Systematic theology is a method of studying the Bible founded on the principle that the Scriptures reveal a single God-ordained, well-ordered, coherent, and unchanging system of doctrine.
How Systematic Theology Works
The discipline of systematic theology looks at the Bible topically, collecting and organizing - not capriciously, but according to sound principles of interpretation - all the Scriptures pertaining to a particular question. For example, what does all of Scripture say about the nature of God? What does all of Scripture say about the nature of Scripture itself? What does all of Scripture say about the way of salvation? What does all of Scripture say about the covenants? And, how are those doctrines progressively revealed as we move through the Old Testament and into the New Testament?
Systematic theology, properly practiced, does not impose a human system upon Scripture, but rather seeks to understand and articulate the system of doctrine that the God-breathed Scriptures already contain.
Practicing systematic theology well requires a proper approach to Scripture, one that recognizes several facts that Scripture tells us about itself:
- God the Holy Spirit is the Author of every word of the Book, and He infallibly employed human writers as His instruments.
- The Bible, as a divine Book, is therefore inerrant and internally consistent from beginning to end.
- The Bible, as the only divine Book, is therefore its only infallible interpreter. Traditions and the words of men are not.
- God's Word is intelligible. God intended to communicate truth to mankind at large, and to instruct His church specifically, through His Word and through the illumination of Scripture by the Holy Spirit.
- God did not communicate in an analogous or indirect manner. He communicated His own thoughts directly. Man can understand such direct communication of God's thoughts because he is created in God's image.
The approach to Scripture which recognizes these facts requires submission to God, an attitude of servanthood toward His Book.
Information taken from: teachingtheword.org (underlines mine)