Theology is for everyone. Everyone is a theologian of sorts. Theology simply means thinking about God and expressing those thoughts in some way. But sloppy. Read Basic Theology by Charles C. Ryrie for free with a 30 day free trial. Read unlimited* books and audiobooks on the web, iPad, iPhone and Android. Basic Theology, by Charles C. Ryrie. Wheaton: Victor, Pp. $ The author of the popular Ryríe Study Bible and a host of biblical and theological .

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will use Basic Theology by Dr. Charles C. Ryrie with this course. .. biased or close-minded because you believe in God and the Bible as basic presuppositions. The Theology Notebook – Introduction to Theology .. Ryrie, Charles C. Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical. A Survey of Bible Doctrine, authored by the acknowledged scholar Charles Caldwell Ryrie, presents a timeless introduction to theology and the.

Technically, biblical theology has a much sharper focus than that. It deals systematically with the historically conditioned progress of the self-revelation of God in the Bible. Four characteristics emerge from this definition. In this it is like other areas of biblical and theological studies. The system or scheme in which biblical theology is presented will not necessarily employ the same categories systematic theology uses.

It does not have to use them, nor does it have to avoid them. It investigates the lives of the writers of the Bible, the circumstances that compelled them to write, and the historic situation of the recipients of their writings. The Bible is a record of the progress of revelation, and biblical theology focuses on that.

By contrast, systematic theology views revelation as a completed whole. Actually orthodox systematic theologies do too. This is not to say that biblical or systematic theologies could not or do not draw material from other sources, but the theology or doctrine itself does not come from anywhere but the Bible. Systematic theology may include historical backgrounds, apologetics and defense, and exegetical work, but it focuses on the total structure of biblical doctrine.

To summarize: Theology is the discovery, systematizing, and presentation of the truths about God. Historical theology accomplishes this by focusing on what others throughout history have said about these truths. Systematic theology presents the total structure. Consciously or unconsciously everyone operates on the basis of some presuppositions. The atheist who says there is no God has to believe that basic presupposition.

And believing it, he then views the world, mankind, and the future in entirely different ways than the theist. The agnostic not only affirms we cannot know God, but he must believe that as basic to his entire outlook on the world and life. If we can know about the true God then his whole system is smashed. The theist believes there is a God.

He mounts confirmatory evidence to support that belief, but basically he believes. The trinitarian believes God is Triunity. That is a belief gleaned from the Bible. Therefore, he also believes the Bible to be true. This stands as the watershed presupposition. If the Bible is not true, then trinitarianism is untrue and Jesus Christ is not who He claimed to be. We learn nothing about the Trinity or Christ from nature or from the human mind. And we cannot be certain that what we learn from the Bible about the Triune God is accurate unless we believe that our source itself is accurate.

Thus the belief in the truthfulness of the Bible is the basic presupposition. This will be fully discussed under inspiration and inerrancy. If our source material is so crucial, then we must be concerned how we approach and use it. Accurate theology rests on sound exegesis. Exegetical studies must be made before theological systematization, just as bricks have to be made before a building can be built.

Though a more thorough discussion of hermeneutics will appear in section III, we need to state here the importance of normal interpretation as the basis for proper exegesis.

In giving us the revelation of Himself, God desired to communicate, not obscure, the truth. So we approach the interpretation of the Bible presupposing the use of normal canons of interpretation. Remember that when symbols, parables, types, etc. Ignoring this will result in the same kind of confused exegesis that characterized the patristic and medieval interpreters. All Scripture is inspired and profitable, but the New Testament has greater priority as the source of doctrine.

Old Testament revelation was preparatory and partial, but New Testament revelation is climactic and complete. The doctrine of the Trinity, for instance, while allowed for in the Old Testament, was not revealed until the New Testament. Or, think how much difference exists between what is taught in the Old and New Testaments concerning atonement, justification, and resurrection. Old Testament theology has its place, but it is incomplete without the contribution of New Testament truth.

Liberals and Barthians have often criticized conservatives for using proof texts to substantiate their conclusions. Why do they complain? Simply because citing proof texts will lead to conservative, not liberal, conclusions.

