Archives for 3.21.09

a definition of theology

More Warfield today….

Warfield moves on in his discussion of theology to give us this definition:

A science is defined from its subject-matter; and the subject-matter of theology is God in His nature and in His relations with His creatures. Theology is therefore that science which treats of God and of the relations between God and the universe.1

Warfield says the simple phrase ‘the science of God’ can be used as a sort of shorthand for this definition, since it implies the notion of God as God and God in relation to His creatures. (By the way, this ‘relation to creatures’ is essential for there to be a theology at all – if the Deists were right there could be no theology for God would have no interest or part in his creatures, if they could be called that. It seems to me that theistic evolutionists have something of the same problem.)

Terms like ‘the science of faith’, however, or ‘the science of religion’ or even ‘the science of Christian religion’ confuse the issue and are inadequate as definitions of theology. Why is this so? They are inadequate primarily because they are subjective.

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  1. Warfield, Works: Studies in Theology, p. 56. []