1. What is Olson’s point about a “mosaic” (vs. strictly systematic or historical); “Christian belief” (vs. theology, religion) and preferring the “both/and” or “mediating” over the “either/or” approach? * Olson uses the word mosaic in order to reflect his less quarrelsome “both-and” “mediating theology.” * He wants to show us how the broad consensus of Christian beliefs really fit like a mosaic into a comprehensible whole if we step back and look at the big picture. * There’s also a reason for “Christian belief” in the title instead of “systematic theology”. Though he takes a systematic approach, Olson wants to reach the popular reader or intro-level student. He tries to avoid some of the theology jargon, which can imply content strictly for professional clergy or academic types.
2. Etymology of the word “theology” as clue to its meaning. Give a good “working definition” for what we mean by systematic theology or Essentials of Evangelical Theology. * Theology means: a. Theos= god b. logos= word, word about study of, discourse c. theo+logos= study of God & God stuff
3. What are some ideas for why we are choosing to study theology “systematically” instead of say, Bible “book-by-book” or historical theology or some other way? * It’s just good to remember that while a systematic approach might help for instruction, it is not the approach that’s inspired but rather the simple, original texts just as they were written. * One advantage could be that systematic approaches help maintain balance in recalling and teaching the “whole counsel of God” instead of just harping on your favorite texts and interpretations. * So, is there a “divinely-inspired” method of study or a “scriptural way” to study theology? * What is an advantage of a “systematic” study of anything? * You make sure you get a balanced coverage of the entire subject without leaving out parts you don’t like