They charge it with being an illegitimate, unscholarly methodology, but it is no more illegitimate than footnotes are in a scholarly work! To be sure, proof texts must be used properly, just as footnotes must be. They must actually be used to mean what they say; they must not be used out of context; they must not be used in part when the whole might change the meaning; and Old Testament proof texts particularly must not be forced to include truth that was only revealed later in the New Testament.

The difference between exegesis and theology is the system used. Exegesis analyzes; theology correlates those analyses. Exegesis relates the meanings of texts; theology interrelates those meanings.

The exegete strives to present the meaning of truth; the theologian, the system of truth. In a word, the limitations of a theological system must coincide with the limitations of biblical revelation.

In an effort to present a complete system, theologians are often tempted to fill in the gaps in the biblical evidence with logic or implications that may not be warranted. Logic and implications do have their appropriate place. When words are put together in sentences, those sentences take on implications that the theologian must try to understand. However, when logic is used to create truth, as it were, then the theologian will be guilty of pushing his system beyond the limitations of biblical truth.

Sometimes this is motivated by the desire to answer questions that the Scripture does not answer. In such cases and there are a number of crucial ones in the Bible the best answer is silence, not clever logic, or almost invisible implications, or wishful sentimentality. Examples of particularly tempting areas include sovereignty and responsibility, the extent of the Atonement, and the salvation of infants who die. Of course unbelievers can write and study theology, but a believer has a dimension and perspective on the truth of God that no unbeliever can have.

The deep things of God are taught by the Spirit, whom an unbeliever does not have 1 Cor. Ultimately the believer must try to think theologically. This involves thinking exegetically to understand the precise meaning , thinking systematically in order to correlate facts thoroughly , thinking critically to evaluate the priority of the related evidence , and thinking synthetically to combine and present the teaching as a whole. Theology and exegesis should always interact.

Exegesis does not provide all the answers; when there can legitimately be more than one exegetical option, theology will decide which to prefer. On the other hand, no theological system should be so hardened that it is not open to change or refinement from the insights of exegesis. Intellect alone does not make a theologian. If we believe in the reality of the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, then certainly this must be a factor in studying theology John To experience this will require a conscious attitude of dependence on the Spirit, which will be reflected in humility of mind and a diligent study of what the Spirit has taught others throughout history.

Inductive Bible study is a beneficial way to study, but to do it only is to ignore the results of the work of others, and to do it always can be an inefficient repetition of what others have already done. Studying theology is no mere academic exercise, though it is that. It is an experience that changes, convicts, broadens, challenges, and ultimately leads to a deep reverence for God.

Worship means to recognize the worth of the object worshiped. How can any mortal put his mind to the study of God and fail to increase his recognition of His worth? A uthority constitutes the foundational principle in the study of theology. Presumably all who operate within the broadest concept of Christian theology would acknowledge the authority of God as the supreme norm for truth. However, how the authority of God is conceived and expressed varies considerably within the Christian spectrum.

Subjectivism stands as the hallmark of liberalism, though the focus of that subjectivism may vary with different people.

Reason has always occupied a dominant place in liberal thought. Of course it is within the sphere of reason that concepts are formed that are the basis of communication from one person to another.

Reason is a necessary channel for giving and receiving truth, and the evangelical recognizes that. But liberalism has certainly made human reason the judge of truth and often the creator of truth. Reason becomes autonomous, governed by no higher or outside authority, but also severely limited by its finitude and fallibility. As a reaction against rationalism, Schleiermacher — developed his theology of feeling.

He emphasized the analysis of religious experience and based religion on feeling or awareness. In effect, theology became anthropology and psychology. Because of this, Karl Barth considered Schleiermacher to be the epitome of religious liberalism. This form of liberalism emphasizes conscience as the basis of authority. Our knowledge is unreliable and limited, so the basic moral instincts of the human soul become the basis for authority.

A survey of Bible doctrine - Charles Caldwell Ryrie

Immanuel Kant — was the leader in this form of thought. Once again, theology had become anthropology. In all forms of liberalism, human nature in one aspect or another is the source of religious truth.

Neo-orthodoxy has sometimes been classed with liberalism and sometimes with conservatism. The reason for this confusion is that, on the one hand, it broke with liberalism by insisting that God, not man, must initiate revelation and thus seemed to be conservative ; while, on the other hand, it continued to teach liberal views concerning the Bible and thus seemed to be liberal.

