Systematic theology has been heavily criticized in recent years. Sometimes justifiably, in so far as it has contributed to the abstracting of atonement teaching from the gospel narrative and the marginalization of discipleship in the life of the church.
But I think the baby has sometimes been thrown out with the bathwater. I think we should be looking for ways to reintegrate systematic theology with narrative theology and practical theology and ask: Can systematic theology be of practical value?
For instance, how can soteriology, the study of salvation, help us wrestle with issues of discipleship? And how can angelology, the study of angels and demons, help us in our struggles against oppressive systems? How can eschatology, the study of end times, help us wrestle with ethics? How can hamartiology and theodicy, the study of sin and suffering, help us in the work of reconciliation? I’ve found there are practical benefits to studying all of these, if we’re open to finding practical benefits.