Selective Systematic Scholars

From all sides New Testament scholars are warned against trying to find a systematic theology in the New Testament. In fact, what these critics are doing is establishing a large number of systematic theologies in the New Testament and then pitting them against each other. A confession is isolated from the historical setting that limits its sufficiency (but not its necessity) in other settings and is built into a large structure that is set over against some dubious historical reconstructions…but part of it turns on an irresponsible approach to historical data, an approach that, while decrying systematic theology, is busily systematizing the diversity it finds instead of being sensitive to the mutually complementary nature of the occasional documents that constitute the New Testament. (original emphasis; DA Carson, “Unity and Diversity in the New Testament,” in Scripture and Truth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1992), 89.)


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