This book packed full of great information, one issue I have with this single volume is that I find the print quality poor. The type set is very light making it difficult to read in low light. I would have preferred a volume with darker print for easier reading. Still a great resource though.
While I buy books from authors I don't necessarily agree with, I do like to know where an author stands before buying. It would be helpful if all sellers' descriptions of books revealed this, but they don't want to turn off a potential buyer by giving too much information. I look to reviews to fill the gap. So, FYI for those not familiar with Geisler, here is a summary of his position on a few key topics.
Biblically he holds firmly to inerrancy.
He is generally dispensational in a broad sense, but not usually overly dogmatically so.
With regard to the gifts of the Holy Spirit he is a cessationist.
Though he classifies himself as a "moderate Calvinist" on soteriology, he is really a classical Arminian (not Wesleyan) who believes in eternal security.
On creation he holds to the basic theistic view of creation, ands discusses the issues of theistic evolution and young-earth v. old-earth, but doesn't come down to a firm position, other than that man must be a special creation.
With regard to eschatology, he leans toward the dispensational pre-trib position, but leaves a lot of room for other views.
The book is organized into eight parts covering major areas of theology. Within each part are chapters deals with subtopics. Within the chapters will be found philosophical discussion, the positions of the church fathers, an analysis of the different views on a subject (including non-orthodox views), Biblical passages which deal with the topic.
Generally Geisler fairly presents all views on a subject and then presents his own conclusions. This can be uneven as he may sometimes oversimplify or misrepresent a view, but he does as well as can be expected given our humanity. His arguments are generally well reasoned regardless of whether you agree with him or not. He is a clear writer. The nature of the work is technical, but it is still readable. Charts and tables are helpfully used to summarize comparisons of positions.
While the work is definitely a systematic theology, as noted above, it also contains helpful elements of philosophical theology, historical theology, biblical theology, and comparative theology.
In the section on God (theology proper), you will not find the expected sections on Christology or Pneumatology. Also many topics under these headings won't even show up in the index. It's not that Geisler doesn't discuss these topics. The information is in there, but it's hard to find. For example, I tried to find his discussion of the hypostatic union of the natures of Christ and I just can't find it, even though I am pretty sure it is in there someplace.
As a philosopher, metaphysics is Geisler's strong suite, but it can also be his weakness. He sometimes tends to put more emphasis and weight on metaphysical arguments than may be warranted. Just as math breaks down when we perform operations that involve infinite values (e.g. dividing by 0 or comparing infinity with infinity plus 1), so metaphysical logic can go astray when applied to the infinite and eternal. I believe occasionally Geisler falls into this trap. He also can make metaphysical assumptions that create blind spots when dealing with opposing views.
Perhaps my biggest issue with Geisler is around topics that involve the Calvinist/Arminian debate. He defines Arminianism as everything that isn't Calvinism, including many views which are distinctly contrary to classical Arminianism. He also includes within "Calvinism" every position found the Articles of Remonstrance, except the doubt regarding eternal security of the believer. This may be a popular misunderstanding of the two systems, but it should be inexcusable for a graduate of two year Bible school, let alone a recognized scholar in the fields of metaphysics and theology. Both Arminians and Calvinists will find this extremely frustrating, and it detracts from what is otherwise an extremely good analysis of the actual questions involved.
That being said, I gained a number of extremely useful insights from this book, and I will continue to refer to it and recommend it.