Theology is the study of God, and nothing can be known with certainty about God without a special revelation from God Himself… And if Theology is viewed insofar as it is the knowledge that God either has communicated to created beings endowed with understanding in this age, or that He will share in the age to come, it is ectypal theology. And this knowledge communicated by God has been, so to speak, reproduced from the original in various ways and degrees of communication in people living on this earth, obviously through the grace of revelation… Because in this locus we are discussing supernatural revelation, we define Theology as the knowledge or wisdom of the divine matters that God has. revealed to people in this world through ministers of his word inspired by the prophetic Spirit, and that He has adapted to their capability, to lead them to knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness and renders them wise unto their own salvation and God’s eternal glory… We classify the genus of Theology as knowledge or wisdom… When we assert that matters pertaining to God are the object of theology, we include in the range of application: 1. God himself; 2. The doctrines and divine benefits required for a saving knowledge of God, for fellowship with and enjoyment of Him. 3. Everything that God has created and ordained in the nature of things as they must be related to God as their origin and goal… God is the chief efficient cause of Theology, regarding three ways in which He brings it about. For 1. his Spirit supplied it to the prophets and apostles by his inspiration, as Paul testifies in 2 Tim 3:16, and Peter in 1 Pet 1:11,12 and 2 Pet 1:21. 2. He has appointed the true standard for treating Theology and placed it over against false standards (1 Tim 1:3, 6:4[3). And He has bestowed upon it the power to instill his wholesome teachings into our minds John 6:45, 1 Cor 3:7, 1 Thess 4:9)… The instrumental cause of Theology is the Word of God, spoken through the mouth of men divinely inspired and called directly by God, and recorded in the holy books (1 Pet 1:11, 2 Pet 1:21, Acts 20:27, 1 Thess 2:13 and 4:8)… Although these different ways of revelation have been adapted by God to everyone’s capacity for receiving them. some people have grasped them more fully and others less so according to varying measures of faith… The foremost fruit and goal of Theology is knowledge of the truth that accords with godliness (Titus 1:1)… The second use and goal of Theology is that it tenders us wise unto salvation and to every good gift in this present life and the life that is to come (2 Tim 3:15, 1 Tim 4:8)… The glory of God is the highest goal of Theology… Is the most holy Theology a theoretical or a practical discipline? The reply of some theologians to this question is ‘theoretical,’ of others ‘practical,’ and of others yet again ‘a mixture of the two.’ We concur with the last reply in that we reckon Theology ought to be called both theoretical and practical both because of the combination of its two-fold goal, that is, the increase of knowledge and of the worship of God in this life, and because of the arrangement of the one below the other. For just as godliness is placed in the service of our blessedness and God’s glory, so too knowledge is ranked in service to godliness in sacred literature (1 Tim 4: [7-]8; Col 3:16; Titus 1:1)… Therefore in Theology theory and practice are not placed in opposition to one another, but they are conditions associated with each other for the purpose of obtaining everlasting life, and placed in their proper order… Theology is not only noetic and semantic, but also dianoetic. For often it employs arguments to refute those who oppose it, and it either draws logical conclusions to confirm the truth from its own principles that in and of themselves cannot be demonstrated from foregoing principles, or it produces solutions to refute the harmful objections of the Sophists
(Matt 22:32, 33; 1 Cor 15:20, 21, 22).
William Den Boer and Reimer A. Faber | eds, Synopsis of A Purer Theology, Volume I: Disputations 1–31 (Davenant Press, 2023), 1–7.
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