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A Theology for the Church, an immense 992-page work edited by Daniel Akin, with contributions from leading Baptist thinkers Albert Mohler, Jr., Paige Patterson, Timothy George, and many others, addresses four major issues in regard to eight Christian doctrines. What does the Bible say? Each Christian doctrine is rooted in the Bible’s own teaching in both the Old and New Tes A Theology for the Church, an immense 992-page work edited by Daniel Akin, with contributions from leading Baptist thinkers Albert Mohler, Jr., Paige Patterson, Timothy George, and many others, addresses four major issues in regard to eight Christian doctrines. What does the Bible say? Each Christian doctrine is rooted in the Bible’s own teaching in both the Old and New Testaments. What has the Church believed? Christians have interpreted these doctrines in somewhat different ways through the centuries. How do the doctrines fit together? Each Christian doctrine must cohere with the other doctrines. How does each doctrine impact the church today? Each Christian doctrine must be meaningful for today’s church. It’s sure to become a widely-used resource in systematic theology study.


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A Theology for the Church, an immense 992-page work edited by Daniel Akin, with contributions from leading Baptist thinkers Albert Mohler, Jr., Paige Patterson, Timothy George, and many others, addresses four major issues in regard to eight Christian doctrines. What does the Bible say? Each Christian doctrine is rooted in the Bible’s own teaching in both the Old and New Tes A Theology for the Church, an immense 992-page work edited by Daniel Akin, with contributions from leading Baptist thinkers Albert Mohler, Jr., Paige Patterson, Timothy George, and many others, addresses four major issues in regard to eight Christian doctrines. What does the Bible say? Each Christian doctrine is rooted in the Bible’s own teaching in both the Old and New Testaments. What has the Church believed? Christians have interpreted these doctrines in somewhat different ways through the centuries. How do the doctrines fit together? Each Christian doctrine must cohere with the other doctrines. How does each doctrine impact the church today? Each Christian doctrine must be meaningful for today’s church. It’s sure to become a widely-used resource in systematic theology study.

30 review for A Theology for the Church

  1. 5 out of 5

    Adam Thomas

    If you're going to publish yet another Systematic Theology for the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, you probably need a very good reason for doing so. The contributors to this volume do have good reason, and are to be commended for approaching things differently, although ultimately Christians are already better served by the many classic volumes available. So what's different about "A Theology for the Church"? First, authorship. This is a multi-author work, with each topic written by someone di If you're going to publish yet another Systematic Theology for the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, you probably need a very good reason for doing so. The contributors to this volume do have good reason, and are to be commended for approaching things differently, although ultimately Christians are already better served by the many classic volumes available. So what's different about "A Theology for the Church"? First, authorship. This is a multi-author work, with each topic written by someone different. At points, approaches diverge quite significantly, and Daniel Akin did well at preserving the variety, as well as including both Reformed and non-Reformed voices. Second, this has a unique structure. Each chapter is divided into sections of biblical theology (sometimes with extended exegeses of key passages), historical theology (mostly chronological rather than topical), a more traditional systematic summary, and some applicatory conclusions. This gives a broader perspective on doctrines than you might get elsewhere. Third, the authors aim is to fuel the church for mission, and that aim becomes clear in the final section of each chapter. All this sounds very positive, but the resulting product is simultaneously too ambitious and not ambitious enough. It's too ambitious in that it tries to do too much by having four sections, so treatment often felt overly superficial. It's quite short for a systematic theology too. At the same time, it's not ambitious enough in that it is far more traditional and predictable than the description above might suggest. Yes, there are multiple authors, but it is a somewhat homogeneous group. The four-part structure is distinctive, but some authors didn't really embrace the format. And although it's a theology "for the church", so much of it remained very individualistic, more of a theology "for individuals in the church" rather than "for the church" together. In short, you might get some good use out of it, and it's certainly orthodox and helpful. But if you're looking to add a systematic the0logy textbook to your library, there are much better options. And if you're hoping for something a bit different to challenge your thinking, there are better options for that too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Parker

