The question ‘What is the difference between Systematic Theology and Bible Doctrine?” has as many answers as it does theologians. They usually come close to each other in meaning. I am going to keep it simple as is my custom.
Bible Doctrine is about the Bible. That seems easy because it is. What I am saying is all Bible Doctrine is found in the Bible usually hard set.
Systematic Theology (the systematic study of God) does refer to the Bible but also can take information from other places.
The other main difference is the method used to study. Biblical doctrines tend to follow a timeline through history while Systematic Theology usually starts with large ideas and moves to more narrow ideas.
I do hope this simplistic explanation is useful. Please feel free to comment or even suggest a different answer.
Systematic Theology is a big word that can (rightly) scare folks. They see this and their eyes glaze over and they envision large books that are rather dusty due to lack of use. They envision Greek and Hebrew (ancient not modern) and they envision hours of laborious reading. I have to say this is largely true. This blog is trying to fix that.
So when someone ask us “What is Systematic Theology?” we give a simple and clear answer. One that says oh not too bad. I can do this. One that does not immediately scare folks off.
The simple answer to the question is “The study of God systematically”. That truly is all it is. A systematic way to study God.
Most Systematic Theology will start with large general categories of studying God and then get more narrow categories as time goes on. The goal is simple they want to compile a system that tracks all the knowledge we have on God and put it in an order that will allow for easier study. The problem has been they failed. They made it so complicated that most people won’t touch the subject with a ten foot pole.
Here we are give Systematic Theology back to the people.
I just made live a new page for a systematic theology outline. I welcome both comments and ideas regarding it.
Let me know if you desire to be a part of this. It will be monumental task but well worth the undertaking.