This is the revised edition that was originally published in 2007. Designed primarily to be used as a textbook or for pastors’ reference, it is a large, comprehensive volume. As such, I will likely be reading this over the course of the next year. As a reference book, it doesn’t need to be read straight-through.
The introduction is extensive and lays out the methodology and reason for the importance of theology in the life of the church and thus the Christian. The premise of the book is that Scripture determines theology, for Scripture reveals who God is, which is the basis of our theology.
Natural and special revelation are discussed, including how the Bible portrays general revelation (for example, creation of the world by God in Genesis 1). Special revelation deals with Scripture and its authority and includes the different views of inspiration.
Covering the following areas of systematic theology – the study of God, humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, salvation, the church and last things, each chapter asks the questions: What does the Bible say on this topic? What has the church believed on this topic? How does all of it fit together? and How does this topic (doctrine) impact the church today? The chapters are written by different authors.
The writing is good and this makes for a great reference work on theology – coming at it from the 4 questions mentioned above. It also makes for a great textbook on the subject of theology. A recommended resource for studying theology, for it starts with what the Bible says about a particular doctrine, then brings the history of the church to bear on the subject and concludes with how that doctrine impacts the church of today.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher B&H Academic in exchange for my review.