Should the word “theology” be used in the Christian schools, and in how many ways can it be understood?
Turretin’s answer is “yes”
There were some who thought it shouldn’t be used bc it’s not found in Scripture, and bc other religions use the same word. But Turretin points out that Scripture does use it in indirects ways such as “word of God” (Rom. 3:2; 1 Pet. 4:11; Heb. 5:12) stating it is a “sense and the thing signified”.
He acknowledges that doctrines should not be formed without Scriptural support, however, using terms to explain Scripture and keep from erroneous ideologies is permitted.
He states that just bc the heathen use the word doesn’t mean we cannot. They also use the word “God” for example which does not keep us from also using it.
He states that there are Scriptural words which could be used instead of “theology” such as “wisdom in a mystery” (1 Cor. 2:7), the “form of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13), the “acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness” (Tit. 1:1), and “doctrine” (Tit. 1:9). However, he states that “theology” should be used bc ppl know about which you speak when the term is used.
Another supportive example is that the Gentiles used the word.
Use of the word.
It is used incorrectly by some Christians. His example is thus: “with reference to the efficient to mean a discourse of God, and with reference to the object, a discourse about God.”. It is also used correctly. His example is thus: “inasmuch as it denotes both a discourse of God and a discourse about God.”. Note that his sentence structure concerning the inadequate usage of theology should have an “or” instead of an “and”.
He states that the word can be use in three different ways. 1) broadly: as when Aristotle used the term metaphysically by using “theology” in place of philosophy. 2) Strictly: as when “the fathers designate particularly that part of the Christian science which treats of the divinity of Christ by the word “theology”. 3) according go the true extent of its signification (most proper usage): Turretin states of the third meaning, ” it denotes a system or body of doctrine concerning God and divine things revealed by him for his own glory and the salvation of men.”.
He states that it can be used improperly when used by heathens, less properly “when it is referred to the original and infinite wisdom which we conceive to be in God known himself in an unspeakable and most perfect manner” such as theology of Christ and angels, or “more properly when it is applied to the theology of men on earth which is divided into natural and supernatural.”.