The title of a certain amount of knowledge to be called a separate science depends on its reference to such a separate and specific object as is marked off by those God-drawn lines of distinction.
The object of Theology is GOD. The object of Biology is t he science of life and of living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, and distribution
The study of God is something encouraged by God, and this is evident by His gift to us of His Word we call the Bible. God’s eternal purposes to know and be know is well known in scripture. And we know the Scripture’s revelation of God is the foremost means by which this purposes is realized. Therefore we must see, that the Bible as God’s love letter to His people. It’s a living document in which He discloses Himself.
The Bible itself is a allowance (condescension) on God’s part, a grace, a show of favor..
I don’t know if I agree with Vos statement: here:
- A covenantal approach to Scripture will yield peculiar insights as opposed to a systematic approach. Thus you need to study the whole process.
Essentially Biblical Theology adopts God’s system, and attempts to conforms our understanding of God to God’s calculated historical revelation of Himself.
The difference between the natural sciences, humans examines the field of science. In theology it’s the reverse. God is the one who takes the first approach to man for the purpose of disclosing His nature, and who creates man in order that he may have a finite mind able to receive the knowledge of His infinite perfections.
Because of the entrance of sin into the human race. In man’s sinful condition, he does retain some knowledge of God, but all pure and adequate information about God is absolutely dependent on that new self-disclosure of God which we call supernatural revelation.
By the new birth and the illumination of the mind darkened through sin, a new subject is created. By the purpose self-manifestation of God as the Redeemer, a new order of things is called into being.
And by the depositing of the truth concerning this new order of things in Holy Scriptures, the human mind is enabled to obtain that new knowledge which is but the reflection in the regenerate consciousness of an objective world of divine acts and words.
Vos’s THEOLOGY consists in the appropriation of that supernatural process by which God has made Himself the object of our knowledge.
We are not left to our own choice here, as to where we shall begin our theological study. The very nature of Theology requires us to begin with those branches which relate to the revelation-basis of our science. Our attitude from the outset must be a dependent and receptive one.
To let the image of God’s self-revelation in the Scriptures mirror itself as fully and clearly as possible in his mind, is the first and most important duty of every theologian.
Essentially all theology is exegetical. Exegetical Theology: There is no true knowledge of God apart from His Word. Because the Bible is the source of human knowledge of God, it becomes then imperative to make the Bible’s own method of revelation our own foundation for formulating theology.
Theology is the knowledge of God which God Himself has afforded to His believers in His self-disclosure.
With this understanding, the study of theology cannot be infringed by the study of religion, which is essentially the study of the creature.
This deals with God under the aspect of Revealer of Himself and Author of the Scriptures. Two parts
- One treats of the formation of the Scriptures
- The other of the actual revelation of God lying back of this process.
The formation of the Scripture serves no other purpose than to perpetuate and transmit the record of God’s self-disclosure to the human race as a whole.
The ultimately purpose of all the research of Scripture as to its original language, as to how it was brought into a Canon. , as to its exegetical researches... all this serves the one purpose of teaching us what God has revealed concerning Himself.
And this is best done by BIBLICAL THEOLOGY.
- Biblical Theology is not the study of the Bible, but the study of God as revealed in the Bible.
The specific character of Biblical Theology lies in this:
- It discusses both the form and contents of revelation from the point of view of the revealing activity of God Himself.
- Biblical Theology deals with revelation in the active (moving) sense, as an act of God, and tries to understand and trace and describe this act, so far as this is possible to man and does not elude our finite observation.
I can tell you I never receive this information in Seminary in theology class. But Dr. Bob Cummingham was very good. And Dr. George L. Norris was very good. His theology was calvinist, but that term was not used in seminary. But that was 40 years ago, and I have certainly learned a great deal more in the following years.
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant, checked by Charity Whisnant for grammer and spelling, but doesn't understand this idea of theology as I have presented it.