Posted by: chuckbumgardner | January 18, 2010

Garrett, Systematic Theology, Part 2: Prologomena

James Leo Garrett, Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical, 2 vols. (North Richland Hills, TX: BIBAL Press, 2000), 1-46.

Garrett emphasizes the Christian faith as both living and confessional.  Christian theology (“the ordered exposition of Christian doctrines” (1:8)) is the responsibility of all believers, and of the church as a whole.  For Garrett, while Christian theology should not reject science, and while it shares similar goals with philosophy, “Christian theology is, or should be, limited to consistency with the biblical revelation.” (1:7).  This position becomes strained in Garrett’s discussion of origins, where he is extremely reticent to leave behind anthropological and geological evidence for an ancient earth (1:474), although he admittedly cannot make that evidence match Scripture (1:471).  Christian theology is necessary for catechesis, preaching, apologetics, polemics, ethics, and missions.  Garrett gives an excellent summary of major twentieth-century systematic theologies available in the English language, categorizing them by denominations/confessions and by twentieth-century religious movements.

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