Why Biblical Theologians Need Systematic Theology

I love Tom Schreiner’s works and am currently enjoying The King in His Beauty: A Biblical Theology of Old and New Testaments. I’m also reading Systematic Theology by John Frame with some members of my church.

Schreiner writes, “By following his rules and precepts, the people of Israel show that they uniquely belong to the Lord, and they call attention to the Lord’s holiness. He is the wholly other one” (60).

That last sentence, “He is the wholly other one” can be either really good or really bad depending on what you mean by it. And what you mean by it or understand as you read it comes from your systematic-theological assumptions. Schreiner doesn’t define what he means by it in the chapter (I’m not faulting him for it). John Frame does a good job talking about the transcendence of God not as “wholly other” that we can’t know him, relate to him, or communicate with him in truly objective ways but that he is absolutely authoritative and in control of everything in the universe, infinitely more than anyone else. I don’t think those two categories of authority and control exhaust God’s transcendence (or “wholly otherness”), but it defines it in biblical categories more so than a neo-orthodox or typical you-can’t-put-God-in-a-box God talk.

Biblical theology needs and assumes systematic theology.

About pjtibayan

P. J. loves Jesus Christ and lives to share life and share Jesus together with Bethany Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County. P. J. has been pastoring since 2002 and earned a doctorate in biblical theology from Southern Seminary (D.Min.). He blogs regularly at gospelize.me
This entry was posted in Biblical Theology, Books read, books recommended, Systematic Theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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