The basis of authority in neo-orthodoxy, at least as expressed by Karl Barth — , is the Word. However, the Word is mainly Christ. The Bible witnesses to the Word, and does so fallibly, and Christian proclamation is a word about the Word.

The sovereign God took the initiative in revealing Himself, centering primarily in the revelation in Christ. The Bible witnesses to the revelation of God, even though it is interpreted by all the canons of liberalism.

The Bible, then, has no absolute authority, but only instrumental authority, since it serves as the fallible instrument by which we encounter Christ the Word. And it is that encounter of faith at the point of crisis in which God communicates Himself. That is absolute truth. Even though the Bible is involved in those experiences, it is not allowed to be the ultimate judge of those experiences. Neo-orthodoxy lacks an external, objective standard of authority. In Roman Catholicism authority ultimately rests in the church itself.

To be sure, the Bible is believed, but it must be interpreted by the church. Furthermore, the traditions of the church are, along with the Bible, a source of divine revelation. Ecumenical councils and popes have from time to time made pronouncements that are considered infallible and therefore binding on church members. The Eastern Church is similar as far as finding its authority in tradition, the church itself, and the Bible. So one would agree that orthodoxy is that branch of Christendom which limits the ground of religious authority to the Bible.

Sometimes in practice, though not in theory, conservatives can and do deny that the Bible is their sole basis of authority. Creeds can provide helpful statements of truth, but creeds can never be the authoritative judge of truth. Creedal statements must always be considered fallible, in need of possible revision, and subservient to biblical authority. A church has a divine mandate to set authoritative guidelines for its members Heb.

Healthy experience is the fruit of allegiance to biblical authority, but all experiences must be guided, governed, and guarded by the Bible. To make experience normative and authoritative is to commit the same error as liberalism by replacing an objective criterion with subjective existentialism.

Observe the point of this chart: Westminster, , Unquestionably the knowledge of God is desirable; the religious yearnings of mankind testify to that. But is it possible? The Scriptures attest to two facts: To say that He is incomprehensible is to assert that the mind cannot grasp the knowledge of Him. To say that He is knowable is to claim that He can be known. Both are true, though neither in an absolute sense. To say that God is incomprehensible is to assert that man cannot know everything about Him.

To say that He is knowable is not to assert that man can know everything about Him. Both truths are affirmed in the Scriptures: His incomprehensibility in verses like Job The knowledge of God may be characterized in relation to its source, its content, its progressiveness, and its purposes.

God Himself is the Source of our knowledge of Him. Only true truth comes from God, for since sin entered the stream of history man has created that which he calls truth but which is not.

Furthermore, he has perverted, blunted, diluted, and corrupted that which was originally true truth that did come from God. For us today the only infallible canon for determining true truth is the written Word of God. Nature, though it does reveal some things about God, is limited and can be misread by mankind.

The human mind, though often brilliant in what it can achieve, suffers limitations and darkening. Human experiences, even religious ones, lack reliability as sources of the true knowledge of God unless they conform to the Word of God.

Certainly the knowledge of what is true religion must come from God. Today Judaism is not the true religion; only Christianity is. And the true knowledge of Christianity has been revealed through Christ and the apostles. The promise of the coming of the Spirit after the ascension of Christ included further revelation concerning Him and the Father John The Holy Spirit opens the Scriptures for the believer so that he can know God more fully.

A full knowledge of God is both factual and personal. To know facts about a person without knowing the person is limiting; to know a person without knowing facts about that one is shallow. God has revealed many facts about Himself, all of which are important in making our personal relationship with Him close, intelligent, and useful. Had He only revealed facts without making it possible to know Him personally, such factual knowledge would have little, certainly not eternal, usefulness.

Just as with human relationships, a divine-human relationship cannot begin without knowledge of some minimal truths about the Person; then the personal relationship generates the desire to know more facts, which in turn deepens the relationship, and so on.

This kind of cycle ought to be the experience of every student of theology; a knowledge about God should deepen our relationship with Him, which in turn increases our desire to know more about Him.

