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Kaiser on Systematic Themes in Biblical Theology

Posted by on Dec 11, 2009 in biblical theology | Comments Off

Systematic theology has traditionally organized its approach around topics and themes such as God, humanity, sin, Christ, salvation, the church, and last things. By contrast, biblical theology has, more often than not, been a discipline in search of a mission and a structure—often falling into the same topical and structural tracks gone over by systematic theology, even though it severely criticized and stood aloof from systematic theology, claiming it had imposed an external grid (derived from philosophy or the like) on its material. (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The Promise-Plan of God, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008, 18)

One of the major difficulties in biblical theology is finding the themes of the study as they arise from the text of Scripture, especially since we generally approach Scripture with “built in” categories.