Harvesting The Soul: The Necessity Of Hermeneutics To A Valid Theological Method -- By: Kenneth R. Cooper

Journal: Journal of Dispensational Theology
Volume: JODT 17:50 (Spring 2013)
Article: Harvesting The Soul: The Necessity Of Hermeneutics To A Valid Theological Method
Author: Kenneth R. Cooper

Harvesting The Soul:
The Necessity Of Hermeneutics To
A Valid Theological Method1

Kenneth R. Cooper

* Kenneth R. Cooper, M.A., D.D., Ph.D., author and lecturer, Biblical Faith Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas

“Good theology provides the vision that guides and motivates those who desire God. Good theology fosters the love of God without which no one becomes good. . . . God will satisfy their deepest longings for love and belonging, for meaning and significance—to the praise of God’s eternal glory.”2 Doctrine has assumed a vital role among evangelicals throughout their existence. According to Clark, “[E]vangelicals commonly assume that the essential defining characteristics of evangelicalism are theological in nature.”3 Consequently, they should be theological in nature since doctrine also assumed a vital role in God’s church from the very beginning.

On the day of its birth, for example, Luke said that the early body of believers “were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship and to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42).4 Significantly, doctrine (or the apostles’ teaching) lies first on the list of the objects of devotion. They devoted themselves first to doctrine so that the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer were based upon the foundation of sound teaching. Perhaps it is no coincidence, therefore, that, when Paul reminded the young pastor Timothy of the inspiration of the Word of God and its value to his ministry, the Apostle also put doctrine at the head of the list of the benefits of the Word. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). The first benefit of the Word of God is sound

doctrine so that reproof, correction, and training would also be based upon the solid foundation of biblical teaching.

The Significance Of Evangelical Theology

Whether one calls it teaching, doctrine, or theology, it is evident that theology assumed a significant role in the growth and development of the early church. The Apostle Paul felt it sufficiently important that his letters to Timothy stressed the value of doctrine in every aspect of his ministry and personal life as a believer, as well as his position as a pastor. “Until I come,” the Apostle admo...

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