It is the job of all believers, not just theologians, to serve God by discerning what is true about the crucial issues of life. Our task is to learn more about God. Our privilege is to love God passionately with our minds. Clearly then, spiritual life must have theology as one of its ingredients, but this, by itself, will not guarantee a vibrant spiritual life. Rather, evangelicals must link a theological experience and an experiential theology. Knowing and loving God are both necessary.
David Clark explains how evangelical systematic theology is structured and how this discipline assists believers in understanding God more fully and worshipping him more completely. To do so, he uses strategies of analytical philosophy to reveal the nature, purposes, methods, and limits of evangelical systematic theology. He attempts to speak both to and for evangelicals, with the goal of showing how a reasonable, articulate, and credible evangelical theology can proceed.
“First, Scripture indicates that rightly knowing God requires that one know the one true God.” (Page 210)
“Henry’s view of theological authority is typical of evangelicalism today. He defended the view that the Bible is the capstone of revelation. It alone is the unique, written revelation of God, a permanent, meaningful, and authoritative self-expression by God of his nature and will.” (Page 61)
“It is ‘the process of making God’s revelation of his person and plan as revealed in the Old and New Testaments understandable to the people of a given culture with a view to making it possible for them to respond to it in a meaningful way.’” (Page 111)
“This, in general terms, is the task of systematic theology: theology seeks to articulate the content of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the context of a particular culture.” (Page 33)
“The Scripture Principle, the commitment to sola scriptura, is an essential and defining feature of evangelical theology” (Page 59)
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David K. Clark (PhD, Northwestern University) is vice president and dean at Bethel Seminary. He has served as a pastor and taught theology and philosophy for many years. David has written numerous journal articles, essays, and books.