Let No Man Tear Asunder
My favorite theologian of all time is wont to argue that the defining task of the theologian is to make distinctions. That’s what we do. We bring clarity through precision, precision through distinction. The man who may well be my favorite theologian’s favorite theologian, Francis Turretin, published his three-volume work The Institutes of Elenctic Theology as a sort of systematic theology by contrast. Each point is broken down, compared and contrasted, and examined in light of its opposite.
One could argue that theologians are here following the path of their Maker. We serve a God who delights in distinctions. Reading through the creation account, for instance, we see not only the creation of light, but the separation of light and darkness, not only the creation of land, but the separation of land and sea, or land and sky.