“Some have noted that systematic theology has fallen on hard times. Systematic theology is often contrasted with or set in opposition to biblical theology and to exegesis. Some accuse systematics of presupposing a theological grid that imposes itself on the text of Scripture, thus twisting the Scriptures and relying upon ‘proof texts’ that have been violently wrested out of their proper context. What does that have to do with this little book on the principle of ‘good and necessary consequence’ in a series titled Explorations in Reformed Confessional Theology? A close relationship exists between the widespread distrust of systematic theology and the neglect or denial of the statement found in Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF) 1:6: ‘The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man’s salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture’ Exegesis and biblical theology tell us what the words of Scripture mean or what distinguishes a particular biblical author from others, yet both often stop short in drawing theological conclusions from Scripture that show us what the Bible teaches as a whole. This is the task of systematic theology, which depends heavily on deducing divinely intended consequences from the text of Scripture. Without such deductions and the conclusions that are based upon them, we lose the ability to ask important questions of the BIble, such as what it teaches about the relationship between the persons of the Holy Trinity.”
– Ryan Mcgraw, “By Good and Necessary Consequence” (2012) in the author’s preface, xii.