Help in Understanding Theological Definitions, a primer                                By Jack Kettler


In this primer, general categories of theology along with brief definitions will be considered. Plus, helpful recommendations for more research, both in print and online resources. 


Theology: This is the study of God.


Apologetics: This is a division of theology that defends the faith against objections.


Biblical Theology: “Biblical Theology is that branch of Exegetical Theology which deals with the process of the self-revelation of God deposited in the Bible.” - Geerhardus Vos


Hermeneutics: This is the study of the general principles of Biblical interpretation.


Historical Theology: This is the discipline that studies the interpretation of Scripture and the theological formulation of the church in the past.


Confessional Theology: This is an attempt to understand God’s revelation in Scripture aided by that harmony of the church through the years using, for example, the Westminster Confession of Faith.


Eschatology: This is a branch of study within theology that seeks to understand the last things.


Soteriology: This is the study of salvation, from whence it comes, the role that both God and man have in attaining the salvation of mankind.


Systematic Theology: This is the attempt to organize the doctrines of the Christian faith in a logical order, starting with the doctrine of God, man’s creation and sin, the person and role of Christ in salvation, the church, and the last things. 


Practical Theology: This is an attempt to integrate theological study with practical living and sanctification. 


Pastoral Theology: Seeks to help pastors, function their pastoral role as ministers of Christ.


Homiletics: This is the art of preaching, involving sermon preparation and the method of delivery


Print Sources:


Dictionary of Theological Terms by Alan Cairns


Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms by Donald McKim


Baker’s dictionary of theology Editors, Harrison, Bromiley, and Henry 


Online definitions:


Dictionary of Theology by Matt Slick


Rebecca Writes Definitions in alphabetical order


Got Questions: What are the definitions of some common theological terms?


Monergism - Articles, MP3s & Resources on the Historic Christian Faith


Reformed Answers


Reformed.ORG A treasure trove of articles on the Christian Faith.


In closing:


“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)


“To God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.” (Romans 16:27) and “heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:28-29)


Mr. Kettler has previously published articles in the Chalcedon Report and Contra Mundum. He and his wife Marea attend the Westminster, CO, RPCNA Church. Mr. Kettler is the author of the book defending the Reformed Faith against attacks, titled: The Religion That Started in a Hat. Available at: