Introduction to Theology; Revelation & Scripture

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This is the first of ten lectures on Systematic Theology, a survey of the whole corpus of theology, and each lecture will be one hour long and each covering a separate doctrine or series of doctrines together. In this lesson Dr. Ware introduces the what and why of theology and discusses the foundational doctrines of Revelation and Scripture.


I. What is Evangelical Systematic Theology?

A. Definition

B. Elaboration on the Definition

1. The Subject Matter

2. The Sources

3. The Structure

4. The Setting

5. The Satisfaction

II. Why Study Evangelical Systematic Theology?

A. Comprehensive Scriptural Vantage Point

B. Interpretive Guide

C. Religious Pluralism

D. Head, Heart, Hands, Habitat

II. Revelation

A. The Concept of Revelation

1. Definition

2. Scriptural Examples

B. Forms of Revelation

1. General Revelation

a. Main avenues

1) Creation

2) Conscience

b. Efficacy?

2. Special Revelation

a. Main avenues

1) Personal encounter

2) Mighty act

3) Propositional revelation

4) Incarnation

b. Efficacy?

III. Inspiration of Scripture

A. Definition

1. General Meaning

2. Verbal, Plenary Inspiration

B. Key Passages and their Teachings

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2. 2 Peter 1:20-21

3. 1 Corinthians 2:13

IV. Inerrancy of Scripture

A. The Debate of Recent Years: What is at Issue?

B. Defining Inerrancy

C. Authority and Inerrancy


  • What does systematic theology have to do with your own relationship with God? Do you think that understanding theology helps people have a better relationship with God? Why or why not?
  • What does systematic theology have to do with what we actually do in church?
  • What are some questions you have about theology that you would like to learn more about as a result of this study? Why are those questions important to you?
  • What are your basic goals for this study? What do you need to do to make sure that you accomplish those goals during this study?
  • Have you ever had an experience where you felt that you had learned something about God from creation? What was that like? What did you learn?
  • How is learning about God through creation different from learning about God from the Bible? Why are both of these important? How can you make sure that you are including both avenues of revelation in your own life?
  • Why is it important to affirm the inerrancy of the Bible? How can understanding increase your confidence in the Bible? How should it affect the way that we approach the Bible?


  • Read Psalm 34:8. What does this verse have to do with studying systematic theology? How can it help you appreciate what theology is all about? 
  • Read and reflect on 2 Timothy 3:16. In what ways have you found the Bible to be ‘profitable’ in your own life? Have you ever found the Bible (or parts of the Bible) to be unprofitable? Why do you think that was? What are some things you might be able to do to remedy that?


1 hour