    A Theology for the Church is a solid general Systematic Theology from major Southern Baptist contributors. Each chapter takes readers through biblical support, a historical survey of creeds and councils on the doctrine, concluding with systematic conclusions for putting together an understanding of each doctrine. Section 1 covers the doctrine of revelation. Chapter 1 introduces readers to Systematic Theology through a Prolegomena and overviews theological methodology. Chapter 2 examines natural/ A Theology for the Church is a solid general Systematic Theology from major Southern Baptist contributors. Each chapter takes readers through biblical support, a historical survey of creeds and councils on the doctrine, concluding with systematic conclusions for putting together an understanding of each doctrine. Section 1 covers the doctrine of revelation. Chapter 1 introduces readers to Systematic Theology through a Prolegomena and overviews theological methodology. Chapter 2 examines natural/general revelation. Chapter 3 discusses special revelation. Section 2 covers the doctrine of God. Chapter 4 discusses God’s nature, being, attributes, and acts. The chapter includes a treatment on the Trinity. Chapter 5 discusses the doctrines of Creation and Providence. Chapter 6 covers the doctrine of angels, which is an interesting place to put the treatment on the doctrine. Section 3 examines the doctrine of humanity. Chapter 7 discusses human nature, including the constitution of humans. Chapter 8 covers human sinfulness (the book’s treatment on Hamartiology). Section 4 examines the doctrine of Christ. Chapter 9 is a treatment on the Person of Christ. False positions on Christ’s Person in contrast to the Nicene Creed are presented, as well as a discussion on the historical Jesus. Chapter 10 discusses the work of Christ, including His offices and work. Section 5 and Chapter 11 cover the doctrine, Person, and work of the Holy Spirit, one of the most well-written treatments on Pneumatology. Section 6 and Chapter 12 examine the doctrine of salvation. Section 7 and Chapter 13 focus on the doctrine of the church. Section 8 and Chapter 14 examine the doctrine of last things, including personal and cosmic Eschatology. A conclusion on the pastor as theologian completes the work.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Craig Hurst

