Document: Cornelis P. Venema, The Promise of the Future (Carlisle, PA.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2000).

Excerpt: It is a pleasure to introduce Cornelis Venema’s exceptional book The Promise of the Future. Dr Venema is Professor of Doctrinal Studies at Mid-America Reformed Seminary. For some time now his acumen as a theologian and skill as a teacher and author have been recognized and deeply appreciated in the circles in which he has been known in the United States. I hope that the publication of The Promise of the Future will bring his work to the notice of a wider public on both sides of the Atlantic (and, indeed, the Pacific!). It is a model of what systematic theological exposition should be. Doctrinal or (as it is frequently called) Systematic Theology has fallen into disfavour in the modern age and also into a kind of self-created decline. Much that is taught in universities and seminaries under this heading is now little more than the study of the religious opinions of scholars. The views of various theologians are clarified, compared, contrasted and critiqued. While this is a legitimate enough exercise in itself, its net effect has been that Systematic Theology is no longer viewed as a systematic presentation of what divine revelation teaches on any given subject. Rather it has become a kind of religious anthropology.

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