5 Stars Out Of 5
Everyone CAN be a theologian
April 25, 2014
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."