The below is a collection of sites that may be of profit to someone studying systematic theology; they are arranged in alphabetic sequence of URL.
For a more Thematic approach I have included a table of contents:
A graphic but small homepage gives way (by pressing Bible studies) to a nice clean thematic index on various theological topics. There are no popups or flyovers or any other form of advertising.
Here is a brief description of the views of the Baptist church that puts this site up:
We enthusiastically believe that solid, Biblical theology is necessary to undergird Christian experience and worship. Sadly, many churches today have turned, instead, to a "feel-good- gospel" and an entertainment-oriented worship; and in the process, the clear teaching of the Bible has been neglected. But convinced of the value of knowing God through His Word, we at Word of Life regularly gather around the Scriptures to learn there more about Him and how we may live better to serve and glorify Him. Our goal is to see the Word of God prevail (Acts 19:20) in our preaching, evangelism, and personal lives; in this way, we may bring glory to Him
The texts available are broad but relatively few in number. The section on sotierology has some articles by Spurgeon, under contemporary issues there are articles written within the last couple of years.
The site also has a good collection of links although they are described as bookmarks which can confuse the unwary at first.
This is a Bible students 'mega' site. The main home page is rather cluttered and they use a lot of space trying to push their new translation down your throat. However an unobtrusive link on the left hand side points to main table of contents which is an index on some good literature on theology. Once away from the main page (at least down this link) the site becomes cleaner and less obtrusive.
They have a layman's guide to systematic theology that is quite a nice starting point. There are large sections on Bibliology and Christology, the essays are arranged almost in a question/answer format. Some papers seemed aimed at beginners; others are rather advanced. All (at least the ones I tried) are nicely presented.
Although Bible.org does not declare a theological bias a review of the people on the board show a heavy 'Dallas Theological Seminary' bias.
The other point to note is that a large proportion of the reason behind this site seems to be the promotion of the 'net' Bible. This is a new translation by a group of 20 Bible scholars that are not tied to any given denomination. They have sought to use the advantages of electronic publishing to try to produce a new kind of Bible. The biggest 'new' feature is just the sheer volume of translators' notes they are able to put in place. For me the one huge reservation I have is that the choice of the Greek and Hebrew texts that they were translating was a fairly quick and 'non-standard' decision. In particular on the Greek side of things they are not using the textus receptus and have not even switched to the Nestle-Unger, rather preferring to 'collect' the texts together themselves. To me the whole issue of translation accuracy becomes dubious if you're not sure about what you're translating.
The systematic theology part of this site is actually at http://www.Bibleteacher.org/Dm062.htm but the whole site is a worth addition to your favorites list. It is part of didaskalos ministries. The site has most of the features I generally hate: huge graphics, gaudy colors, sidebars, moving text, popup adverts and a huge opening page that stretches for miles.
However the description of why he does this is superb and he uses the KJV. About halfway down the opening page is a menu describing some of the areas of teaching he has available. It is very extensive and there are pointers to links to a huge collection of texts on theology and most other Christian subjects. His sections on eschatology, systematic theology and theology are particularly good. Below that he has a nice collection of sermons. Additionally he has a link to public domain that appears to be a fairly comprehensive collection of classical Christian literature.
His doctrinal position is detailed clearly, here is an excerpt that about sums it up:
There are many other things we hold to be Biblically true, but if you read and can tolerate (if not accept) these initial doctrinal statements, then we can safely (and without argument) continue this Bible study series. Nothing at this site is written with hatred or division in mind, but is written to help others seek out and understand the God we worship through Christ Jesus. The Southern Baptist Convention "Faith and Message" (which is, in our opinion, a very conservative and Biblical creedal statement) will give you an overall view of what this Ministry doctrinally supports, though in religious liberty we explore the entirety of scriptural teaching. You may think that we are rather close-minded about the above points, and I guess, you are right. When you base your faith on the strictest teachings of the Word of God, anything less than close-mindedness in the basic necessities is hypocrisy.
The CARM website is really a home page for the CARM organization.
The purpose of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry is best explained by themselves:
From Here:CARM is a 501(c)3 nonprofit Christian apologetics organization whose purpose is to equip Christians with good information on doctrine, various religious groups (Mormonism, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.), cults, Evolution, New Age, and related subjects.
In terms of appearance the website has many of the heavy & busy features I don't like although there is nothing popping up or moving.
