Definitions Class: Systematic Theology in 10 Points
“The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of your righteous ordinances is everlasting.” – Psalm 119:60
In our last instalment of our introduction to theology I want to take a look at the various doctrines that make up the area of systematic theology. As one studies the Word of God and seeks to understand what it is teaching us about God, about man, and about anything else, he is going to systematize everything he learns. Systematic Theology can therefore be broken down into major doctrines that the Bible teaches. As we go through our study of Systematic Theology we are going to look at 10 different areas of doctrine that the Word of God speaks to.
A doctrine can simply be described as something that the entire Bible teaches about a particular topic. Doctrines are the result then of doing systematic theology in one topic of the Bible. A doctrine could be “the study of the church” which would mean that we take everything the Bible teaches about the church and organize (systematize) it under a doctrinal heading. If it was “the doctrine of the church” the term that theologians use to describe this doctrine would be ecclesiology.
As we study through systematic theology, I want to look at 10 major doctrines that I believe the Word of God places great emphasis on. I won’t be digging into each doctrine as deeply as I can, but I hope to hit the major points of each one and give a sufficient description of what I believe the Word of God teaches about each subject. So without further delay, here is Systematic Theology, in 10 points:
I. Bibliology: Is the Doctrine of the Word of God. Bibliology is primarily concerned with the study of the Bible as the revelation of God to man, often dealing with its inspiration, sufficiency, authority, and inerrancy.
II. Theology Proper: Is the Doctrine of God. Theology Proper deals specifically with the being, attributes, and works of God. Theology Proper will often look at the God-Head as a whole while other doctrines will break down each unique person of the God-head.
III. Christology: Is the Doctrine of Christ. Christology is the primarily concerned with the nature and person of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Scriptures.
IV. Pneumatology: Is the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Pneumatology is focused on the third person of the Trinity, answering who the Holy Spirit is, how we receive Him, how He has worked in the past, and how He is still working in our world today.
V. Angelology: Is the Doctrine of the angels, both fallen and holy. Angelology is the study of the angels, their origin, their rankings, details about the ones who have fallen (including Satan), and how they are used by God to perform His will.
VI. Anthropology: Is the Doctrine of Mankind. Anthropology is the study of mankind as he relates to God.
VII. Soteriology: Is the Doctrine of Salvation. Soteriology is the study of the salvation of mankind as effected by the Lord Jesus Christ.
VIII. Ecclesiology: Is the Doctrine of the Church. Ecclesiology is the study of the Christian Church. It looks at the origin of the church as established by Christ, its part in the Christian life, its disciplines, leadership, and ultimate destiny.
IX. Israelology: Is the Doctrine of the Nation of Israel. A much neglected topic, Israelology is simply the study of the nation of Israel. It deals with God’s dealings with Israel both in the Old and New Testaments, His current plan for them, and His ultimate glorious destiny and restoration of the nation.
X. Eschatology: Is the Doctrine of End Times. Eschatology is the study of ‘end things’ or ‘end times’ and deals with God’s plan for the end of this world, the biblical description of how this world will end, and the nature of the future Kingdom of God.
So let’s begin our study of Systematic Theology! I hope you are as excited to learn more about our great God and His Word as I am!