisely right for an adequate climate on earth; the moon's distance of two hundred forty thousand miles provides tides at a proper level; the earth's tilt provides the seasons. A conclusion is clear that God, the Master Designer, has created this magnificent universe. The alternative, that the world happened "by chance," is no more possible than a monkey being able to create a work of Shakespeare on a typewriter by haphazard play on the keys."
3. Ontological Argument = Being. God is a perfect being. God is in infinite being. We are finite beings. "The ontological argument, distinct from the preceding arguments, is deductive and a priori; it begins with an assumption and then attempts to prove that assumption. It is less significant than the preceding arguments. The term ontological comes from the Greek present participle ontos (from the verb eimi) and means "being" or "existence." The ontological argument is philosophical rather than inductive. The argument reasons: "If man could conceive of a Perfect God who does not exist, then he could conceive of someone greater than God himself which is impossible. Therefore God exists." The argument rests on the fact that all men have an awareness of God. Because the concept of God is universal, God must have placed the idea within man. Anselm (1033?-1109) was the first proponent of this view. In the thinking of some, this argument has limited value, and few would affirm the usefulness of the ontological argument."
4. Anthropological Argument: Morality of man. Man is a being that has a soul, body, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23). Romans 2:13-14. Conscience what God put in man. "The anthropological argument, which is also inductive and a posteriori, is based on the Greek word anthropos, meaning "man." Contrary to the secular humanist who sees man simply as a biological being, the Biblicist sees man as created in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-28). The image of God in man is spiritual, not physical (cf. Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10). Man is not simply a physical being, but also a moral being with a conscience, intellect, emotion, and will. Chafer states: "There are philosophical and moral features in man's constitution which may be traced back to find their origin in God. . . . A blind force . . . could never produce a man with intellect, sensibility, will, conscience, and inherent belief in a Creator.
The intermediate State is when a person is dead and their spirit is in heaven with the Lord because that that is not the final state of man.
The Bible does not try to prove God: It just says in the beginning was God (Genesis 1:1).
Biblical Theology is a discipline within Christian theology which studies the Bible from the perspective of understanding the progressive history (from Genesis through Revelation) of God revealing God's self to humanity following the Fall and throughout the Old Testament and New Testament. It particularly focuses on the epochs of the Old Testament in order to understand how each part of it ultimately points forward to fulfillment in the life mission of Jesus Christ.
Biblical theology seeks to understand a certain passage in the Bible in light of all of the Biblical history leading up to it.
Angelology is the study of angels. There are many unbiblical views of angels in the world today. Some believe angels are human beings who have died. Others believe that angels are impersonal sources of power. Still others entirely deny the existence of angels. A good biblical understanding of Angelology will correct these incorrect beliefs. Angelology tells us what the Bible says about angels. It is a study of how the angels relate to humanity and serve God's purposes.
Christology is a field of study within Christian theology which is concerned with the nature of Jesus the Christ, particularly with how the divine and human are related in his person. Christology is generally less concerned with the details of Jesus' life than with how the human and divine co-exist in one person. Although this study of the inter-relationship of these two natures is the foundation of Christology, some essential sub-topics within the field of Christology include:
Jesus The Person
1 Son of God (Heb. 1:6-8).
2 God the Son John 5:18-21
3 God in Human Form (John 1:1,14; Philippians 2:6-9)
4 Worshipped ( Heb. 1: 6; Luke 24:52, Matt 28:17
5 Prayed to (John 14: 13-14, Acts 7:57)
6 Omnipresent (Matt. 18: 19-20)
1*1*1 =1 - God * Son * Holy Spirit = God
Resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 13-14)
Atonement (Romans 10: 8-9)
John 5: 18 equal with God
John 2:19 Destroy temple/I will raise it.
Romans 10:9 (God raised him from dead)
John 11: 24-25 (I am the resurrection )
1) Old Testament: Existant Christ. Pre-incarnate Christ
2) New Testament Incarnated Christ.