The reason for the inclusion of this site is that it has a very good theological dictionary with hot-links to verse references and other dictionary references. It also has a good section on Christian doctrine. The articles are written in an apologetic style that won't suit everyone but is good for 'discuss' type theology papers.
Although not directly connected to theology they have a nice section on the so-called difficulties of the Bible too.
The Christian Classics Ethereal library is well known for containing many Christian doctrines of varying vintages. A good clean site, tastefully embellished without any pop ups or flyovers. Whilst the purveyors probably have a doctrinal bias (it is published by Calvin College) they have restricted the expression of it to the papers that they have included on the site.
The stated intent of this site is to have over 1000 Christian texts available for download, they are still quite a long way off but they already have many that are of use, although a good number are available elsewhere too.
Of particular interest for studying theology they have organized their books by topic. I have provided the link for the doctrinal theology. They have the Finney book, Edwards on the trinity, discourses on divine attributes by Charnock and a good selection on salvation.
One word of warning, they don't seem to vet their books too carefully; they even have a treatise by Ellen G White!
For me to recommend a Catholic site is extremely unusual, and I would indeed recommend that the contents here are handled with care. However what I like about this site (or at least this portion of it) is that it is clean, quick and to the point and contains a list of articles, including many very historic ones, organized under a systematic theology.
The systematic theology section is divided into:
There is also a moral theology section.
The ancient documents from Augustine, Irenaeus, Aquinas et al are very useful for observing how religious thought has progressed. There is a good interweaving of modern documents too including a number from Vatican II. Under 'other links' is a list of documents that are not exclusively Catholic. A number are ecumenical and some are not Catholic at all.
This is a professional looking site, this means both sides of the screen are covered with buttons and the text is squeezed into the middle. Although it has a big sounding url it is really the homepage of Don K Preston a preterist. In his own words:
This site teaches the doctrine known as preterism or covenant eschatology. This site is sponsored by the Ardmore Church of Christ in Ardmore, Oklahoma. See the contact info section for more information on how to reach us.
Pressing the articles button leads to a good selection of topics covering both revelation and also other related subjects such as Daniel, the Lord's Supper, Matthew 24 and even bapism.
I perhaps need to stress that I agree with almost nothing of what this web site says, but I do consider it to be an erudite and clear exposition of an alternate opinion to my own. The site also has a small collection of links to other preterist sites.
This is a very professional looking site, which aims to look like a newspaper and has won numerous awards. Is noise on both sides of the main text making articles long and slow to download. On the plus side the prose is well written, both direct and fresh.
Their own statement about their purpose is:
Eschatology Today is dedicated to the proposition that all Christians are created equal in their ability to intelligently interpret the Holy Spirit's eschatological record. Our aim is to rid Christendom of the humiliating blight of 'Pan-tribism.'
Pan-tribism is the woeful state of feigned ignorance a majority of Bible-toting Christians claim when asked to give a defense for the prophetic Scriptures.
They deal primarily with the interpretation of Revelation and work extensively at a hermeneutic level.
They really seem to wish to teach how to interpret the book rather than to push their own point of view. There is also a fair amount of humor on the site. Whilst I don't agree with everything they say I like the way they are trying to make the truth approachable.
I was lead to this site by the table of contents for a systematic theology book by Rev. James Petigru Boyce, D. D., LL. D., Joseph-Emerson-Brown Professor of Systematic Theology in The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
I will let them express the purpose of the site: -
Founders Ministries is a ministry of teaching and encouragement that seeks to promote both doctrine and devotion expressed in the Doctrines of Grace and their experiential application to the local church, particularly in the areas of worship and witness. Founders Ministries takes as its theological framework the first recognized confession of faith that Southern Baptists produced, The Abstract of Principles. We desire to encourage the return to and promulgation of the biblical gospel that our Southern Baptist forefathers held dear.
Like most of my favorite sites it is simple html, nothing pops up for flies over. The original link (http://www.founders.org/library/boyce1/toc.html) is a table of contents for a complete work upon systematic theology by James Boyce first published in 1887. I haven't read it all but the bits I checked looked interesting. In the 'library' there is also a theological work by John L Dagg and a handbook of theology too.
