Monday, April 06, 2009

Excerpt: Rolland McCune on Systematic Theology

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Grace Seminary alumnus Rolland McCune which is currently online. To read the entire posting, click here.

5. What is your favorite Bible doctrine? Why?

My favorite Bible doctrine is the Kingdom of God because it ultimately unifies the whole Bible as no other doctrine or principle can. Unmistakably grounded in the religion and thought of OT theology, God’s rule of loving sovereignty over and fellowship with his image-bearers, is, as I understand it, the unifying center for all of God’s activity external to Himself. This is also the unifying principle of the Scriptures. It began with the Creation Mandate and carries through to the eschaton—the Millennial, Mediatorial Kingdom of God and its transition to the Eternal Kingdom of God on the new earth. (I develop this on pp. 135-54 of STBC.)

6. How has your mentor, Alva J. McClain, influenced your ST?

The influence of my mentor, Dr. Alva J. McClain, is tremendous. His grasp of the idea of the Kingdom of God was influenced by George N. H. Peters’s massive 3-volume The Theocratic Kingdom. McClain was a master-teacher and a careful, thorough, biblical and theological scholar. He was quite lucid in his thinking so that a Bible student as well as the average person in civil society could understand him. Very few will not comprehend the biblical, theological development of his magnum opus, The Greatness of the Kingdom. (Interestingly, George Ladd wrote a very negative review [Evangelical Quarterly 32 (1960): 48–50], fundamentally because McClain often cited nineteenth-century sources and not the current Continental scholarship and because he did not embrace the already/not yet notion of the Kingdom of God.) The clarity of Dr. McClain would apply equally to anyone listening to his lectures and sermons.

7. Who are a few of your favorite dead and living theologians? Why?

In addition to Dr. McClain, who died in 1968, I found A. H. Strong of great help. His Systematic Theology was pretty much the standard text in Baptist seminaries and other institutions until the appearance of Millard J. Erickson’s Christian Theology. Strong had his quirks, to say the least, such as ethical monism, postmillennialism, et al., but his format of developing the doctrines I found valuable.

I appreciate the efforts of the older Reformed theologies, especially in the areas of God, Christ, scripture and salvation. Herman Bavinck and W. G. T. Shedd particularly come to mind, as well as B. B. Warfield and the Hodges. Those nearest to my thinking, especially in ecclesiology, pneumatology, and eschatology, would be Lewis Sperry Chafer, John F. Walvoord, and Charles C. Ryrie.

There have been significant contributions made rather recently by Wayne Grudem, Millard J. Erickson, John Frame, Gordon Lewis and Bruce Demarest, Robert D. Culver, and Robert L. Reymond. The one-volume put out by Broadman (Theology and the Church, ed. Daniel Akin), as well as that of Dallas Seminary (Understanding Christian Theology, ed. Charles R. Swindoll and Roy B. Zuck), are noteworthy. I’m sure I have overlooked many others, some of whom contributed single volumes on various doctrines (such as the Contours of Christian Theology series by IVP).


Blogger Zach Doppelt said...

Though most will find it a little too fundamentalist for their taste, Rolland McCune's book, "Promise Unfulfilled: The Failed Strategy of Modern Evangelicalism" is a worthwhile and good read...

10:18 AM  

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