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Foundations: An Overview of Systematic Theology, Part 1

Does your knowledge of theology make you a better Christian? Or is it just an intellectual exercise? The background of the word theology is rather simple and points out the importance of its study. The word comes from two Greek words, theos and logos, meaning “God” and “word” correspondingly. Thus, theology attempts to come to a coherent understanding of the knowledge of God. In the case of the Christian faith, B. B. Warfield said, “Theology is the science of God and His relationship to man and the world.”

However, many Christians are suspicious of one word in that definition: science. What many do not know is that for most of the last two thousand years, there was no animosity between science and theology. Theology was called “The Queen of the Sciences,” and all other disciplines saw her as their matron and themselves as her handmaidens. Theology informed the natural sciences with answers to the ultimate questions of being, while the natural sciences informed theologians of the glories of God revealed in the stars, the oceans, and the human body. But there came a time when man’s desire for autonomy confounded this mutually beneficial relationship. From the Enlightenment onward, theology, far from being simply demoted to a handmaiden, became an outcast, a crazy aunt hidden in the basement of academia.

This series is but an introduction to the field of systematic theology. And it is no substitute for knowing personally the God for whose glory these lectures and this study guide were created. But this field of study has been extraordinarily rewarding to me in my Christian journey. Not a day passes that I do not benefit from God’s revealing of Himself in a logical fashion. We serve a God who is rational, and systematic theology highlights that good news.

May this series better enable you to love God with your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Sincerely,
R.C. Sproul


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