Monday, March 29, 2010

New Protestant Systematic Theology.

I normally don't give plugs to Protestant systematic theologies.1 Such presentations by say Wayne Grudem (2002), Norman Geisler (2002), Stanley Horton (1994), Robert Culver (2005), etc are really to be missed, being so separated from the basic foundation of Christian faith (i.e., a historical presentation of doctrine) that they cannot be counted as sure and comprehensive presentations of Christianity at all.2

I noticed that Michael S. Horton is due for a systematic theology in Oct of this year. This should be an interesting read keeping in mind his various interactions / debates with Roman Catholic scholars. One can only hope he attempts a fair presentation. The bar is indeed very high for Protestant systematic theologians. Barth still holds the belt in my opinion.


[1]. Protestant systematic theologies are about as random and esoteric as anything imaginable. Often times systematic theologies from within the same tradition (i.e., Reformed) such as that of Louis Berkhof and Robert L. Reymond differ strongly on seemingly central tenets of their particular view point. I dare not even add the various entries by Dispensational writers which at times are simply ridiculous.

[2]. I say this knowing full well that there is a disciplinary separation between Systematic Theology and Historical Theology. However, a potent "systemic" presentation of the Christian faith presupposes history, since Christianity is by its very nature historic. Perhaps, the best recent Protestant systematic theologies that take history seriously is for example, the multi-volume entries by Wolfhart Pannenberg; Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology (Harper One, 2009) and to a lesser degree Robert Jenson's multi-volumed entry. I am also working on a complete presentation of the Christian faith systemically and historically (not from a Protestant perspective).

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