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: “The Bible is enough.”
Is the Bible enough for knowing what God wants us to believe and what he wants us to do?
The sufficiency of Scripture means that:
it contains all the words of God he intended his people to have in each stage of redemptive history, and it now contains everything we need God to tell us for salvation, for trusting him perfectly, and for obeying him perfectly.
Scripture contains everything we need for salvation.
In 2 Timothy 3:15, Paul says that Scripture is “able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Paul goes on to write about Scripture containing everything we need to live the Christian life. Paul goes on to…
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…
eBook Sale – I “Heart” Theology
Well known research shows that theology books top most wish-lists on Valentine’s Day. In an effort to make Valentine’s Day shopping both successful and economical for you, we have gathered the finest of theological thinkers into an eBook sale.
Save up to 74% on over a dozen titles including:
A Theology of Mark’s Gospel (NEW!) | David E. Garland | Sale: $7.99
This landmark textbook, written by leading New Testament scholar David E. Garland, thoroughly explores the theology of Mark’s Gospel. It both covers major Markan themes and also sets forth the distinctive contribution of Mark to the New Testament and the canon of Scripture, providing readers with an in-depth and holistic grasp…
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.
Flash Sale: Wayne Grudem eBooks 80% Off, Today Only
Four of Wayne Grudem’s eBooks from Zondervan are on sale today, and only today (February 2, 2015), at very steep discounts.
If you haven’t already picked up Grudem’s monumental Systematic Theology, get it today for just $7.99. That’s 80% off regular price, making this the steepest discount we’ve offered on the book.
Grudem’s celebrated “condensations” of Systematic Theology are also on sale: Bible Doctrine ($3.99 today), which just appeared as an eBook for the first time in October. The even briefer condensation, Christian Beliefs, is on sale for just $1.99.
Also not to be missed, Grudem’s eBook Politics – According to the Bible is just $3.99 (original price $31.99). For those keeping score, that’s 87% off.
This sale will be gone tomorrow, so there’s no time to waste!
The sale on Wayne Grudem’s eBooks ends Monday at…
My Advice to Students — Grudem Says Seminarians Should Do These 4 Things
As you may have noticed over the past several months of our series, there is no shortage of advice from seasoned biblical scholars. And that's a good thing, because let's face it: We can use all the advice we can get when embarking on the unique journey of a seminarian.
Yet standing out among the crowd is the sage wisdom from Dr. Wayne Grudem, professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary and author of the seminal work Systematic Theology. Perhaps that's because he is more seasoned than many of those who've shared so far, in terms of experience and scope of career. Or maybe it's because of the unique set…
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology read by 800 members of one church
Hunter Street Baptist Church in Hoover, Alabama is the largest Baptist church in its state, averaging 4,500 attendees each weekend. Six years ago pastor Buddy Gray started a theology reading group with nine other men and chose Dr. Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology as their beginning text.
The format of the group was simple: read one chapter each week, meet to discuss (and not debate) and do so for 15 months. Though this initially sounds like just the story of one small group, to date 800 Hunter Street members have participated in similar groups (aptly dubbed “TRG’s” – Theology Reading Groups) and each chose Systematic Theology as their beginning text. (To read a full account of this story click here for a link to the Baptist Press homepage.)
Dr. Grudem recently spoke at Hunter Street and I had a chance to ask him a few questions about these remarkable reading groups.