Jul 18, 2012

Doing Systematic Theology and Hebrews

"Although extracting systematic propositions from the text of the New Testament is a rather old-fashioned approach to theological analysis, Hebrews invites such an approach with its very plain propositional claims about God, which it apparently invites to be taken seriously" (Harold W. Attridge, "God in Hebrews: Urging Children to Heavenly Glory," in The Forgotten God: Perspectives in Biblical Theology [Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2002], 197).

Although I am not a systematic theologian by discipline, I was struck by this statement. I have heard some criticize  systematicians for not being exegetical enough. But if Attridge is right then actually working with Scripture is considered "old-fashioned." What is a systematic theologian supposed to do? They are condemned for not working with the text or considered old fashioned if they do! Perhaps I am missing something here.

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