Posts Tagged ‘systematic theology’

This is a later post in the day than usual! Just got back from my vacation!

One of the amazing place we visited was a historic Dutch town in America. If you follow this blog for sometime you know I love Dutch Reformed theology and also the contribution of Dutch Americans to Christian theology and apologetics, namely Cornelius Van Til. It was a treat to see places with last names of Kuyper and other other Dutch family names around this town that often I see as last names of authors in the books of theologians and thinkers.

And one of the things I love about Dutch Neo-Calvinist Reformed thinkers such as Van Til, Kuyper and Bavinck is their observations of the inter-relationships of spheres and things, and inter-disciplinary nature of knowledge and sphere sovereignty.

One treat during my trip was seeing Dutch windmills. It totally blew my mind and also got me thinking tangent to the topic of Cornelius Van Til, inter-disciplines and innovations and appreciation for the truth of the Christian worldview.


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Someone asked a question about thoughts of Biblical Theology versus Systematic Theology. I don’t see the two should be against one another but rather both are important, though sometimes some see one is more important than the other in such a way that one is neglected or looked down upon.

Before going further, what is systematic theology and Biblical Theology?

Systematic Theology (I shall use the acronym ST) as defined by popular Systematic Theologian Wayne Grudem is Theology that “focuses on the collection and summary of all biblical passages on a subject, and attempts to summarize the teachings of Scripture in brief, understandable, and carefully formulated statements” (Source).

Biblical Theology (I shall use the acronym BT) as defined by Biblical Theologian Geerhardus Vos “is that branch of Exegetical Theology which deals with the process of the self-revelation of God deposited in the Bible” (Geerhardus Vos, Biblical Theology (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1948), 13).

Biblical Theology is not a term to say right theology that is from the Bible (hopefully one’s Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology is based upon truths from the Bible). Rather Biblical is focus on the process and progress of how God revealed Himself and other truths while Systematic Theology often focus on the finished and completed revelation of God in the Bible and tries to organize these truths logically.

Here’s my thought:


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Next few weeks I’ll be posting an outline series on a Christian theology of sin.

Purpose: In this session we shall see two questions concerning the Fall and Sin so that we lay the foundation to understand our need for Christ and the Gospel.

  • What lead to the Fall?
  • What are the results of the Fall?


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God’s Omniscience is the attribute of God being all-knowing.  Sadly there are even some quarters of “Christianity” that attack this attribute of God.

Here’s a four part series on God’s Omniscience.


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I’m at the Shepherd’s Conference right now where the most sold book in the conference’s history occurred this year with the new Biblical Doctrines edited by John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue.  There’s talk of this book published by Crossway will be translated in many other languages.  I’m looking forward to hear what God can do with this work to equip God’s Church to know God’s truth more accurately in a systematic fashion.

Now I know with every new systematic theology the question some would immediately ask would be “What are its strengths and weaknesses and how will the book present doctrines?”  Systematic theology has also gotten more complex with works discussing or at least accounting for aspect of historical theology, biblical theology, philosophical theology, etc.  While some have criticize systematic theology as “proof texting” I think the game has actually gotten more rigorous and more inter-disciplinary (at least with the various theologies).  For example I think of Crossway’s Foundation Of Evangelical Theology Series and the most recent work I reviewed God the Son Incarnate by Stephen Wellum and how it has dimensions of apologetics, epistemology, biblical theology and historical theology.

So looking at this new work by MacArthur here’s my initial observation.  I’ll be sharing first what I see is a big plus about the book and also one constructive criticism.  I share the constructive criticism humbly, especially when I imagine the incredible amount of hard work that was put into the volume and I am just a lowly reader of theology.


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My first book review for 2017!


Stephen J. Wellum. God the Son Incarnate.  Wheaton, IL: Crossway, November 30th 2016.  480 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster | Amazon

This book is a part of Crossway’s Foundations of Evangelical Theology series.  I appreciated the series overall and this work on Christology is now among my top favorites in the series.  It is quite a meaty work and reading it was no small undertaking.  Reading this book makes me appreciate just how much Christian scholarship exists and how much that I still need to tap into.  I learned a lot reading this book.  In my opinion I think Stephen Wellum’s work is ideal as a seminary text book and for those who desire to seriously study the doctrines related to Christ more deeply.  In this review I am going to first summarize each parts and chapters of the book and end with some brief constructive criticisms.


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These are links from November 16th-21st 2013 on Presuppositional apologetics.

What other links should we have included here?

1.) Numbers Need Worldviews

2.) Thoughts on Systematic Theology by John Frame

3.) Critical Evaluation of Tim Keller’s apologetical method By Wes Bredenhof

4.) Extracting Nectar From a Painted Rose

5.) On Sale for $0.99 – Pick up “Lying: The Case Against Deception” HERE

6.) Apologetic Evangelism 101: Evangelism’s Woes  JUST ADDED!

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I see it’s making its round online but I got to thank Truth4Freedom for letting me know about this last week!

Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology is a classic.  While some of the language and format is dated, I still think nevertheless it ought to be a standard Systematic Theology Book.

Or get the physical book HERE.

It’s available either as a PDF or an EPUB.

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The Master's Seminary


Every year The Master’s Seminary has a Spring Semester Faculty Lecture Series that is meant to be an in-depth focus on a particular issue or doctrine.  This year’s focus is on the doctrine of the Trinity.  Here is the lists of the lectures and below it are the videos:

Trinitarianism & Creationism by Dr. Bryan Murphy (Old Testament Associate Professor)

Trinitarianism & Inspiration by Dr. William Barrick (Old Testament Professor)

Trinitarianism & Salvation/Sanctification by Dr. Andrew Snider (Associate Professor of Theology)

Trinitarianism & Eschatology by Dr. Michael Vlach (Associate Professor of Theology)

Trinitarianism & Church History by Professor Nathan Busenitz (Historical Theology)

The videos:




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Louis Berkhof offers the classic Reformed systematic theology. He provides the full loci to the study of theology, from anthropology to eschatology. It is one of the best one-volume systematic out there. I prefer this edition because the publisher combined Berkhof’s “Introduction to the Study of Systematic Theology” which he penned for his students to be the prolegomena to his Systematic Theology. The introduction to the theology includes methods and history and foundation of theological discourse. The preface is penned by another favourite author of mine, Dr. Richard Muller – he explained the rational behind the combination of the two books. Many systematic theology books do not treat the Introduction to Theology in any extensive manner but not this volume.

I have only one minor complain of this book and that’s against the publisher – make the font of the words BIGGER!


Click to purchase this book

Louis Berkhof was born in Emmen, Drenthe, the Netherlands, Louis Berkhof emigrated with his family to Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1882. He graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1900 and accepted the call to be the pastor of the Allendale, Michigan First Christian Reformed Church. In 1902 he went to Princeton Theological Seminary for two years earning a B.D. degree. He then accepted the pastorship of the Oakdale Park Church in Grand Rapids. And later became the President of Calvin Theological Seminary.

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