Very often, I've seen pastors and experienced laymen comment about how various arguments in theology are really just not their concern--that ministry will occur whether they understand and appreciate these things or not.
In a way, this is true. I don't understand the intricacies of Calvin by any means, and yet I've had the privilege of seeing three of my children come to Christ, and of leading them in evening devotions. So far, so good.
But that said, a basic appreciation of systematic theology ought to impact ministry, and I'd like to bring forth an example. On the one hand, dispensationalism is said to use the "normal" or "literal" meaning of the Scriptures, and covenant theology is said to use a more "metaphorical" or "allegorical" approach.
Now here's the rub; if your hermeneutic is in effect "WYSIWIG", then you'll tend to just read the text and apply it. If you view it as allegorical, then you need someone to help you with the allegories. In other words, you need the pastor to help you understand.
In other words, systematic theology affects the very basic acts of the layman and his view of his pastor. It's not just an academic matter.
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