I am re-reading Vos’s Biblical Theology right now. I came across this great quotation, which ought to give certain modern-day theologians great pause:
The fact is that Biblical Theology just as much as as Systematic Theology makes the material undergo a transformation. The sole difference is in the principle on which the transformation is conducted. In the case of Biblical Theoloy this is historical, in the case of Systematic Theology it is of a logical nature. Each of these two is necessary, and there is no occasion for a sense of superiority in either (p. 14).
I was quite struck by the difference in attitude to ST shown by Vos as compared with many practitioners of BT today. I am quite certain that the change has to do with logic itself. That is, that logic is no longer seen as necessary for the proper understanding of theology. Contrary to the claims of some, the Enlightenment is not responsible for the logic of post-Reformation systematics. Rather, the Enlightenment is responsible for the repudiation of such systematic treatment. As soon as reason is ultimate, it quickly loses its ability to synthesize God’s truth, since it is not a sanctified reason. Therefore, Vos would be thrown out by the majority of BT practitioners today.