Archives for 3.20.09

God save the queen

In Canada, this is something we sing and mean it. However, this post isn’t about her. It is rather about the “queen of the sciences”.

What is the queen of the sciences? Google it… and you will see the title claimed for either mathematics or theology. Who is the usurper here? How dare they! Which queen should we ask God to save?

Of course, you may guess that I am interested in the theological side of the question. I am doing a little reading in Warfield and thought I might muse on something he said in his essay, “The Idea of Systematic Theology”.

Warfield wrote the article in response to a somewhat sneering evaluation of the term ‘Systematic Theology’ in the 1894 Bibliotheca Sacra, where a Dr. Simon declared the term to be an “impertinent tautology”. Dr. Simon finds the tautological term offensive because it suggests that there are other departments of theology “which are not methodical.”

Dr. Warfield wrote in defense of the notion. I am just getting into this essay, I read Warfield when I have a few minutes here and there, so we will only progress on this at a snail’s pace (my favourite way). Warfield argues that the idea of systematic theology has to do with what is meant by its presentation, as a system of ideas (or a philosophy or science of theology) rather than as suggesting other types of theology are not methodological.

Now, I have been known to suggest that systematic theology is inferior to other forms of theology because it suffers a particular failing. Dr. Warfield, I find, is convincing me that I am perhaps too hasty, at least as far as the idea of systematic theology is concerned.

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