The Headings of Theology Should Be… (Van Mastricht)

Theoretical-Practical Theology Volume 1: Prolegomena I appreciate Petrus Van Mastricht’s emphasis that Christian theology should be practical. Here’s how he explained theology with a little more detail:

“The heads of theology should be

  1. Positively proved from the Scriptures, confirmed by reasons, and explicated (explained/developed) in all their members, which is like a solid foundation for the entire structure;

  2. Elenctically (polemically) vindicated against the artifices of all opponents, for without that vindication the constructed foundation neither stands sufficiently on its own nor becomes sufficiently rooted in the hearts of those who theologize;

  3. Practically applied, without which the prior points will be entirely and plainly useless.  For just as practice without theory is nothing, so theory without practice is empty and vain.  For that reason, in his most wise counsel, the Savior joins them together: ‘if you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:17).”

(Petrus Van Mastrich, Theoretical-Practical Theology, volume 1, p. 69-70.)

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015