Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

The Work of a Systematic Theologian


The Theological Circle

Originally uploaded by jenniferdianesmith

The goal of systematic theology is to have an integrated and holistic approach to theology, that takes into consideration the various theological disciplines – such as biblical theology, historical theology, contextual theology, practical theology and philosophical theology – and brings them to bear on the practical life of the congregation that is on mission in a particular time and place.

In many ways, the systematic theologians task(s) are similar to a general surgeon. They gather a vast amount of general knowledge from each of the theological endeavors, and lean on the various specialists in order to have a more holistic approach. So the Biblical theologian might be a heart specialist, for they focus on the text itself, without which we would have no life. The systematic theologian takes the heart specialist information and brings it to bear in the current life of the church on mission in a particular city or town. A historical theologian might “understand the history of medicine” and its development, while the systematic theologian seeks to bring that history to bear in current and future challenges the church faces, recognizing each age and context has particular strengths and limits. While both the philosopher and systematic theologian seek a broad understanding of the big questions in life, the philosopher does so from the sources of philosophy, while the systematic theologian does so from revelation.


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