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Calvinist Theology = Biblical Theology: Addendum
January 28, 2005
I would like to make some further comments on the topic I wrote about yesterday.
First, thank you to all the readers who pointed out that “Biblical Theology” is in reality something of a “reserved term” as it has a definable theological meaning. Biblical Theology is considered an alternative to Systematic Theology and to Historical Theology. They are three seperate disciplines within the scope of theology. I do know this. A couple of my readers who have attended Bible studies I have led can attest to this! The reason I chose to use the term Biblical Theology is that it is the term others have used regarding my confidence in the doctrines known as Calvinism. There are two quotes within the article that support this. Perhaps I should have been more clear within the text of the article that I am familiar with the term and that I knew I was using it improperly. If I were to do it again, I would title the article Calvinist Theology = The Gospel. Fair enough?
Second, if you read yesterday’s article and thought I was condemning Arminians and adherents to other systems of theology, you misread my intent. It may be my fault as perhaps I did not make it sufficiently clear. My point was this: It is my deep conviction that Calvinist theology is the theology of the Bible. But even more important to the article is the conclusion that I am a Calvinist precisely because I believe that Calvinist theology is the theology of the Bible. I do not understand why people sneer at my assurance that Calvinist theology = the Gospel, for I would hope that they have similar assurance that the theology they hold to is Biblical. If they do not have this assurance, I believe they ought to seek it through the Scriptures. One of two things must be true: either these people have similar assurance in their theology (in which case they have no right to condemn me) or they should seek assurance. I do not mean an assurance grounded in their own intellect or in what feels right to them, but an assurance grounded in the Word of God, “that [they] may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:12)
Third, the opposite of Biblical Theology (in the way I used it) is not necessarily Unbiblical Theology. It is more likely to be less-Biblical theology. Arminianism represents a theology that is grounded in Scripture, but is less-Biblical than Calvinism because it does not have as full an understanding of God’s sovereignty and man’s depravity. As I indicated yesterday, “thankfully God does not require perfect doctrinal orthodoxy as a prerequisite to salvation.”
Fourth, … there is no fourth.