    Systematic theologies are invaluable resources for the church. They are as varied as the authors who write them and some are more beneficial than others. The preponderance of systematic theologies are written by individuals within a denominational/theological tradition. While there are many books on specific topics written by various contributors, this is not the case with systematic theologies. So it is unique and a bit refreshing when a systematic theology does comes along that breaks the indi Systematic theologies are invaluable resources for the church. They are as varied as the authors who write them and some are more beneficial than others. The preponderance of systematic theologies are written by individuals within a denominational/theological tradition. While there are many books on specific topics written by various contributors, this is not the case with systematic theologies. So it is unique and a bit refreshing when a systematic theology does comes along that breaks the individual author mold. One of these few contributions is A Theology for the Church, Revised Edition edited by Daniel L. Akin. First published in 2007, the revised edition has new chapters on theological method from a missional perspective by Bruce Ashford and Keith Whitfield and a theology of creation, providence, and Sabbath by Chad Owen Brad which engages current research in science and philosophy. Additionally, the chapters on special revelation by David Dockery and human nature by John Hammett have been updated. Outline A Theology for the Church follows the standard outline of systematic theology starting with the doctrine of revelation and concluding with the doctrine of the end times. Each chapter approaches these doctrines through a fourfold pattern: (1) What does the Bible say? (2) What has the church believed? (3) How does it all fit together? and (4) How does this doctrine impact the church today? In addressing What does the Bible Say? the authors approach their work by walking through the unfolding of Scripture (Genesis to Revelation) and so so in a variety of ways. Some chapters (natural revelation and person of Christ) walk through specific passages of Scripture to answer this question. Others (special revelation, human nature, and the church) address the doctrine topically while supporting it with Scripture, much like most systematic theologies are written. Still others employ these methods and more. In the chapter on the doctrine of God Timothy George explores the nature of God by looking at His attributes and names as revealed in Scripture. In R. Stanton Norman’s chapter on human sinfulness he looks at the various terms in Scripture used to describe the nature of man and the chapter on eschatology breaks it down between the testaments. What marks the first section of the chapters is a clear desire to be faithful to the text of Scripture. The original languages and context are considered exegetically. The relationship between the testaments are mentioned where applicable. The contributors are not seeking to carve out their own names but are focused on declaring “Thus says the Lord” on every doctrine. Following the first section is the section on What has the church believed? in which the authors provide a brief 30,000 foot view from the sky outline of how the church, in different denominations, eras, and significant theologians, has understood these doctrines. Most of the chapters provide a summary of thought from the Patristic, Medival, Reformation, and Modern periods. Some chapters (like natural and special revelation, angels, and eschatology) have an additional section on the Baptist understanding in history. Further, some chapters are much more expansive in their historical treatment such as the chapter on natural revelation which presents the theology of individuals and eras. While an historical look at a doctrine can often be the weakest section of a systematic theology, this section is helpful, if for no other reason, then to show that the history of Christian thought on doctrine is not as monolithic as some suggest or wish. In a book like this that is decidedly Baptist in nature, it is welcoming to see the writers show where their understanding fits against the backdrop of 2,000 years of previous thought and reflection on Scripture. My only critique of this section is that for a book that is Baptist in nature it would have been more fitting to have a Baptist section in every chapter and not just some. The third section How does it all fit together? seeks to systematize what was explored and discussed in the What does the Bible say? section while drawing on the What has the church believed? section. Here the doctrinal conclusions are formulated while humbling acknowledging the tension that we, as theologians and readers of the text, though finite in our understanding, can know and understand when God speaks because we are made in God’s image with the ability to communicate. While there is some overlap in this section and the first section because the Biblical text is discussed in both, this section seeks to systematize the Biblical data and draw reasonable conclusions. While all of the contributors are Baptist it is in this section that one can begin to see differences in theology that go beyond their polity. For instance, while Al Mohler Jr., Timothy George, Mark Dever are Calvinists in their soteriology, those who wrote the key chapters covering salvation issues (Paige Patterson covering the atonement in The Work of Christ and Kenneth Keathley covering election in The Work of God: Salvation) are not Calvinists. This is not a criticism, merely an observation. Further, there is a clear difference between the eschatology of Mark Dever, who wrote the chapter on the church and is an amillennialist, and Russell Moore, who writes the chapter on eschatology and is a pre-tribulationalist. While Dever does not believe the Church is Israel (606) he does seem to pair them in closer connection together than Moore does (706-08). In the final section How does this doctrine impact the church today? the contributors seek to bring relevance to what has been discussed in the three previous sections. Most of these sections are good and some are much shorter than others. It is here that some of the theological differences between the contributors will come more to light and readers might express more disagreement with. All in all, there is much to learn from these sections. Conclusion A Theology for the Church tips its hat to whom it serves in its title – the Church. While they do not shy away from theological language and interaction with the original languages, the contributors have written a systematic theology that serves their Baptist audience. This book is thoroughly Evangelical, exegetically grounded in Scripture, historically sensitive, and its practical application is both timeless and timely. I recommend this systematic theology alongside others that have become staples for Baptists and all Evangelicals alike. I received this book for free from B&H for this review. 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.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Michael Boling

