an introduction
3/09/2006 11:54:00 AM
In every science there are two factors: facts and ideas; or, facts and the mind. Science is more than knowledge. Knowledge is the persuasion of what is true on adequate evidence. ...In every department the man of science is assumed to understand the laws by which the facts of experience are determined; so that he not only knows the past, but can predict the future...If, therefore, theology be a science, it must include something more than a mere knowledge of facts. It must embrace an exhibition of the internal relation of those facts, one to another, and each to all. It must be able to show that if one be admitted, others cannot be denied. (Hodge, C. Systematic Theology. Originally published 1872.)
Moral Theology
-- that phase of theology which is concerned with moral character and conduct.

Revealed Theology -- theology which is to be learned only from revelation.

Scholastic Theology -- theology as taught by the scholastics, or as prosecuted after their principles and methods.

Speculative Theology -- theology as founded upon, or influenced by, speculation or metaphysical philosophy.

Systematic Theology -- that branch of theology of which the aim is to reduce all revealed truth to a series of statements that together shall constitute an organized whole. --E. G. Robinson (Johnson's Cyc.)

Biblical Theology -- theology which studies the Bible from the perspective of understanding the progressive history of God revealing himself to Man following the Fall and throughout the Old Testament and New Testament.

Historical Theology -- that investigates the socio-historical and cultural mechanisms that give rise to theological ideas, systems, and statements.

Narrative Theology -- studying a narrative presentation of the faith rather than dogmatic development.

Dogmatic Theology -- studying theology (or dogma) as it developed in different church denominations

Theology itself implies an academic excercise that atempts to define in terms of rational thought (language and logic) the things of God. A formal defintion would be the "The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions." While studying things about God isn't a bad thing, left to itself it turns into God a sterile system of thought that really as no bearing on life. In my pursuit of understanding God, I have met a lot of people who want to talk about God and debate the particulars of God, but if you look at their lives, they do nothing other than that. God then is just a topic of philosophy that gets talked about under a shade tree, and that is where he stays. But there has to be something more than that to theology. We talk about how lives are transformed through hearing the words of God. We talk about how we should live our lives in accordance to God's will. We talk about that, and we talk about theology, but there never seems to be a connection between the two. This is where practical theology steps in.

Practical Theology -- theological reflection that is grounded in the life of the church, society, and the individual

Practical theology itself isn't a type of theology or a sub-discipline of theology, but it focuses in on taking taking theological truth and applying it to life. Practical theology isn't about disciplines or a discourses, but about reflections and applications. It's pragmatic in a sense.

So this starts my blog: practicalthe(ology).

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