"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Summary of All Theology

J.I. Packer, in his forward to Death of Death, gives these three words as the summary of all theology: God saves sinners. The more I thought about the summary, the more I liked it. So much is said there, so much to unpack. I wonder how many of my favorite theologians can be put into those three words.

After reading that, I looked over at my three volume Systematic Theology by Charles Hodge. The names of the three volumes? Theology [Proper] (Theology of God), Anthropology (theology of man), and Soteriology (Theology of Salvation). God saves man, or sinners. All of theology in three words.

One of Augustine’s favorite phrases was “God justifies the ungodly.” God saves sinners.

Calvin said all knowledge consists in knowledge of God and man. To supply a little, knowledge of God is knowledge of His alone being Savior (Is 43:11). God saves man.

The very order implies Reformed Theology. Not man saves man, or God and man save, but God. Saves. Sinners/man. God first, who takes the action of salvation of fallen man. Just something to remember if someone asks you to summarize your theology, all it takes is three words: God saves sinners.


GUNNY said...

Simple ... yet profound.

Reminds me of Paul's words in 1 Timothy 1:15 ...

"The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost."

M. Jay Bennett said...

Great post Jared!

M. Jay Bennett said...

Look what I found today:

Bavinck writes:

"Religion is the arena of redemption; saviors can be found everywhere. Disagreements exist concerning the what and how of religion but the basic question remains: 'What must I do to be saved?' The answer to the three major concerns of religion--God, humanity, and salvation--require revelation" (Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 1, Prolegomena, 283, emphasis added).