1. Directly addresses the classmates’ threads by providing thoughtful analysis and evaluation.
2. Must reflect a strong understanding of the subject material. You may provide additional thoughts from the text or other theological resources that would contribute to the subject being discussed.
3. As stated above, avoid casual talks and testimonies by interacting theologically and critically. If you disagree with a classmate, respectfully argue your case and seek to edify him or her.
4. It must be well-written. Curt responses such as “I agree with you,” “Ditto,” “You took the words right out of my mouth,” “You go, Bob!” etc., are not appropriate.
5. If you reply to more than 2 classmates’ threads in a forum, please specify which 2 replies you want counted for your grade by commenting accordingly at the end of both replies. The third and fourth replies (and any more) will not count towards your grade.
6. Greetings, citations, and closings are not part of the total word count.
7. Please review the DB Forum Replies Rubric in order to maximize your grade.
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When studying a subject involving religion or ministry, one term often heard is theology. There are many different types of theology. What exactly is theology? How is theology useful and what is the difference between the variations?
Systematic Theology, as defined by B.A. Demarest, is the “attempt to reduce religious
truth to a coherent and relevant whole for the church” (Elwell 2001, 1163). Its purpose is to expound upon Biblical truth, discovering the authentic meaning and presenting it in a way that is comprehendible and applicable to the church as a whole. This also means that over the years it will need to be re-evaluated as society continually changes and the relevance of teachings may need to be modified. The truth of the word never changes however, the way it is applied may be a variable. Being able to expound upon the biblical truths, in a way others can easily comprehend can allow new followers to grasp onto the fundamental principles of who God is, and our role in relationship with Him. Maintaining relevancy to current times and trials will allow adaptation of biblical principles to present day issues.
Biblical Theology, although a type of theology, was also seen as a movement. Its meaning can be presented in two differing ways. As Erickson describes, the first meaning involves two approaches: a “purely descriptive approach” or presentation of the teachings of the New Testament writers and a “pure biblical theology”, which is the “isolation and presentation of the unchanging biblical teachings that are valid for all times” (Erickson 2013, 11). Biblical theology is obtained by simple facts of the Bible, stated in original form, unchanged, and with timeless validity. In relation to systematic theology, biblical theology is concerned more with breaking down the Bible to discover the authentic meaning in individual sections or topics, while systematic theology may use biblical theology to develop a truth that can be more easily presented and understood by the masses. The meaning does not change, however the context or delivery may vary dependent on the current culture of the audience. Systematic theology may break down biblical truths into layman’s terms, to more effectively reach a large people.