The Indispensableness of Systematic Theology

Benjamin B. Warfield | August 25, 2009

A growing misconception in training preachers has been the idea that appearance is a substitute for substance, that methodology is more important than content. On the contrary, the preacher’s main responsibility to his listeners is to present the truth as expounded in Systematic Theology. To do this, he must himself have a firm grasp on Christian doctrine. This is not to say his preaching must manifest a chilly intellectualism, but that his knowledge of doctrine must combine with a warmly evangelistic spirit. The universally acknowledged principle that what a person believes will determine how he behaves underscores the importance of preaching correct doctrine. Whether he admits it or not, every preacher communicates a set of beliefs, so it is urgent that he know correct Systematic Theology. Theology is the best cultivation of the devotional life of both the preacher and his hearers.

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