II. DIVISIONS OF THEOLOGY. ?
Theology is commonly divided into Biblical, Historical, Systematic and Practical.
1. Biblical theology aims to arrange and classify the facts of revelation, confining itself to the Scriptures for its material, and treating of doctrine only so far as it was developed at the close of the apostolic age.
Instance DeWette,Biblische Theologie; Hofmann, Schriftbeweis; Nitzsch, System of Christian Doctrine. The last, however, has more of the philosophical element that properly belongs to Biblical Theology. The third volume of Ritschl?s Justification and Reconciliation is intended as a system of Biblical theology, the first and second volumes being little more than an historical introduction. But metaphysics, of a Kantian relativity and phenomenalism, enter so largely into Ritschl?s estimates and interpretations, as to render his conclusions both partial and rationalistic. Notice a questionable use of the term Biblical Theology to designate the theology of a part of Scripture severed from the rest, as Steudel?s Biblical theology of the Old Testament; Schmidt?s Biblical Theology of the New Testament; and in the common phrases; Biblical Theology of Christ, or of Paul. These phrases are objectionable as intimating that the books of Scripture have only a human origin. Upon the assumption that there is no common divine authorship of Scripture, Biblical theology is conceived of as a series of fragments, corresponding to the differing teachings of the various prophets and apostles, and the theology of Paul is held to be an unwarranted and incongruous addition to the theology of Jesus. Se Reuss, history of Christian Theology in the Apostolic Age.
2. Historical Theology traces the development of the Biblical doctrines from the time of the apostles to the present day, and gives account of the results of this development in the life of the church.
By doctrinal development we mean the progressive unfolding and apprehension, by the church, of the truth explicitly or implicitly contained in Scripture. As giving account of the shaping of the Christian faith into doctrinal statements. Historical Theology is called the History of Doctrine. As describing the resulting and accompanying changes in the life of the church, outward and inward, Historical Theology is called Church History. Instance Cunningham?s Historical Theology; Hagenbach?s and Shedd?s History of Christian Doctrine has been called ?The History of Dr. Shedd?s Christian Doctrine.? But if Dr. Shedd?s Augustinianism colors his History, Dr. Sheldon?s Arminianism also colors
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