Lewis Sperry ChaferKregel Publications / 1993 / HardcoverOur Price$179.995 out of 5 stars for Chafer's Systematic Theology 4 Volumes. View reviews of this product. 49 Reviews
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Esteban5 Stars Out Of 5Excellent PurchaseAugust 7, 2020EstebanQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Great set of books, surpassed my expectations!
James WinterSummer Lake, ORAge: Over 65Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Chafer's Systematic TheologyDecember 21, 2018James WinterSummer Lake, ORAge: Over 65Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Had the eight volume set and gave it to a minister acquaintance. Wanted it again for reference. It is about the best.
OpenAir5 Stars Out Of 5Wealth of KnowledgeOctober 23, 2018OpenAirQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have gleamed much from these volumes. The author has much to say and says it all intelligently and thoroughly. I highly recommend this product.
Alexander5 Stars Out Of 5Christ-centered and Bible basedOctober 11, 2018AlexanderQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Chafer wrote this from a Biblical standpoint and was Christ centered. This is a very important resource for Christians today and it behooves everyone to read this and study it while referring to the Bible. What Chafer wrote about Biblical Eschatology is of the utmost importance, as he always refers to the Bible as the final Judge. He explains and teaches from the Bible.
Matt4 Stars Out Of 5Detailed, helpful handling of the Christian doctrineSeptember 28, 2018MattQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 4I must begin this review by stating that reading this set was my first foray into the arena of systematic theology. However, that may be helpful for those of you who are also new to this type of reading and are wondering if Chafer's set is the place to start. It is certainly a lot to take in but if you are interested in learning the fundamentals of the Christian faith this is a great resource. There are many things I really liked about this set. It was a tremendous encouragement to follow along with Chafer as he unveiled many, many details about every aspect of the faith. At the same time, his particular dispensational bent was something I struggled with, which is why I took a star of my rating. Now let's dig in and talk about some specifics.
Lewis Chafer starts out by building a solid argument from the Scripture for the sovereignty of God. God's sovereignty, decree, and attributes are important foundational concepts to get a handle on. One aspect I especially appreciated was his navigation between the concepts of God's sovereignty and man's free will. The following is an example of Chafer's writing from page 192 of this first volume. "From the beginning He knows the end, and from the end He knows the beginning. Omniscience brings everything - past, present, and future - with equal reality before the mind of God. Strictly speaking the distinction of foreknowledge in God is a human conception; for divine knowledge is simultaneous as opposed to succession."
Volume 2 addresses the topics of man and sin. Chafer paints a clear picture of the definition of sin and its origin. In dealing with sin, Chafer states (page 219) "Depravity as a doctrine does not stand or fall on the ground of man's estimation of himself; it rather reflects God's estimation of man." One particular paragraph that I found to be a blessing is on page 258. This is another good example of Chafer's ability to bring things into perspective. "it is not unreasonable that the One who gives man his existence, who designs all that is best for man in time and eternity, who creates and arranges all that enters into man's environment and comfort, who exercises an unceasing providing and protecting providence, who at infinite cost prepares a remedy for man's sin and failure, who loves man with an infinite love, and desires man - even though fallen in sin - to be blessed with His richest blessings, should, being Himself pellucidly holy, be injured and offended by man's rejection of His Person, insult to His character, and rebellion against His holy will."
Volume 3 tackles just one topic - soteriology (salvation). In this volume, wonderful concepts such as redemption, reconciliation, propitiation, and justification were fleshed out masterfully. Chafer isn't afraid of quoting others throughout these volumes. An example of this can be found on page 68, on which he quotes Strong as stating "The atonement is unlimited, the whole human race might be saved through it; the application of the atonement is limited, only those who repent and believe are actually saved by it."
Volume 4 addresses the study of the church as well as end times. It is in this volume which I had most of my struggles. The conclusions Chafer came to with regard to the Kingdom of Heaven and the application of Christ's teachings were difficult for me to understand after reading his proof texts in the Scripture. I also disagreed with Chafer's conclusion with regard to eschatology. Nonetheless, it was helpful to walk through his understanding of the end times.
Volume 5 delves fully into the doctrine of Christology - the study of Christ. This volume was a huge blessing as Chafer shed light on Person and work of Jesus Christ. A good example of his handling of this topic can be found on page 156: "Christ originates and sends divine instruction to the Christian through the indwelling Holy Spirit. The Spirit may choose to employ a human teacher or a printed page or any other means to deliver the instruction. The Christian may, by this procedure, make uninterrupted and measureless progress in the knowledge of the truth of God."
Last, but not least, get ready to be convicted by Volume 6! In this section I was encouraged by such statements as on page 172: "To be a spiritual Christian (as opposed to a carnal Christian) is to walk with God in unbroken, vital companionship and communion in the enabling power of the Holy Spirit." Again on page 177: "A person is a Christian when rightly related to Christ; a Christian is spiritual when rightly related to the Spirit." And finally on page 198: "The filling of the Spirit, while it does provide for a triumph over what is evil, has as its more important objective a positive, vital life and service which only God the Spirit can achieve." This is just the tip of the iceberg as Chafer also deals with how to respond to sin in our lives and how to experience true joy.
The remaining two volumes are basically reference material. Volume 7 provides a succinct handling of many of the concepts dealt with in the first 6 volumes. I've used this at times when reading other material when I needed a reminder of certain concepts. Volume 8 is an index which I have not really used as of yet.
I came to appreciate was the frequent statements which would extend a particular doctrine into the area of the appropriate response and application of that doctrine in our lives. One such example is: "Those who know Christ best, love and serve Him most." The Holy Spirit used these kinds of statements often to bring the doctrine home for me and has since brought them to remembrance as encouragement long afterward.
In closing, I believe that every Christian should study systematic theology and Chafer's set is definitely one you should consider reading. It will bring clarity to so many foundational doctrines and help you to be "ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." (1 Peter 3:15) It will also help you to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." (2 Peter 3:18)