This issue of the Southwestern Journal of Theology is devoted to the topic of “Historical Theology.” The benefits of studying history are many. It can be of tremendous assistance to us in the present day. For example, history helps us to understand and gain perspective on our current situation and thinking. It can answer questions like: “How did we get to where we are now?” “Where did that idea or line of thought originate?” “From what tradition did that opinion stem?” In other words, history provides us with fresh insights from past knowledge as we evaluate and make sense of our present. History also helps us learn not to repeat the mistakes of the past and enables us to see how people long ago met challenges and dealt with the crises, problems, and obstacles that came their way. History is especially valuable when studying theology because it gives us a look at the specific contexts in which theologies were created, developed, and defined. This describes historical theology.
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