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  • Author: Robert L. Dabney
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Robert L. Dabney

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Dabney, R.L. - Systematic Theology

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Dabney, R.L. Systematic Theology wlue777 Word Bible Software

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Posted ImageR. L. Dabney

Robert Lewis Dabney (March 5, 1820 – January 3, 1898) was an American Christian theologian, a Southern Presbyterian pastor, and Confederate Army chaplain. He was also chief of staff and biographer to Stonewall Jackson. His biography of Jackson remains in print today.
Dabney and James Henley Thornwell were two of Southern Presbyterianism's most influential scholars. They were both Calvinist, Old School Presbyterians, and social conservatives. Some conservative Presbyterians, particularly within the Presbyterian Church in America and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, still value their theological writings, although both these churches have repudiated Dabney's and Thornwell's beliefs on race and support of Antebellum slavery.[1][2]

Table of Contents:

Note To The Reader

Preface to the Second Edition

Section One

Chapter 1: The Existence of God

What is Theology? Its Divisions. Is Natural Theology a Science? Two Arguments for God

Chapter 2: Evolution

Theory stated. Tendency Atheistic. Theory not proved. Does not weaken Teleological Argument. [Lecture 3]

Chapter 3: Divine Attributes of God

How many does Reason infer? Eternity. Unity. Spirituality. Simplicity. Immensity. Infinitude. Immutability. Reason infers also Omnipotence, Omniscience, Rectitude, Goodness. Optimism. Man

Chapter 4: Materialism

Attempted Use of Doctrine of "Correlation of Forces." Theory of Physical Basis of Life. Connection between Materialism and Atheism. Moral Results of the latter. [Lecture 6]

Chapter 5: Immortality of the Soul and Defects of Natural Religion

Testimony of Consciousness, of Reason, of Conscience, of Natural Theology. Natural Analogies for Pardon doubtful. Natural Theology Deficient for Warrant and Guarantee. Necessity of a Revelation. [Lecture 7]

Chapter 6: Sources of Our Thinking

Important Theological Question of Innate Ideas. Primitive Ideas must be Granted. Metaphysical Skepticism. Tests of a Primary Truth. Axioms are Such. Spirituality, Identity, Reality of the Objective, Cause for every Effect are Intuitively seen. Belief not Derived from Association, or Experience. True Doctrine of Causation. The Final Cause. All Judgments Intuitive and Necessary, if Valid. Origin of our Moral Judgments. Selfish System of Hobbes. Utilitarian Ethics. Selfish System of Paley. Sentimental Theory of Dr. A. Smith. Ethical Theories. True Theory of Moral Distinction and Obligation. Moral Judgments are Rational. The Moral Emotion. Schemes of Hutcheson, Jouffroy and Brown. Supremacy and Authority of Conscience. Essentials to Moral Responsibility. [Lectures 8 & 9 & 10]

Chapter 7: Free Agency and the Will


Chapter 8: Responsibility and Province of Reason

Moral Character of Dispositions and Desires. Responsibility for Beliefs. Province of Reason in Revealed Theology of Protestant System. Rationalism. Prelatic System. [Lecture 12]

Chapter 9: Arminian Theory of Redemption

Five Points of the Remonstrants. Wesleyan View of Original Sin. Doctrine of Common Sufficient Grace Refuted. Grace in Regeneration Invincible. The Soul Passive in its Quickening. No Salvation for the Heathen without Scripture Instrumentality. [Lecture 48]

Chapter 10: Arminian Theory of Redemption

Conditional Decrees Implied in Synergism. The Result Conditioned and not the Decree. Argument of True Nature of the Will Stated, Calvinistic View Agreeable, Arminian Inconsistent thereto. Motive and Disposition Defined. Free

Chapter 11: Faith

Kinds of Faith. Temporary and Saving, Different. Christ the Special Object of Saving Faith. Implicit or Intelligent? View of Romanists refuted, of Protestants sustained. Elements in Saving Faith. Sin of Unbelief. Historical Faith Distinguished. Faith the Fruit of Regeneration Objections and Answers. Fides Formata of Rome, Distinction. Assurance

Section Two

Chapter 12: Revealed Theology: God and His Attributes

Names and Titles applied to God. God

Chapter 13: The Trinity

The Terms, Trinity, Essence, Substance, Subsistence, Person, Derived and Defined. Three Tendencies of Opinion on Trinity; the Patripassian, Sabellian and Arian Schemes Stated and Refuted. Orthodox Doctrine of the Trinity Stated and Defended. Rationalistic Explanations of the Greek Scholastics, of Thomas Aquinas. Proof of Trinity from Revelation. [Lecture 16]