The knowledge of God and His works was revealed progressively throughout history. The most obvious proof is to compare incomplete Jewish theology with the fuller revelation of Christian theology in respect, for example, to such doctrines as the Trinity, Christology, the Holy Spirit, Resurrection, and eschatology.

To trace that progressiveness is the task of biblical theology. To foster Christian growth 2 Pet. The knowledge of God differs from all other knowledge in that man can have this knowledge only as far as God reveals it. If God did not initiate the revelation of Himself, there would be no way for man to know Him.

Therefore, a human being must put himself under God who is the object of his knowledge. In other scholarly endeavors, the human being often places himself above the object of his investigation, but not so in the study of God. Also the record of the personal revelation of God in Christ necessitates some means of recording and communicating that revelation.

For this purpose God gave language. He devised it and gave it to the first man and woman in order that He might communicate His instructions to them Gen.

It also seemed to have a part in their subduing the unfallen creation and giving names to the animals. Even after the division of the one original language into many at Babel, languages served as the means of communication on all levels. We can certainly believe that the omniscient God made provision for languages that were sufficient to communicate His self-revelation to man. When God created man in His image and likeness He made him, like Himself, a rational being with intelligence.

To be sure, human intelligence is not the same as divine intelligence, but it is a real intelligence, not fictitious. Therefore, humans have the ability to understand the meaning of words and the logic of sentences and paragraphs. This does not make the believer infallible, but it can give him the ability to distinguish truth from error 1 John 2: These works of God make it possible for us to know and obey the many commands in Scripture to know Him Rom.

H istorically, the two avenues through which God has taken the initiative to reveal Himself have been labeled general and special revelation. General revelation includes all that God has revealed in the world around us, including man, while special revelation includes various means He used to communicate His message in what was codified in the Bible.

General revelation is sometimes called natural theology, and special revelation is called revealed theology. But, of course, what is revealed in nature is also revealed in theology.

Some writers use the labels prelapsarian for general revelation and postlapsarian or soteric for special revelation. However, both general and special revelation are a from God and b about God. In this chapter we shall discuss general revelation mostly, leaving other aspects of the doctrine of revelation to section III.

Basic Theology: A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth - eBook

General revelation provides evidences for the existence of God. Special revelation, on the other hand, generally assumes His existence.

General revelation is exactly that—general. It is general in its scope; that is, it reaches to all people Matt. It is general in geography; that is, it encompasses the entire globe Ps.

It is general in its methodology; that is, it employs universal means like the heat of the sun vv. Simply because it is a revelation that affects all people wherever they are and whenever they have lived it can bring light and truth to all, or, if rejected, it brings condemnation. Simply stated, this line of evidence the cosmological argument for the existence of God points out that the universe around us is an effect that requires an adequate cause.

This line of evidence depends on three presuppositions: If something now exists the cosmos then either it came from nothing or it came from something that must be eternal.

The something eternal in the second option could either be the cosmos itself, which would have to be eternal, or chance as an eternal principle, or God the eternal Being. To say that the cosmos came from nothing means it was self-created. This is a logical contradiction, because for something to be self-created it must exist and not exist at the same time in the same way.

Furthermore, self-creation has never been scientifically demonstrated and observed. A variation of the view that holds to the eternality of matter is the Steady State Theory, which suggests that matter is constantly created near the center of the universe and destroyed at the outer perimeter of space.

However, there is no evidence to support this theory, and if it were true it would violate the law of the conservation of mass and energy. Does not the matter of cause and effect also apply to God? Is He not also an effect that required a cause? The answer is no, because God is not an effect an effect being something that requires a cause because He is eternal. If the cosmos did not generate itself, then there must be something eternal that caused it.

One option is that the cosmic process itself is eternal, an option scarcely held. Rather almost all hold that the universe had a beginning, however long ago it may have been. Another option is that there is some eternal principle of chance or blind intelligence.

To believe this option requires a large measure of faith.

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It can be demonstrated mathematically that random chance could not have produced what we observe today in the universe. But even if it could produce molecules and atoms, the stuff of the universe, could such a nonliving principle also produce the soul and spirit facets of life?