This is a product of the E4 (for Ephesians 4) foundation. The site itself I actually don't like. It has a very approachable look, lots of very elegant graphics and the 'lead-you-by-the-hand' approach the usually identifies someone trying to get rich quick. The opening page even has a photo of the owners with their two children and an accompanying hard luck story. The second page is full of testimonials and so the sell continues. The order form with the drop-downs to select how hard they have worked and the blatant begging is also unappealing.
However if you leave my personal biases to one side the basic premise of this site is extremely attractive. They have gathered together 37 extremely good Christian books and fitted them into the Logos search system that is highly adapted to serving up Christian literature (as opposed to simply 'biblical' literature). The whole lot can be obtained for $7.95 (if you can resist the begging).
Of particular interest on the theology front it includes Dabney and Hodge, the Westminster Confession and the Hodge commentary thereon. It also contains Smeaton on the atonement and Own on the Trinity.
They have an extensive collection of add-on CDs that you can obtain for a $40 'donation' although they claim to give away these on a monthly basis anyhow.
This is the website for ICLnet. There are a number of reasons I like this site. First of all the presentation is clear, uncluttered, free from ads and fairly quick to download by dialup. It is also comprehensive in its' links to other organizations and literature available upon the web. It may have some denominational bias, but if so they keep it to themselves, they seem to focus on just serving as a directory to follow.
Whilst I could describe what they try and do, the can do it better themselves:
The newly renamed Internet Christian Library (ICLnet) has grown upon the foundation laid by The Institute for Christian Leadership (ICL), which provided its resources to Christian higher education institutions from 1983 through 1995. Those services included publishing the Faculty Dialogue and sponsoring a host of writing seminars and workshops for faculty which addressed critical issues facing Christian higher education. The Murdock Charitable Trust, of Vancouver, Washington, was primarily responsible for its support through those years. During that period, ICLnet was developed as an archive to support research, and then expanded as a ministry function of ICL. Since 1994, Worldstar Internet Technologies, Inc. has assumed the costs of hosting the ICLnet website. Volunteers continue to maintain existing materials and their links, as well as research new ones.
The main headings they have available are: Missions on the Internet, Resources on the net, literature on the net, early church documents, the reading room, software library and a directory of Christian organizations.
Particularly pleasing is that they have performed a hand categorization of their links which saves hours of endless trawling through search listings.
It is fairly compulsory for me to include a link or two to something close to my own movement. This site is really constructed as a memorial to the Plymouth Brethren. The site is does not have advertising although there is some graphical work. Also the colors are horrible. That said it is quite easy to get into the document section (entitled treatises) and from there things become a lot plainer.
I know far too much about the theology of this group to explain it succinctly. John Darby is probably the most famous father of the bunch and he is also the one that really brought pre-trib rapture back to life. To quote LaHaye:
"John Darby figures to be a central figure in any study of the pre-Trib Rapture. There is little question that he did more than any other man to organize and popularize the view both in the United States and Great Britain. Born in 1800 and single all his life, he dedicated his boundless energies to advancing the cause of Christ through soul-winning, preaching, Bible teaching, church building, conference teaching, and publishing."
As well as the articles posted on this site there are links into some other brethren theology too.
This is a link to the theological contents page of Mr D's website. The website proper is fairly heavily graphical and there are pop ups and fly overs and all sorts. However once you dig down to this index things become fairly sane and simple and an detailed set of theological notes is made available.
His description of himself is:
I have pastored, interim pastored and copastored churches over the years. These have been self support type ministries. I taught at a Bible Institute for four years. This is where the title for this book came from. The school attempted to bring about a respect between student and teacher by upholding the tradition of the students addressing the faculty as Mr. Derickson, etc. In my first year of teaching, the students found that Mr. Derickson took to much time, so they shortened it to Mr. D. This title carried with it the same respect, yet to me, seemed to carry with it also a note of familiarity, which I desired. My education is as follows:
One of the nicest features of his theology works (he has others) is that he has both contents and indexes very well defined so it is easy to 'dip in' to find out what he thinks upon a subject. As a lecturer for four years he has also included a set of questions at the end of many of his articles.
Whilst he does have a lot of sound theologic information he also intersperses he notes with devotional snippets and even homey little stories. I actually rather enjoy the style but some may fear it is a little un-academic.
In terms of presentation this is just about the perfect site. Every page is quick, almost no graphics and no long run-on pages. The opening screen is an index into over 4000 different articles all of which are available free of charge.
