I can only review Volume 1, as I bought it by itself from the "slightly damaged" discount page(I would have rated it Near Fine if selling it, it looked great to me). As my first experience with a book on ST, it was, quite simply, exactly what I was looking for. A wonderful book, very readable. I've already started passing it around my group. Now if someone would just drop the right box of books, maybe I can get the rest of the set.
I found this work quite useful for my systematic theology lectures at our Bible School. One of the strengths of Oden's Systematic Theology is the attention it pays to the historical development of doctrine. It does justice to the variety of Christian traditions.The three-volume set may scare quite a few, don't be discouraged! It is simultaneously well documented and easy (even fun) to read, and the major subjects are presented in an appropriate sequence, mostly based on a Trinitarian approach. The only odd thing I noticed is that while the author seems to lean towards genuine, historical Arminianism (certainly not semi-Pelagianism or the like) he nowhere states it with so many words. Otherwise, strongly recommended!
This is an excellent work. Oden sifts through the entire Christian tradition to offer the core of the faith, as it is held in consensus across all churches/denominations and periods of history. He references all of the classical theologians continuously in addition to citing Scripture. This systematic theology really is "mere Christianity" the way the whole church has always believed the faith "once deliverd to the saints". My only complaint is that there are a number of editorial mistakes in the Scriptural or theological citations. Usually it is just the wrong chapter or verse number and is pretty easy to figure out what he really means if you are familiar with the Bible, but sometimes I am at a loss. The editors should have gone through all those references more carefully before publishing it.