Although I started this project as an exercise in historical theology, a constructive thesis emerged: when Christian doctrines assert the truth about God, the world, and ourselves, it is a truth that seeks to influence us. As I worked through the text, the divisions of the modern theological curriculum began making less and less sense to me. I could no longer distinguish apologetics from catechesis, or spirituality from ethics or pastoral theology. And I no longer understood systematic or dogmatic theology apart from all of these. In the older texts, evangelism, catechesis, moral exhortation, dogmatic exegesis, pastoral care, and apologetics were happening at the same time because the authors were speaking to a whole person. Our neat divisions simply didn’t work. Eventually the distinctions between historical and systematic theology and between theology and biblical studies began to weaken, too. I realized that I was uncovering a norm of theological integrity that had become unintelligible to the modern disciplines.
Ellen Charry, from By the Renewing of Your Minds: The Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine