Exegesis, Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology: What the Categories on My Blog Mean

Andy Naselli —  July 11, 2012 — 3 Comments

This blog is now much better organized:

  • I used to label a blog post with one or more of some 200 categories (e.g., “D. A. Carson,” “Calvinism,” “preaching”).
  • But now I label a post with just one of six categories:
  1. Exegesis. What did authors intend their texts to mean? This includes hermeneutics. (Hermeneutics concerns principles of interpretation, and exegesis applies those principles.)
  2. Biblical Theology. How has God revealed his word historically and organically?
  3. Historical Theology. What have people thought about exegesis and theology?
  4. Systematic Theology. What does the whole Bible teach about certain topics? What is true about God and his universe?
  5. Practical Theology. How should humans respond to God’s revelation? This includes, for example, culture, ethics, evangelism, marriage and family, money, pastoral theology, politics, and worship.
  6. Other. This covers what doesn’t fit in the above categories.

My blog is called “Thoughts on Theology,” so those seem like the right categories.

I recently organized all 900+ past blog posts to one of those six categories. (The previous 200 or so categories are now “tags.”)

  • Definitions. How do I understand exegesis and the four branches of theology? I generally follow the approach I explain in my essay “D. A. Carson’s Theological Method” (see sections 3–4).
  • Organization. I basically organize the posts the same way I categorize items in Zotero. See pages 5–7 of “Why You Should Organize Your Personal Theological Library and a Way How” (cf. this 3-minute video). Sometimes a post may fit in multiple categories, so choosing just one can be subjective.

3 responses to Exegesis, Biblical Theology, Historical Theology, Systematic Theology, and Practical Theology: What the Categories on My Blog Mean

  1. Helpful.

    Did it take you long to reorganize? How did you go about? I need to do the same thing. . .

    (1) It would be great to see a post where you expanded your definitions to just a paragraph to help people in the pew understand those terms.

    (2) It would also be constructive to see the relationships between the disciplines. . . Grier used to make a pyramid with exegesis at the bottom, then biblical theology, then historical, then systematic etc with practical being built with a foundation of hermeneutics.

    If I took the time to click through to your categories, those things are probably already there.

    • Hey, Chris.

      1. Not too bad. Probably about 20-30 seconds a post on average (so not more than 7 hours). But it’s not very intensive, so I listened to an audiobook on double speed the whole time.

      2. The essay on Don Carson’s theological method I link to above has some helpful charts. If I charted out a pyramid, it’d have exegesis as the foundation and then move up to BT, HT, ST, and finally PT.

  2. I’m grateful for the new organization, Andy. It has been helpful and I have been able to find what I need.

    Thanks.

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