Chapter 14: The Divinity of Christ

Argued from His Pre-existence. In the Old Test. Theophanies, and Angel of the Covenant. Augustine

Chapter 15: The Divinity of the Holy Spirit and of the Son

History of the Doctrine of Holy Spirit. The Orthodox Doctrine. Personality of the Holy Spirit, and the Divinity of the Holy Spirit argued from Scripture. Objections answered. Controversy on the Procession of Holy Spirit examined. Divinity of second and third Persons proved by offices in Redemption. [Lecture 18]

Chapter 16: Personal Distinctions in the Trinity


Chapter 17: The Decrees of God

His Acts Classified. Decree Proved by God

Chapter 18: Predestination

Definition. Proposition, a Definite Election of Individual Men to Salvation, Proved, from Decree from Original Sin, from Scripture Testimonies by Providence Evasions Considered. Predestination Eternal, Efficacious, unchangeable, etc. Objections. Predestination of Angels, Different from that of Man. Schemes of the Sublapsarian and Supralapsarian Examined. Hypothetic Scheme Examined. Arminian Scheme Stated and Refuted. God

Chapter 19: Creation

Terms Defined. Creation out of Nothing. The Atomic, Pantheistic and Platonic Schemes Refuted. Proofs from Scripture, from Reason, and Objections to the Eternity of the Universe and Matter. No Creature can be Enabled to Create. The Creative Week. Theories of Modern Geologists concerning the Age of the Earth. Their Grounds and modes of Reconciling them with Mosaic History. [Lecture 23]

Chapter 20: Angels

Existence and Personality of Angels. Their Qualities. Their First Estate Probation and Issue thereof. Offices of the Good Angels. Personality and Headship of Satan. Powers of Bad Angels. Witchcraft. Demoniacal Possessions. Temptations. Personal Christian Duties Resulting. [Lecture 24]

Chapter 21: Providence

Definitions. Theory of Epicurean, of General Providence. Of Pantheist. Concern of Providence in Phys. Causes and Laws. A Special argued from a General Providence. Doctrine Proved, from God

Chapter 22: Effectual Calling

Application of Redemption by Holy Spirit. Sin Necessitates the Call. Common and Effectual Calling. Designs of God in Common Call; His Sincerity therein. Scripture Argument Objections considered. Agent and Instrument of Regeneration. Pelagian and Semi

Chapter 23: Justification

Importance of correct views of the doctrine. Scripture idea of. Roman Catholic view Justification not by inherent grace and its works. Both pardon and adoption. Both Christ

Chapter 24: Repentance

Repentance of two kinds. Legal and Evangelical Repentance. Author of True Repentance. It follows new birth. How related to Faith. Yet no Satisfaction for Guilt. Fruits meet for Repentance. [Lecture 55]

Chapter 25: Sanctification and Good Works

Sanctification Defined. How related to New Birth and Justification. Agent and Means. Never Perfect in this life. Wesleyan view. Sanctification is of the whole man: and progressive. Evangelical good work what? Merit what? Congruous and Condign. None in Believer

Chapter 26: Perseverance of the Saints

Differing views of. Perseverance Defined and Proved. Objections to reconciled. Tendency of the Doctrine. [Lecture 58]

Chapter 27: Assurance of Grace and Salvation

Distinguished by Confession from Faith. Doctrine of Rome, and of first Reformers, touching. Not of the Essence of Saving Faith. The Grace attainable. Means: Self

Section Three

Chapter 28: Man


Chapter 29: The Fall and Original Sin

Sin and Guilt Defined. Adam

Section Four

Chapter 30: The Decalogue, or Ten Commandments

Definitions. Moral Distinction Intrinsic and Eternal. Of Moral Obligation. Uses of Law under the Covenant of Grace. Origin and Divisions. Rules of Interpretation. The Law Perfect. [Lecture 30]

Chapter 31: The First Table of the Law

Scope of the 1st Commandment. Roman Catholic Idolatry. Args. against Saint, Angel and Relic Worship. Scope of 2nd Commandment. Image Worship. Excuses of Rome Examined. Scope of 3rd Commandment. Lawful Oaths and Vows. Diversity in the Observance. Opinion of Papists, Lutherans, Socinians the Anglican Church, Calvin, and the Arminians each Examined. True Doctrine Westminster Assembly. Sabbath Command Moral and Perpetual, Proved by Decalogue, by Tradition. New Test. Argument Anti

