I absolutely enjoy Basic Theology by C.C. Ryrie, and if I want additional detail for my study, I used this multi-volume systematic theology set by Chafer. I would like to provide a couple of quotes from two Giants of the Faith at Dallas Theological Seminary (see below).
"Chafer's theology may be characterized as biblical, Calvinistic, premillennial, and dispensational; but chiefly he was a strong exponent of the grace of God. This central concept was related to his Calvinism (though he taught unlimited redemption); to his understanding of the distinctiveness of the church, the body of Christ, in the program of God (thus his dispensationalism); to his emphasis on the faithfulness of God to fulfill his promises to Israel (thus his premillennialism); and to grace as the ruling principle of the Christian life, coupled with an emphasis on the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Chafer was a skilled theologian, as may be seen in his excellent and often unique treatment of soteriology and pneumatology, and his theological writings gave academic status to his dispensational premillennial viewpoint. Undoubtedly his teaching and his written and popular ministry exerted a major influence for biblical understanding on the church in the twentieth century." by C.C Ryrie
Chafer's Systematic Theology stands alone among the other available theologies. Walvoord is quite correct when he writes, "For the first time modern Fundamentalism has been systematized in an unabridged systematic theology. The work is definitely creative and original. There is no other work in systematic theology which is comparable to it. Its form of treatment, method of interpretation, and unabridged character have no parallel. As a representative, authoritative, and comprehensive treatment of systematic theology it will occupy a place filled by no other publication." John Walvoord
Journal of Ministry and Theology Volume 5. (2001)., 5(1), 36.
Eight volumes condensed in four supreme hardcover binding, lacking nothing upon aesthetics. Chafer is clearly orthodox and conservative concerning all of protestant doctrinal points, which positions, it is worth noting, are always sustained and supported by the Scriptures. He doesn't base his account on scholarship, which comes into play only sporadically and oftenly to serve as an example of some trend of thought.
Chafer employs Scripture's passages extensively, what makes the study rich and slow at the same time if one intends to check on every quote of the Bible. It is true that some of the passages evoked not always seems to corroborate to his point clearly, though always somewhat related to the issue, but that's the price one pays for fulfilling barely every page with intended Scripture's proof.
Conservative points of view are evident, as well as the criticism towards liberal theology, what grants that sometimes we have dogmatic assertions and scarce problematization on the question. Not always are we presented to the suposed "proofs" of the "enemy", only to their arguments, to which a steady refutation follows right away.
The volumes are definitely thorough, comprising every tradicional division of Systematic Theology and adding to it some new aspects the author finds proper to depict. Volume 8 is an index one, a tremendous aid for searching especific topics through the set. It should not surprise that there is an author index however lacking a systematized bibliography: that's due to the emphasis on biblical passages rather than scholarship authorities.
Curiously, it is a vast work though not properly deep. It brings lots of quotes from the Bible, but it is not the pourpose to discuss exegetically or hermeneutically some questions. To that, specific books are required, though a very good indication of the problem is offered in Chafer's presentation.
It is a recommended work, worthy of high complements and, naturally, some critics also.
What an AWESOME set of volumes! I am currently reading through Vol 1 and I am blown away at the depth of thought that was put into this systematic theology. I have also referenced some topics of interest in the other volumes and they too have been equally impressive. If you want a true understanding of scriptural truths that haven't been corrupted by modern liberal apostate theologians belonging to the church of laodicea then this set of works is for you. Well worth the price!