Speculative vs practical reason in theology

I am reading Philosophical Introduction to Theology by J. Deotis Roberts. The blurb on the back of the book states that he was (he is no longer listed on their website) the Professor of Philosophical Theology at Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. So he is a Protestant Philosophical Theologian – a most rare of creatures.

In the Introduction he states :

I could also refer this section of the introduction as the hermeneutical role of philosophy in the theological task. … Throughout Christian history, philosophy has assumed the role of interpretation by which theologians have done their most profound work.

I like the quote as it states one side of the role of philosophy well. Reflect on what he is saying about philosophy (and hence human reason) in the above quote! Is reason here speculative or practical?

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