What Is Systematic Theology?
As Dr. Wayne Grudem explains it, “systematic theology is any study that answers the question, ‘What does the whole Bible teach us today?’ about any given topic.”
This highly organized, topical approach to exploring Scripture is so important that most seminaries require at least one systematic theology course in their degree programs (sometimes called “doctrines” courses). Many of these courses utilize Grudem’s work.
We’ve adapted this post from Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology online course to help answer the question “what is systematic theology, and why should I care?”
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Guide to the Attributes of God
Between the things God says and does, what other people say about him, and the life of Jesus, the Bible gives us numerous descriptions of God’s character. These passages are often sorted into “attributes of God,” a biblical framework we can use to talk about what God is like and how we know that. Exploring the attributes of God helps us prepare for evangelism, learn church doctrine, and most importantly, understand who God is.
There are several different methods for categorizing God’s attributes. This post will use the most common classification system, adapted from Wayne Grudem’s online systematic theology course.
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What Is the Soul? Is It Different from the Spirit?
Religious or not, most people believe they have some form of a soul. Whether they loosely believe in a concept like “the human spirit,” or they believe part of them will live on when their body expires, these beliefs about body, spirit, and soul all come from somewhere. You might be surprised to learn that much of what people believe about the soul or spirit doesn’t come from the Bible.
The Bible doesn’t neatly define the concepts of spirit and soul for us, so in order to know what it’s saying, we need to piece together all the clues it gives us. In his online systematic theology course, Dr. Wayne Grudem has done just that to reveal how the Bible answers, “What is the soul?” and “What is the spirit?”
The following post is adapted from Grudem’s course.
Did Jesus Really Descend into Hell?
It is sometimes argued that Christ descended into hell after he died.
The widely used Apostles’ Creed reads, “was crucified, dead, and buried, he descended into hell; the third day he rose again from the dead.”
But the phrase “he descended into hell” does not occur in the Bible.
Where did the phrase come from?
A murky background lies behind much of the history of the…
Wayne Grudem: “Why I Wrote Systematic Theology,” Plus a New Online Course
When I first started teaching classes in Systematic Theology I found it difficult to find a book that would:
have clarity enough so that first year students could understand it; have application to people’s life so they could see the usefulness of doctrine; and quote Bible verses extensively because I was convinced that it was the words of scripture that are God’s very words and they change our minds and hearts more powerfully than any other merely human words.
That led me to write a book on systematic theology which included those features. Introducing a new online course
Now, in connection with the book, we have created an online course covering all 57 chapters.
My Systematic Theology online course includes the first half of a set of 57 10-minute lectures in which I introduce and give an overview…
Visually Explore 4 Essential, Beautiful Truths About Life In Christ
Dutch Christian art theorist Hans Rookmaaker said, “Our world has changed for better or for worse. It is for us to find truth and beauty for today, constantly re-applying the truth of God’s word to our own time and our contemporary situation.”
Tim Challies and Josh Byers seem to have taken their cues from Rookmaaker with their new book Visual Theology. Both authors are passionate about finding and expressing truth and beauty in their own way, one as a writer, the other as an artist. Together they have masterfully re-applied the truth of God’s word to our time and situation in a way that is both truthful and beautiful; their visual theology is beautiful theology!
Inspired by the more recent art form of infographics, an especially functional form of art…
Top 12 Biblical-Theological Posts in 2015
The end of the year provides us two opportunities: to remember the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to reflect upon what we’ve learned this year.
Here are 12 of this blog’s most read and talked-about posts from 2015.
These posts represent a cross-section of cutting-edge research and deep reflection on the Person and theology of the Christian faith. They also showcase a number of existing and emerging voices breathing new life into biblical and theological studies. We trust this review of the top biblical-theological articles in 2015 will inform, encourage, and enliven your faith and studies in the coming year.
Jesus told his brothers he wasn’t going to Jerusalem for the festival…then he…
Context is Essential – An Excerpt from Locating Atonement
Much has been written of late on the doctrine of atonement. At the beginning of Locating Atonement, the editors explain how this doctrine can be understood more fully in context with other doctrines. In a compelling way, they illustrate this concept in everyday life, and apply its benefits in understanding the atoning work of Christ.
In the last decade there has been a renewed interest in the doctrine of the atonement. Weighty tomes have rolled off the presses, and there appears to be no sign of this abating. Whereas the historic literature on the doctrine has tended to produce particular models or accounts of the doctrine, much of the modern literature has been directed toward denying that there is any single account or model of the atonement…
Save Over 80% on Grudem’s SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY, Allison’s HISTORICAL THEOLOGY
Celebrating Reformation week, we are excited to offer a 2-day flash sale:
You can take advantage of special pricing in two ways:
EBOOK BUNDLE | $11.99
For the first time, we’ve collected together Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem, one of the best-selling systematic theology books of all time, and Historical Theology by Gregg R. Allison, a companion text to Systematic Theology that explores the history of each major Christian doctrine. Save 80% on the bundle!
Systematic Theology and Historical Theology eBooks will also be on sale individually for $7.99 each. You’d save 77% and 74%, respectively.
[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: On Divine Invisibility
“The Lord’s style of language”
One of the theologian’s primary tasks is to assist the church in better understanding what Augustine once called, “the Lord’s style of language.” This task is challenging, not because the Lord employs an esoteric angelic language when he speaks to us, but because he uses ordinary human language to speak of extraordinary things: In Holy Scripture, the Lord speaks of God and all things in relation to God. The first volume of Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology is the product of a theologian well trained in the art of following “the Lord’s style of language.” Therein, Sonderegger offers an account of God’s oneness and perfection that trades upon the correspondence between the Lord’s unique mode of speaking in Holy Scripture and the Lord’s unique mode of being as God.
[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: Interview (Part 2)
The release of a book within a multi-volume systematic theology project makes for a momentous occasion in the world of systematic theology. Over the last few years a number of such projects have launched, none to greater acclaim or worthy of more significant attention than Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology. In our first post we introduced and began to explore critically the volume on the Doctrine of God, then we posted the first installment of an interview that Scott Swain and Michael Allen had with Kate Sonderegger about her book, her theological approach, and her upcoming volumes. Now we conclude that interview by considering some substantive decisions made in this volume, regarding substance metaphysics, causality language, and scriptural exegesis that spans the whole canon.
[Common Places] Engaging with Kate Sonderegger: Interview (Part 1)
The release of a book within a multi-volume systematic theology project makes for a momentous occasion in the world of systematic theology. Over the last few years a number of such projects have launched, none to greater acclaim or worthy of more significant attention than Katherine Sonderegger’s Systematic Theology. In a previous post we introduced and began to explore critically the volume on the Doctrine of God. In this and another post we will make available an interview that Scott Swain and Michael Allen had with Kate Sonderegger. In this post we inquire about her book’s organization, her theological influences, her commitment to monotheism (in light of charges that such a belief leads to hegemony and violence), and how this inaugural volume will relate to her upcoming volumes in…