2For an excellent treatment of Puritan preaching see J. I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1990), pp. 277-89.
3John Murray, Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 4: Studies in Theology (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982), p. 1.
4Ibid., pp. 11-12. See also Bernard Ramm, Protestant Biblical Interpretation (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970), pp. 172-78.
5This is not to disparage or undervalue biblical theology in general or such courses in particular. Both biblical and systematic studies are needed in any comprehensive theological curriculum. However, as Ramm contends, it should be recognized that the study of various biblical theologies (i.e., of Paul, John, Peter, etc.) emerged under the belief propagated by liberalism and neo-orthodoxy "that the Bible contains a medley of contradictory theologies" (Interpretation, p. 174).
6Martyn Lloyd-Jones writes,
"To me there is nothing more important in a preacher than that he should have a systematic theology, that he should know it and be well grounded in it. This systematic theology, this body of truth which is derived from the Scripture, should always be present as a background and as a controlling influence in his preaching." Preaching and Preachers (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1971), p. 66.7W. Lumpkin, Baptist Confessions of Faith (Valley Forge: Judson, 1969) pp. 252-53.
8This popular verse is used as an example because it arises so frequency in discussion about the nature of man's will. Actually, the most that can be claimed on that subject is that this verse may imply that anyone can believe. All that is explicitly stated, however, is that everyone who believes will be saved. There is no direct claim here regarding how one comes to believe.
9Nowhere is this approach better exemplified than in Puritan preaching. Packer writes,
"The Puritans received the Bible as a self-contained and self-interpreting revelation of God's mind. This revelation, the 'body of divinity' as they called it, is, they held, a unity, to which every part of 'the best of books' makes its own distinct contribution. It follows that the meaning of single texts cannot be properly discerned till they are seen in relation to the rest of the 'body'; and, conversely, that the better one's grasp of the whole, the more significance one will see in each part. To be a good expositor, therefore, one must first be a good theologian. Theology--truth about God and man--is what God has put into the texts of Scripture, and theology is what preachers must draw out of them. To the question, 'Should one preach doctrine?', the Puritan answer would have been, 'Why, what else is there to preach?'" Quest For Godliness, pp. 284-85.