Reformed on the Web


This page contains links to pages within my site and those pages will contain links to various places on the web in order to aide the Bible student in his attempt to understand theology. First let's define the word 'theology.'

This definition comes from ( right here:

Theology- (n.) The science of God or of religion; the science which treats of the existence, character, and attributes of God, his laws and government, the doctrines we are to believe, and the duties we are to practice; divinity; (as more commonly understood) "the knowledge derivable from the Scriptures, the systematic exhibition of revealed truth, the science of Christian faith and life."

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word 'theology' as thus:

Theology-The study of religious faith, practise, and experience; especially: the study of God and of God's relation to the world.

Augustine defined the Latin equivalent, theologia, as “reasonings or discussions concerning the deity” City of God Book VIII. Richard Hooker defined 'theology' in English as “the science of things divine” in his “Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.” 3.8.11

If you want to know the origin of the word 'theology', then click here.

R. L. Dabney defined theology as:

It is justly said: Every science should begin by defining its terms, in order to shun verbal fallacies. The word Theology, ( qeou logo"), has undergone peculiar mutations in the history of science. The Greeks often used it for their theories of theogony and cosmogony. Aristotle uses it in a more general form, as equivalent to all metaphysics; dividing theoretical philosophy into physical, mathematical, and theological. Many of the early Christian fathers used it in the restricted sense of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity: (SCIL. Iwannh" oqeologo"), But now it has come: to be used commonly, to describe the whole science of God’s being and nature, and relations to the creature. The name is appropriate: "Science of God." Thomas Aquinas: "Theologia a Theo docetur, Deum docet, ad Deum ducit," God its author, its subject, its end.”

Theology's divisions as stated by R. L. Dabney:

The distribution of Theology into didactic, polemic, and practical, is sufficiently known. Now, all didactic inculcation of truth is indirect refutation of the opposite error. Polemic Theology has been defined as direct refutation of error. The advantage of this has been supposed to be, that the way for easiest and most thorough refutation is to systematize the error, with reference to its first principle, or prwton yeudo". But the attempt to form a science of polemics, different from Didactic Theology fails; because error never has true method. Confusion is its characteristic. The system of discussion, formed on its false method, cannot be scientific. Hence, separate treatises on polemics have usually slidden into the methods of didactics; or they have been confused. Again: Indirect refutation is more effectual than direct. There is therefore, in this course, no separate polemic; but what is said against errors is divided between the historical and didactic.”

I will be using a Systematic outline of page links for you to enter in order to study the various topics listed under the heading 'Theology.'

I first want to say that I agree with Dr. Mike Stallards view of Systematic Theology:

"I hold to a view of Systematic Theology that is pre-Enlightenment. Prior to the Enlightenment (18th century), theology was often viewed as the "Queen of the Sciences." What was meant by this expression was the fact that theology was the academic discipline where all academic disciplines were integrated. The result of the integration was a comprehensive worldview with "theology" as the filter for all truth."

The definition of Systematic Theology below ( can be found here:

"Systematic theology is a discipline which addresses theological topics one by one (e.g. God, Sin, Humanity) and attempts to summarize all the biblical teaching on each particular subject. Sometimes called constructive theology or even dogmatic theology, the goal is to present the major themes (i.e. Doctrines) of the Christian faith in an organized and ordered overview that remains faithful to the biblical witness."

In the study of theology there has become an antipathy to systematic theology (dogmatics). Some have opted for what is called 'Biblical Theology' over and against a systematic approach to theology. They argue that the true method of a study of theology is not a systematization of it, but a biblical approach to doing theology. However, in stating this, they have forced a false dichotomy between biblical theology and systematic theology. No true systematic theology is void of biblical theology, but is dependent upon it.

Biblical theology examines the teaching of individual authors and sections of the Bible and of the place of each teaching in the historical development of the Bible. In other words, it gives us the historical context of a given passage of Scripture. That is crucial to a systematic theologian, or else the verse may be misapplied. Biblical theology acknowledges the progressive revelation of Scripture in a historical setting. It assesses the impact and influence of language, grammar, culture, and events which may be external to the pages of the Bible itself. But the Bible is what controls our interpretation, not our subjective point of view.

Systematic theology asks what the whole bible teaches us about a given topic. Those topics are derived from the bible itself. Systematic theology presumes that the bible is consistent, coherent, complete, and unchanging. God’s plan of salvation does not adjust from Genesis to Revelation; instead, it is progressively revealed from Genesis to Revelation. Only with such a presumption can the whole bible be brought to bear on a given topic.

Gerhard Vos, in his inaugural address to the Princeton Seminary in 1894, spoke of the relationship between systematic theology (dogmatics) and biblical theology. Vos is the father of modern biblical theology, so his opinion holds some sway in the matter:

Biblical Theology is of the greatest importance and value for the study of Systematic Theology. It were useless to deny that it has been often cultivated in a spirit more or less hostile to the work in which Systematic Theology is engaged. The very name Biblical Theology is frequently vaunted so as to imply a protest against the alleged un-Biblical character of Dogmatics. I desire to state most emphatically here, that there is nothing in the nature and aims of Biblical Theology to justify such an implication. For anything pretending to supplant Dogmatics there is no place in the circle of Christian Theology.

All attempts to show that the doctrines developed and formulated by the Church have no real foundation in the Bible, stand themselves without the pale of Theology, inasmuch as they imply that Christianity is a purely natural phenomenon, and that the Church has now for nineteen centuries been chasing her own shadow. Dogmatic Theology is, when rightly cultivated, as truly a Biblical and as truly an inductive science as its younger sister. And the latter needs a constructive principle for arranging her facts as well as the former. The only difference is, that in the one case this constructive principle is systematic and logical, whereas in the other case it is purely historical.”

Prolegomena -- Discussion of methodology

Bibliology -- Study of the doctrine of revelation and the Bible

Hermeneutics --The science and art of Biblical interpretation

Theology Proper -- Study of the doctrine of God

Anthropology -- Study of the doctrine of mankind

Angelology -- Study of the doctrine of angels, Satan, and demons (sometimes discussed under the category of theology proper)

Harmartiology -- Study of the doctrine of sin (oftentimes discussed under the category of anthropology)

Christology -- Study of the doctrine of Christ 

Pneumatology -- Study of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit

Soteriology -- Study of the doctrine of salvation (including progressive sanctification)

Ecclesiology -- Study of the doctrine of the Church

Eschatology -- Study of the doctrine of last things

Creeds-Confessions --A collection of the main Creeds and Confessions from Church History

Reformed Theology-- A study of that part of theology that came off of the Reformation; particularly John Calvin's doctrines

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