Who needs Systematic Theology When We Have the Bible?

Wednesday, 01 Jan 2003

Imagine an open-heart surgeon whose expertise was limited to his or her own dissection of hearts, having no relation to any knowledge of the body as a whole, the circulatory system, or to the collective and accumulated knowledge of the field that can be learned through formal study.
One subject that brings even fundamentalists and liberals together is the criticism of systematic theology. For instance, many of us were reared to suspect that if someone clearly embraced some particular system (e.g., Calvinist, Arminian, or Lutheran), then that would probably lead to the suppression of biblical teaching wherever specific passages didn't easily fit into a nice, neat doctrinal package. Others reared in more liberal circles heard the traditional systems ridiculed for their alleged dogmatism and parochialism-for their arrogance in thinking that the Bible actually was true, much less clear enough to have what one could seriously ...

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