Chapter 32: The Second Table of the Law

Scope of 5th Commandment. Parents represent all Superiors. Extent of the Promise. Scope of 6th Commandment. Animal Life, Capital Punishment, Defensive War, Moral Character of Dueling. Scope of 7th Commandment. Adultery and its Punishment. Divorce. Polygamy. Limits of Consanguinity. Celibacy. Scope of 8th Commandment. Origin of Right of Private Property. Usury. Buying and Selling under the Law of Charity. Scope of 9th Commandment. Grounds of Duty of Veracity. Its practical importance. Evil Speaking. Are all Deceptions Lies? Scope of 10th Commandment. Roman Catholic Division of it. The Decalogue only from God. What does every Sin deserve? [Lectures 33 & 34 & 35]

Section Five

Chapter 33: The Covenant of Grace


Chapter 34: Mediator of the Covenant of Grace

Mediator what? Why Needed in the Covenant of Grace. Jesus the Mediator of Old Testament. Hypostatic Union, Views of Gnostics, Eutychians, Nestorians and Orthodox thereon; the Ground of Efficacy of Christ

Section Six

Chapter 35: The Nature of Christ

Redemption Foreshadowed in Providence. Intervention Costs a Penalty. Substitution Unusual among Men, Why? Terms Defined. The very Penalty. Theory of Christ

Chapter 36: Results of Christ

Penance and Purgatory. History of. Roman Catholic Doctrines Stated, with their Args. and Replies. [Lecture 44]

Chapter 37: Christ

Did He Descend into Hell? Calvin

Chapter 38: Union to Christ

By what similitudes described? Its results to believers. Its instrumental and essential bond. How it resembles and differs from the union of the Father and the Son

Section Seven

Chapter 39: Prayer

Definition and Parts. Proper Objects. Grounds of Duty. Objections to, from God

Chapter 40: The Sacraments

Definition. Sacraments are Seals. Parts of Sacraments. Qualities of Elements. Sacramental Union what? Sacraments only Two: Under each Dispensation. Spurious Roman Catholic Sacraments. Doctrine of Intention. Opus Operatum. Are they Necessary to Salvation? By whom Administered? The Indelible Character Rejected. [Lectures 61 & 62]

Chapter 41: Baptism

A Permanent Ordinance. Signification of Baptismal Regeneration. Formulary. John

Chapter 42: The Lord

Definition, Names and History. Elements and Sacramental Acts. Doctrine of Real Presence. Transubstantiation. Consubstantiation. Doctrine of Calvin as to Real Presence compared with that of Zwinglius and Westminster. Supper not a Sacrifice. Private Communions Disapproved. Laity should have the Cup. Proper Administerer. Sacramental Efficiency, what? [Lectures 67 & 68]

Section Eight

Chapter 43: Death of Believers

Why Death befalls the Justified. Souls Immortal. Benefits received by Justified at Death. Sanctification then complete. No Intermediate Place. Sleep of Souls rejected. [Lecture 69]

Chapter 44: The Resurrection

Speculations on. Doctrine Defined. Qualities and Identity of Resurrection bodies. Objections dissolved. Doctrine proved from Scripture. How Dated to Christ

Chapter 45: General Judgment and Eternal Life

Purposes of such Judgment. Proofs of Time, Place, etc. The Judge Christ. Saints Assessors. Who Judged? Rule? Sentences. Nature of Saints Blessedness. Place of. [Lecture 71]

Chapter 46: Nature and Duration of Hell Torments

The Punishment of Wicked, what? Speculations as to Duration. Universalism. Objections of to Scripture Doctrine. Meaning of Bible Words. Everlasting punishments proved. [Lecture 72]

Section Nine

Chapter 47: The Civil Magistrate

True theory of Civil Government. Social Contract Theory. Civil and Natural Liberty, what? Equality. Objects and Limits of civil Powers. Higher Law and Private Judgment. Passive Obedience. Right of Revolution. [Lecture 73]

Chapter 48: Religious Liberty and Church and State

Religious Liberty and Private Judgment Established. Persecutions for opinions rejected. High Theory of Church Establishments rejected. Chalmers


Appendix A:

Geologic Theories and Chronology. Must concern Theologian. Flow to be treated by him. Burden of Proof against Revealed Facts lies on the Geologist. His, a posteriori Argument Circumstantial. Hence Invalid against Credible "Parole" Evidence. When pushed to extreme, Atheistic.

Appendix B:

Apostolic Succession and Sacramental Grace Shown to be a Blunder.

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