Ecclesiology is the study of the church. The word Ecclesiology comes from two Greek words meaning "assembly" and "word" - combining to mean "the study of the church." The church is the assembly of believers who belong to God. Ecclesiology is crucial to understand God's purpose for believers in the world today. Ecclesi means “called out” The church does not come until the N.T. time.
In Christian theology, ecclesiology is the study of doctrine pertaining to the Church itself as a community or organic entity and with the understanding of what the "church" is — ie., its role in salvation, its origin, its relationship to the historical Christ, its discipline, its destiny (see Eschatology) and its leadership. It is, therefore, the study of the Church as a thing in itself, and of the Church's self-understanding of its mission and role.
Eschatology (from the Greek ἔσχατος, Eschatos meaning "last" + -logy) is a part of theology and philosophy concerned with the final events in the history of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world. While in mysticism the phrase metaphorically refers to the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the Divine, in many traditional religions it is taught as an actual future event prophesied in sacred texts or folklore. More broadly, eschatology may encompass related concepts such as the Messiah or Messianic Age, the end time, and the end of days.
The Greek word αἰών (aeon), meaning "age", may be translated as "end of the age (or historical period)" instead of "end of the world". The time distinction also has theological significance; while the end of time in mystical traditions relates to escaping confinement in the "given" reality, some religions believe and fear it to be the literal destruction of the planet (or of all living things) - with the human race surviving in some new form, ending the current "age" of existence.
Hamartiology is the study of sin. Named after Ham. Hamartiology deals with how sin originated, how it affects humanity, and what it will result in after death. To sin essentially means to "miss the mark." We all miss God's mark of righteousness (Romans 3:23). Hamartiology, then, explains why we miss the mark, how we miss the mark, and the consequences of missing the mark. Some important questions in Hamartiology are:
Soteriology is the study of salvation. The word comes from two Greek terms: soter, meaning "savior," and logos, meaning "word", "reason", or "principle". Many religions give emphasis to salvation of one form or another, and as such have their own soteriologies. Some soteriologies are primarily concerned with relationships to, or unity with, gods; others more strongly emphasize cultivation of knowledge or virtue. Soteriologies also differ in what sort of salvation they promise. However, the term is primarily used in Christian theological studies. Soteriology is the branch of Christian doctrinal theology that deals with salvation through Jesus Christ.
Soteriology involves faith, regeneration, justification, and adoption.
Pneumatology is the study of spiritual beings and phenomena, especially the interactions between humans and God. Pneuma (πνευμα) is Greek for "breath", which metaphorically describes a non-material being or influence. World Book Dictionary defines pneumatology as "1. Theology the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. 2. The doctrine of spirits or spiritual beings, in the 1600s considered a branch of metaphysics. 3. pneumatics. 4. Obsolete word for psychology."
In Christian theology pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. In mainstream Christian doctrine, the Holy Spirit is the third person of God in the Trinity. Unitarian forms of Christianity believe that the Holy Spirit is personal, although holding that it may, in some sense, influence people. In the Gospel of John, pneuma is linked to re-birth in water and spirit, which has been suggested to be baptism.
Revelation of God
A. Types of Revelation: Definitions of
“The truths God has revealed about Himself to all mankind through ature, providential control [lit., “foreseeing”; God is preserving all that He created as He exercises His sovereign control; in other words, “order”], and conscience [which He has given us to distinguish between what is morally right and wrong].” (cf. Psalm 19:1-2)
3. Progressive revelation
“The piecemeal [step-by-step] divine unveiling of truth throughout the ages until the completion of the Bible. God did not reveal truth about Himself all at once but revealed it in “many portions and many ways” (Heb. 1:1).
4. Specific revelation
“The divine revealing of truth through Jesus Christ and through the scriptures. In contrast to general revelation which is available to everyone, special revelation is available only to those who have access to biblical truth.” (cf. Matt. 5:17; John 1:1-4,18; Php. 2:5-8)
B. Purpose of God's revelation
Biblical Beliefs - ETA – Clarence H. Benson.
Hillebrand, Randall Category: Theology Source: www.hillebrandministries.com