Rhyne Putman (PhD, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) is the associate vice president for academic affairs and director of worldview formation at Williams Baptist University.View Author's Page
When handling the things of God, our method matters.
Everyone who thinks about God has a method for approaching the subject, whether they recognize it or not. A theological method addresses foundational questions such as: What is theology? How should we approach Scripture? What is the role of tradition, philosophy, and experience? How do we use theology in ministering to others? These questions are vital for anyone studying God and his Word—how one defines theology, sees its task, and uses its sources will shape one’s doctrine, for better or worse.
In The Method of Christian Theology, Rhyne Putman guides readers through the essential “first words” of systematic theology. Written for entry-level theology students, this book provides clear guidance for using theological sources, reasoning through difficult questions, and applying theological reflection in paper writing and preaching. By studying the foundations of theology, readers will be better equipped to serve God’s people in whatever ministry they are called to.
Introduction: Method Matters
Part One: Principles
1. Defining Theology and Its Tasks
2. Doctrine and Truth
3. Doctrine, Worldview, and Disciple-Making
4. The Theological Disciplines
Part Two: Preparations
5. A Heart Prepared for Christian Theology
6. A Mind Prepared for Christian Theology
Part Three: Procedures
7. Scripture and Its Interpretation
8. Tradition and Christian Theology
9. Philosophy and Christian Theology
10. Experience and Christian Theology
11. A Procedure for Theology
Part Four: Practices
12. Contextualizing Doctrine
13. Writing a Theological Research Paper
14. Preaching a Doctrinal Sermon