The third option is the theistic one; that is, the eternal Being that caused the cosmos is God. This does not mean that the universe reveals all the details of the character of that eternal Being, but it does mean that there is a living, powerful, intelligent Being who caused the universe. Living, because nonlife cannot produce life. Powerful, because of the very nature of what was formed.

Intelligent, because of the order and arrangement of the cosmos, things that chance could not generate. Two key passages of Scripture show creation to be a channel of revelation. Psalm In this psalm David wrote of 1 the continuousness of the revelation through creation vv. He also wrote that 2 the center or arena of this revelation is the universe, the heavens and the earth v. It covers the entire earth, and every person can know it.

Most can see the sun and the cycle of day and night, but even blind people can feel the heat of the sun v. Where does the heat come from? Who made the sun? It tells something about the glory of God and the greatness of God. Romans 1: In this key passage the emphasis is on the revelation of the wrath of God because mankind rejects what can be known of Him through the avenue of creation.

The particulars of how His wrath is revealed are listed in verses 24— The reasons are two: What has been made v.

In other words, all mankind should know from observing the universe around it that there exists a supreme Being. Instead mankind rejects that truth and makes idols over which people are supreme.

Because man rejected general revelation, God gave him over vv. Some think this means a permissive giving over of people so that they suffer the retributive consequences of their sin. But the verb is active voice in verses 24, 26, and Others take the verb in a privative sense; that is, God deprived man of His work of common grace. This includes the privative sense but is more active than the permissive viewpoint. It understands that at the same time people are responsible for their sinful actions Eph.

Man is justly condemned because he does not receive what God does tell him about Himself through the Creation. To deny this requires an affirmation from an existing being, so it is self-defeating.

The potentiality for existence can only be actualized by some existence beyond it. The purpose, order, and design we observe in the world calls for a designer. Likewise, the organization of the world requires someone who planned it. To be most effective the teleological argument should focus on the broader aspects of design in nature rather than details.

To use one of J. But the overall picture is one of order and design. Random action could never have produced the highly integrated organization that we observe in the world. When the people of Lystra were about to offer sacrifices to Paul and Barnabas because they thought the two were gods, Paul restrained them by using this teleological argument for the existence of the true God Acts The world shows the cycle of seasons and the gift of rain in order to give mankind food and gladness.

This order in nature serves as a witness to the existence of the true and living God, Paul said. How can man, a moral, intelligent, and living being, be explained apart from a moral, intelligent, and living God? This so-called anthropological argument for the existence of God is sometimes split in several ways.

Buswell, for example, separates the anthropological argument God creating man in His image and the moral argument how did the ideas of right and wrong originate? The several facets of man and all of them together demand some explanation as to their origin. They argue for the existence of a being who is moral and intelligent and living who could have produced man.

Material, inanimate, or unconscious forces could hardly have produced man. Evolution cannot produce soul, conscience, or religious instincts.

Lifeless idols do not generate living offspring. The psalmist declared: He who planted the ear, does He not hear? He who formed the eye, does He not see? In other words, a living, intelligent creature argues for a living, intelligent Creator. At the Areopagus Paul argued the same way. If we are the offspring of God, he argued, then God cannot be like a gold or silver idol that the offspring formed Acts He, like His offspring, must be living and intelligent. The ontological argument that is, an argument based on the study of being has been presented in various forms by Anselm, Descartes, and others, and has been accepted by some Hegel and rejected by others Kant.

The argument goes like this: While the argument is deductive, there is an inductive aspect to it. Where does the idea of God come from?

Featuring charts, definitions, and Scripture and subject indices, Basic Theology will give you a clear and comprehensive picture of Ryrie's approach to systematic theology. Its 94 chapters are arranged in outline style for easy reference. Considerable emphasis is given to explaining the dispensational view of the end times. Moody Publishers Edition: Revised Publication Date: He has written numerous books, including The We want your feedback!

Click here. Ryrie ebook. Publication Details Publisher: Charles C.Whenever God displays His wrath, He is still love. Rapture vs. Zondervan, , — Volume 2 of Come and See examines the nature, attributes, and persons of God. The basis of authority in neo-orthodoxy, at least as expressed by Karl Barth — , is the Word. Page 1 of 1. This book is also a tremendous help and source of material for the Sunday school teacher.

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