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Colorado Springs, CO
5 Stars Out Of 5
A very helpful introduction to Systematic Theology
June 22, 2016
Colorado Springs, CO
R.C. Sproul defines theology as an "orderly, coherent study of the principal doctrines of the Christian faith." From here he goes on to expound, for 60 chapters, each of those principal doctrines Protestant Christians have believed in for centuries. Not only does he expound on the development of each doctrine in relation to redemptive history, he goes further in guiding the reader to an orthodox understanding of each loci over against heretical trajectories past theologians have traveled.
As with every volume Sproul has written, his well-read expertise shows through. He weaves a philosophical thread through each doctrine addressing both the practical applications of each, but also the deeper and more complex issue the specific doctrine is faced with. Here his "Ligonier Apologetic" shines most brightly. You can really tell Sproul is in his element as he challenges modern skepticism and outright atheism in response to their attacks on existence of God and the revelation of His Son.
As an introduction, I could not recommend this enough. Sproul does an excellent job of getting to the heart of each doctrine as rooted in Holy Scripture and in the revelation of God's character to mankind. He roots his study in this revelation and continues to build upon that mighty foundation. Each doctrine has been careful mulled over in the mind of Sproul as he leads the reader towards a greater understanding of the the Godhead and the glory contained therein.
One thing I appreciate about Sproul in general, which is found in this book, is that he does not dare speak where he does not think the Bible speaks. For example, in claiming not to know the exact age of the earth Sproul simply claims that he doesn't know. Both the Old Earth theory and the Young Earth theory hold water in their various arguments. The Scripture does not explicitly say that "In the beginning God created the earth 6000 years ago" hence the apprehension to claim one side over the other.
As a counterpart to What is Reformed Theology, Everyone's a Theologian is sure to add great value to anyone's study of theology. Whether you're just getting into the vast ocean of literature dealing with Systematic Theology or you are years into it, Sproul is sure to bring life and clarity to your study. His turn of phrase and his skill in many subject areas comes together to create an introduction to doctrine unlike any other.
America's Top 21st Century Theologian Hits a Grand Slam
November 30, 2014
Met R.C. in Stahlstown
R.C. Sproul is as good as the masters, Calvin, Owen, Gertsner, Edwards and all the rest in taking complicated and deep Biblical topics that often need to be clarified in relation to other doctrines rather than stand-a-lone and making them understandable to God's people. He is really the best of our age. This book makes the big three of doctrine, worship and church government clear to every believer. Highly, highly recommended.
Books relating to systematic theology have too often been neglected and ignored by Christian readers. This is quite understandable, as most of these tend to be way too long and far too deep. We also tend to leave doctrine and theology to the pastors and scholars. Thus, I was immediately intrigued by the title. If everyone can be a theologian, that would include me.
I've read R.C. Sproul's writings before and they have all been fabulous so I had high expectations for this one. For a systematic theology book, it's quite short. Through 60 chapters, he takes the bible's most important concepts and reveals their essence with a rigid clarity. Although most of the chapters seem to be simple introductions to the bible's core teachings, he makes it clear that a theologian does not to need know every nook and cranny. I love his statement, "Everyone is a theologian, but either a good or bad one."
Before diving in, the first chapter covers several assumptions in regards to systematic theology:
1 - God has revealed himself in nature and in the Word
2 - God reveals himself according to his own character and nature in an intelligent way that is meant to be understood
3 - There is a unity and coherence to the word of God
4 - There is a consistency to his revelation as the bible states "He is the same yesterday, today and forever"
I believe these assumptions create a solid foundation for the importance of systematic theology.
Sproul has always done a fantastic job at including historical context, scriptural reference and practical wisdom for authoritative support and this book is no exception. He also mentions the wisdom of other highly regarded theologians, revealing his humility in still learning from others. He also is bold with pointing out heresies and fallacies. He has a unique gift in transforming complex, problematic and intricate biblical concepts into simplified, understandable nuggets of wisdom. He also manages to keep it compelling and engaging. This book minimizes the monotony and dryness of other textbook-like systematic theology books.
I believe Sproul did an excellent job. Anyone seeking a basic, concise knowledge of systematic theology would benefit from this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher as part of their review program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."