The reason and logic behind the site is best given by them :
Religion Online is moderated by William F. Fore. It came about when Fore taught at the United Theological College in Bangalore, India, during 1997. He discovered that books were almost impossible for students and professors to obtain. For example, a single copy printed in the USA cost about one-third of a professor's monthly salary. When Fore checked out religious resources on the Internet, he found that most sites only refer people to other sites. There were very few sites providing actual texts, and even fewer with scholarly material written by recognized scholars. So Religion Online was born.
What marks this site out, at least amongst my recommendations, is that it is not all-old conservative theology. The different brands of theology are delineated and available. That doesn't mean I agree with them all, but if you are studying the subject you need to know what the arguments are. Additionally the link to each resource is annotated (I assume by William Fore) with a precis of the contents. This is a blessing to those on a dial-up as it prevents the download of pages that will not be of help.
Also don't miss the link to BOOKLIST this is a pointer to over 190 online books.
This website appears to be maintained by one man yet it shows hours and hours of work. The index screen is very heavy, somewhat cluttered and rather too 'pretty' for those on a dialup modem. He also has a way of 'phasing' from one page to the next via an 'expanding circle effect' that quickly irritates. That said his agenda is very laudable and up-front.
This site is conservative, historical, literal, and fundamentalist in it's views and interpretation of the Bible! This ministry has been set up with three goals in mind! These three goals are:
The site contains many links of an 'evangelistic' or possibly 'apologetic' nature. Of most interest to a theology student would be his systematic theology. This is divided into 15 studies. Each study is very nicely presented (without being too over the top) and he tackles most of the normal issues but also includes a good amount of substantiating evidence. Whilst not as scholarly as some sites, if you actually want to understand what is going on this is pretty good.
This is a fairly simple and small site although in my opinion it serves it's purpose very well. The opening screen gives way to a fairly straightforward floating table of contents. The table of contents expands as you follow the subjects. There is no obvious advertising and no pop-ups or flyovers.
For the theologian the interesting headings are doctrine, applied theology, theology and theologians. Under those headings he has a good collection of materials and all of the links I tried actually work.
One feature that I particularly liked is that his listings include both online and offline texts and he provides links for chasing down the offline texts. I think this is very important as there is otherwise a great tendency to limit research to that which is available online rather than that which is available.
Theology Online is primary a collection of theology discussion forums. The side is quick to get into although the main screen is relatively busy. Attention is immediately drawn to the most active discussion forums.
This is not a particularly moderated resource so great discernment needs to be exercised in the use of it; in particular there is not guarantee (or even implication) that the participants are saved. However if you want to ask a question there is usually someone who is will to respond.
To participate a registration is required, this is good as most people give a short bio whilst registering so it is possible to see where they are coming from. In all there are just over 500 active participants.
I also like their links page, it is smaller than many but they give multiple ways to sort and search, they allow the reporting of broken links and they even have a rating mechanism. This can be a good way to quickly get to reasonable sites.
The heading contemporary theology may be a direct turn-off for some people. The theology on this site comes from a series of journal articles written over the last 50 years and seems to cover a broad spectrum of theological thought.
Here is what they say about themselves:
Theology Today, a quarterly ecumenical journal of theology, publishes articles on a wide range of classical and contemporary theological issues by many of the finest theologians working today. Theology Today is published by Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ.
I do like the way the site is executed. There is a little prettiness on the front screen but that quickly drops into a multi-way indexing system allowing the journal to be browsed, searched or thematically sorted. You can even do full Boolean searches.
All of the pages come up quickly and are in nice bland html. It appears the full magazine text is online so this site can also be used as a source of book reviews.
This is a nice simple site, there are some graphics and the main page is long but this is made up for by the fact that the site is very shallow. Essentially it is an index of articles by 14 different me. Most of the articles are available in html and pdf format. There is a slight nasty that if you have strict browser checking on, and a programming debug tool installed, it will try to debug that main page when it loads (suggesting an html formatting error).
There is no explicit doctrinal statement given although many of the 14 men come from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando which gives the flavor. This page is a sub-page of third millennium ministries which has the following doctrinal statement:
The articles range from the apologetic through to the 'issues facing us today' through to some fairly heavy treatise. The ones I read were fairly short, interesting and well written.