Monday, June 16, 2008


"Precise definitions are the sign of careful theological thinking. Every definition must be an accurate reflection and summation of the biblical truth involved.

When insisting on good definitions from students, and especially when challenging a word that a student might have used because it was not the most precise one, I would often receive this retort, 'It's only a matter of semantics. One word is as good as another.' The retort is totally without merit. Definitions are very much a matter of semantics; therefore, one word is not necessarily as good as another. Accurate definitions have to be constructed with carefully chosen words. Sloppy formulation is never acceptable."
Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology - A Popular Systematic Guide to Understanding Biblical Truth (don't worry, I read Ryrie through my 'reformed' glasses!)


Shawn Abigail said...

Well, if you're reading Ryrie I'm encouraged. There's hope. 8-)

Connie said...

shawn: LOL!! You might be 'encouraged' to also know:

1) I carry a Ryrie Study Bible (NAS)--have since about 1982.

2) DH graduated from DTS, but Ryrie had already left the faculty by then.

3) I purposely read Ryrie in hopes of maintaining some sort of 'balance' to they other sys. theo.s I favor--Berkhof (too covenantal for me) and Grudem (too charismatic for me).

4) There was a time when Ryrie was the strongest "Calvinist" I was familiar with! :-)

Shawn Abigail said...

Ok, so I'm more than encouraged. I'm greatly encouraged. 8-)

I'm glad you took my tongue in cheek comment with the amusement I intended for it. I appreciate Ryrie's writings, but a lot of people seem to demonize him because they disagree with some of his teachings. I'm glad that you can sift through the good and the bad for yourself.