The nature of theology

Doctrine thus arises and is formulated on the basis of biblical exegesis—the dogmatica or didactica, the doctrina, is the right teaching: an assembling of the parts and meaning of the biblical text. The third approach to theology is the refutation of opponents, though he counsels that controversies should not be sought, and should not be revived, when they are already “dead and buried.” In fact, though Mastricht sees the elenctic part of theology entailing the refutation of teachings that do not accord with Scripture and Reformed orthodoxy, he also maintains that it should lead to a positive statement of orthodoxy that strengthens piety. Finally, theology should lead to the praxis pietatis. The true nature of theology is not knowledge in itself, but is directed to God, in Christ.

Theoretical-Practical Theology Volume 1: Prolegomena

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