A friend of mine told me not to read this book: it was too dry. THEY WERE WRONG! I guess I would be a "layperson", but I found reading this book really set me on the road to understand sound doctrine. Ryrie's writing doesn't confuse or leave the uninformed behind, and by the time your done reading this, you have a solid footing with which you can study Scripture from. Ryrie gives enough information, enough background on the topics to allow the reader to see the history of Christian Theology, and yet have a surer understanding of what it is you believe. All Christians are called to understand sound doctrine, and this is a good place to start.