Today starts my spring Systematic Theology 1 class at Southern Seminary. We’ll study general revelation, special revelation, the doctrine of God, and the trinity. But before we address those topics in later weeks, we’ll start today by answering the question, what is systematic theology?
My definition of systematic theology is: Applying the storyline of Scripture to the storyline of life in light of the storyline of history.
In other words, systematic theology is the culminating discipline in which we apply biblical theology to practical theology in light of historical theology. It applies all of Scripture to all of life by developing a topical assessment of the Bible’s teachings on various doctrines.
Systematic theology is also a call to theological warfare. From the beginning, the clash of the kingdoms has erupted around a right view of God and man. So, learning Christian theology isn’t just acquiring a set of facts. It’s developing a war plan that enables the church to assault the principalities and powers by the power of the Spirit.
In today’s class, we will cover the following introductory topics related to systematic theology: