SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY I

FOUNDATIONAL ISSUES

INTRODUCTION

 

The study of Systematic Theology has fallen on hard times.  In the minds of many Christians, there is a great divorce between the teaching of Scripture and Systematics.  However, we all think about God, and are all Theologians in that sense.  The only question:  Will you be a good Theologian, thinking Biblical thoughts about God, or a bad one?

Let's exercise ourselves in study, and come to know our God more deeply, more profoundly.

This is an intermediate level course.  If you are relatively new to the discipline of Systematic Theology, there are a few resources that you may want to work through before proceeding.

1.  R.C. Sproul's Essential Truths of the Christian Faith.  This is a fine introductory text.  His treatment is straightforward and accessible, and yet rich in substance.  Although I might differ with Dr. Sproul on some subordinate matters, this is a great place to begin.

2.  Robert Shaw's Exposition of the Confession of Faith.  The Westminster Standards are the most extensive Protestant Confessional statement; they are a rich repository of theological truth.  The Westminster Confession and Catechism, together with their proof-texts, are worthy of study in their own right; but Shaw is a worthy and helpful guide.

3.  Thomas Watson's A Body of Practical Divinity.  This is an exposition of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and is a specimen of that fine, old Puritan Divinity.  The Protestant Catechisms, for the most part, were modeled after the catechetical tradition of the ancient church:  I.  The Apostle's Creed (a summary of Christian doctrine); II.  The Ten Commandments (a summary of Christian ethics); III.  The Lord's Prayer (an introduction to devotional life and communion with God); IV.  The Sacraments (an introduction to the sacraments for responsible participation).  The Westminster Shorter Catechism develops each of these four, and Watson surveys them with a constant view to practical Christian living.

When you are ready, it is time to dive into the meat of our study...

 

READING LIST

 

There are a couple of works that I would highly recommend at the outset of our study.

1.  Willem J. Van Asselt's Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism.  The term Scholasticism does not tend to evoke positive connotations in the modern mind.  The old School-men have been portrayed to us as more at home in the disciplines of logic and philosophy, than of Scriptural exegesis.  However, through protracted study, I have become convinced that this is not the case.  In fact, the era of the Reformed Scholastics might very well represent the apex of theological thought in the history of Christianity.  This course will represent a Protestant Scholastic Theology.  Van Asselt's book is a great introduction to this period.

2.  Richard Muller's Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics:  Volume 1.  Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant.  Read it; read all of it; and then read it again.

3.  Francis Turretin's Institutes of Elenctic Theology.  Read volume 3, pages 639-679, for an introduction to Turretin's life; and volume 1, pages xxvii-48, for the topics dealing with theological prolegomena.  Turretin is one of the greats.

4.  Bernardinus De Moor's Didactico-Elenctic Theology.  As Rationalism was eating up all of the old Protestant Churches (eighteenth century), De Moor wrote a seven volume systematic theology, capturing and preserving more than two centuries of Protestant thought.  This will be our main textbook for the course.  Read pages 7-34.

 

WEEK 1:  IS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY BIBLICAL?

 

1.  You can ignore the material concerning the syllabus.  These videos were originally part of a seminary course.

2.  Lecture Outline:

WEEK 2:  IS SYSTEMATIC THEOLOGY BIBLICAL? (Part 2)

 

1.  You can ignore the material concerning the syllabus.  These videos were originally part of a seminary course.

2.  Lecture Outline:

WEEK 3:  EPISTEMOLOGY, PART 1

 

Lecture Outline:

WEEK 4:  EPISTEMOLOGY, PART 2

 

Lecture Outline:

WEEK 5:  "THEOLOGY" AND "RELIGION"

 

1.  Lecture Outline:

2.  Read De Moor's Didactico-Elenctic Theology:  Volume 1, pages 35-85.

WEEK 6:  THE "LOCI"

 

Lecture Outline:

WEEK 7:  ARCHETYPAL AND ECTYPAL THEOLOGY, PART 1

 

1.  Lecture Outline:

2.  Read De Moor's Didactico-Elenctic Theology:  Volume 1, pages 86-107.

WEEK 8:  ARCHETYPAL AND ECTYPAL THEOLOGY, PART 2

 

Lecture Outline:

WEEK 9:  FUNDAMENTAL ARTICLES

 

Lecture Outline:

WEEK 10:  REVELATION IN NATURE AND SCRIPTURE

 

1.  Lecture Outline:

2.  Read De Moor's Didactico-Elenctic Theology:  Volume 1, pages 108-244.

ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

ADDRESS

540-718-2554

 

426 Patterson St.

Central, SC  29630

 

dildaysc@aol.com

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