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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine | Wayne Grudem

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LEVEL 2

Systematic theology, simply put, is the study of what the Bible teaches on various topics, usually topics which have been highly controversial among Christians. It is the study of doctrine. And as you might expect, it can be very hard. If Christians—even the godly, intelligent, well-learned ones—have disputed the same topics for centuries, then certainly the issues must be complex and the arguments difficult. That may incline us to stay away from studying systematic theology, and yet that is impossible. We simply must come to conclusions on certain issues, such as whether Christ is fully divine or some created being, or whether people are justified by faith alone or by faith and works together, or even something as basic as how our churches should be governed. These questions must be dealt with, and so we must enter into the somewhat complicated world of doctrinal study.

Thankfully, Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology makes the task a little less daunting. As is widely recognized, Grudem’s book is the ideal beginner’s theology book. He assumes that the reader has no doctrinal training and needs to have everything explained very carefully and clearly, and yet he has no trouble taking the beginner into the subtleties of each issue. Technical terms are either avoided or explicitly defined. Furthermore, Grudem seeks to help you apply your doctrine to your life and worship, mainly by providing questions for application and relevant Christian songs at each chapter’s end. Finally, Grudem lays much groundwork for future theological study. He describes all views, even the ones he rejects, with great fullness, and he directs you to many other books for further reading from various viewpoints. Even if one does not agree with all of Grudem’s positions (as is inevitable in such a wide field as this), his approach is abundantly helpful, especially for those new to theology.

Doubtless, the reader who already has theological training will want to know Grudem’s basic theological commitments. All in all, he is the most like an orthodox Reformed Baptist. While he vigorously defends the continuation of miraculous spiritual gifts in the church today, he does so without slipping into the excesses of charismaticism. He is also a complementarian when it comes to gender debates, and he is a historical premillennialist.

If you desire to delve more deeply into Scripture, especially into the issues that are constantly debated among Christians, then this book is a great choice. But more seasoned theologians also find it useful, and so one should not get the impression that it is just for beginners. Perhaps the best systematic theology in print. It is warm, lucid, and thorough.

Sample Pages: Contents, Chapter 1

“Wayne Grudem understands that every Christian ‘does theology,’ that doctrine inevitably finds its application in the believer’s life. Clearly written, this volume demonstrates an appreciation for the rich diversity of traditions within the body of Christ while at the same time reminding us that our faith is rooted in historic Christian truth.” Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship Ministries

“If you were hoping to find a student’s textbook of theology that seeks your spiritual no less than your intellectual formation, rejoice. Wayne Grudem has written exactly what you wanted, and he has done so very competently indeed.” J. I. Packer, Regent College

“Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem is a fair-minded, thorough text in systematic theology—the best that I have seen in recent years in terms of convenient organization, clarity, and a willingness to tackle the most salient issues of the day. This is an admirable blending of the scholarly and devotional elements seldom achieved in academic books.” Paige Patterson – President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“Systematic Theology is remarkable for its extraordinary juxtapositions. It is penetrating but not confusing; forthright and unequivocal but not reckless or overstated; readable and clear but not superficial; biblically grounded, even biblically saturated, but not textually careless or glib; devout and reverent but not uncritical or naïve; practical but not trendy or sentimental; comprehensive but not majoring on minors; a book for the church but not parochial or sectarian. I expect to turn to it for decades.” John Piper, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis

“Altogether a magnificent achievement which deserves to be widely used among evangelicals.” Gerald Bray, Beeson Divinity School

“Grudem has opened the windows to let fresh air blow away mustiness and permit the Holy Spirit to infuse soundly biblical, clearheaded evangelical theology with new life and power.” Jack W. Hayford, The Church on the Way, Van Nuys, California

Other Details

Author:
Wayne Grudem
Publisher:
Zondervan
ISBN:
9780310286707
Pages:
1300
Binding:
Hardback
Size:
9.50 x 7.63 x 2.38 inches