The most illuminating systematic theologies are often characterized by (1) conceptual ingenuity, resourcefulness, and suppleness, which enable a projection of Christian claims suitable to draw attention to their richness and complexity; (2) conceptual transparency, which enables a more penetrating understanding of the primary modes of Christian articulation of the gospel; and (3) broad knowledge and sensitive and creative deployment of concepts inherited from the Christian theological tradition. By contrast, systematic theologies are less successful if they are conceptually monotonous or stiff, if concepts threaten to overwhelm or replace that which they are intended to represent, or if the concepts do not have a discernable relation to well-seated theological usage.
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
John Webster on Systematic Theology
John Webster, “Introduction: Systematic Theology” in The Oxford Handbook of Systematic Theology (John Webster, Kathryn Tanner, and Iain Torrance, eds: Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007): 10.