Five Myths about Biblical Theology

"Myth #4: Biblical theology is in competition with systematic theology....Systematic theology needs biblical theology so that it doesn’t devolve into mere proof-texting. We may quote verses to support our doctrines, but we may miss what those verses actually mean in their original context." - Drew Hunter

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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He's not wrong, but I wish gone a step further and noted how biblical theology also needs systematic theology. God didn't give us 66 books that have no relationship to each other. He gave us His Word, and that means the Word ultimately speaks with a consistent harmonious voice on all the topics it addresses. Just as biblical theology helps guard against proof texting, systematic theology helps us understand what author A in book A is really saying about topic A--becaues he won't be saying something contradictory to what author B in book B is saying about topic A.

They are interdependent disciplines... and so is historical theology, which helps us resist the urge to take up some novel idea (influenced by the spirit of our times, no doubt) and champion it as theological discovery. It might only be theological imagination meeting up with hubris.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:

He's not wrong, but I wish gone a step further and noted how biblical theology also needs systematic theology. God didn't give us 66 books that have no relationship to each other. He gave us His Word, and that means the Word ultimately speaks with a consistent harmonious voice on all the topics it addresses. Just as biblical theology helps guard against proof texting, systematic theology helps us understand what author A in book A is really saying about topic A--becaues he won't be saying something contradictory to what author B in book B is saying about topic A.

you might be right, but the bolded portion sounds more like Biblical theology than systematic theology to me. 

 

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Paul Henebury's picture

This is a good basic article on BT.  It is important to understand that BT is not monolithic.  Vos's BT moves through the Bible using an "epochal" structure.  Brevard Childs does the same.  The approach is diachronic.  But Charles Scobie employ a synchronic approach.  Also, BT is sometimes loaded with assumptions, like the NT must reinterpret the OT., or, similarly, that the first coming of Christ is the touchstone of BT.  Or that dispensations provide the structure (Elliott Johnson).     

Dr. Paul Henebury

I am Founder of Telos Ministries, and Senior Pastor at Agape Bible Church in N. Ca.