    Systematic Theology texts are best known for providing a compendium of theological truth into a single source, whether that be in a single volume or in a multi-volume set. Successful systematic theologies aptly incorporate sound and core biblical doctrine into a helpful resource, one which provides the reader the ability to access information on a variety of important doctrine to include developing a better understanding of not just the facts of that doctrine, but more importantly, how it impact Systematic Theology texts are best known for providing a compendium of theological truth into a single source, whether that be in a single volume or in a multi-volume set. Successful systematic theologies aptly incorporate sound and core biblical doctrine into a helpful resource, one which provides the reader the ability to access information on a variety of important doctrine to include developing a better understanding of not just the facts of that doctrine, but more importantly, how it impacts the greater message of Scripture, their daily life, and the church at large. A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel Akin, accomplishes that very feat, providing in a single volume a corpus of biblical doctrine. A Theology for the Church is divided into eight sections: The Doctrine of Revelation, The Doctrine of God, The Doctrine of Humanity, The Doctrine of Christ, the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, the Doctrine of Salvation, the Doctrine of the Church, and the Doctrine of Last Things. Unlike other systematic theology texts that are the work of a single author, this particular work contains the contributions of fourteen different theologians, each contributing their own level of theological insight and expertise. As noted in the preface, “A Theology for the Church follows a disctinctive pattern and a definite strategy. Each chapter is organized around four main questions, the order of which is significant: (1) What does the Bible say? (2) What has the church believed? (3) How does it all fit together? And (4) How does this doctrine impact the church today?” Thus, this systematic theology is theological in nature by examining what Scripture says on the topics it addresses, it is historical in that it engages how these doctrines have been understood throughout church history, it is systematic in that it seeks to fit the various parts into a cohesive and cogent whole, and it is practical in that it helps the reader apply the truths found in this volume to everyday life. An example of this excellent approach can be found in Mark Dever’s outstanding chapter on the Doctrine of the Church. As noted by Dever, the church is “the most visible part of Christian theology, and it is vitally connected with every other part. A distorted church usually coincides with a distorted gospel.” Dever follows the four part approach noted earlier by first examining what Scripture says about the church. He rightly rejects the idea that the church or assembly of God’s people is solely a New Testament phenomenon as believed by many today. The reality is “the shape of the visible church today bears a clear continuity – though not identity – with the visible people of God in the Old Testament.” God has always been about calling a distinct people to Himself to reveal to the world His glory and message for humanity, namely the message of salvation through Christ. While there are certainly differences between the Old Testament assembly and the New Testament Church, distinctions which Dever aptly notes, both are “closely related, and they are related through Jesus Christ.” Dever also provides a helpful outline of what a healthy church looks like, specifically two important marks – the right preaching of the Word of God and the right administration of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. He again roots his discussion in the Old Testament and rightly so given the call to hear the word of the Lord can be found in the Shema which is always followed by the command to hear and obey the word of the Lord. This task is also found in the New Testament and the responsibility of the church to rightly proclaim the word of truth. Ultimately, “The right preaching of the Word of God is central to the church and is the basis and core of it.” Perhaps the most helpful aspect of Dever’s discussion of the Doctrine of the Church is his outline of why this doctrine matters for us today. In a day and age where the church seems to be unsure of her mission, where many no longer feel the need to be a part of a local church community, and when many seem to be more along the lines of false teachers rather than shepherds rightly declaring the word of truth, a biblical understanding of the Doctrine of the Church is in dire need for us today. According to Dever, “A right ecclesiology matters for the church’s leadership, membership, structure, culture, and even character.” Given all the other doctrines elaborated in this book are to be expounded through the means of the church, “getting the doctrine of the church right becomes a benefit to people, as the truth about God and his world is more correctly known, taught, and modeled.” All who read this book will find themselves with a greater and broader understanding and appreciation for the core doctrines of the faith. Each contributor examines their particular topic with great perspicuity and devotion to standing firm on sound doctrine. By providing Scripture’s own statements on each subject of doctrine covered, the church’s historical position on that doctrine, and important elements of daily application, A Theology for the Church stands tall with the other great systematic theological texts. I highly recommend this work for all believers and especially for Bible College and Seminary students and most certainly for pastors. It will be a valuable resource for years to come. I received this book for free from B&H Academic for this review. 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.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Winterton

    This is very helpful introduction to systematic theology for any Christian seeking to dive deeper into their faith. I particularly like it because it is as accessible as Grudem's, but it is written by several people which enables a variety of perspectives that all fit within a Biblical orthodox paradigm. Also, I love that this text takes time to explain the development of Christian beliefs so you are able to see how beliefs have developed over time. Very well worth it! This is very helpful introduction to systematic theology for any Christian seeking to dive deeper into their faith. I particularly like it because it is as accessible as Grudem's, but it is written by several people which enables a variety of perspectives that all fit within a Biblical orthodox paradigm. Also, I love that this text takes time to explain the development of Christian beliefs so you are able to see how beliefs have developed over time. Very well worth it!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I like how each chapter is organized and especially appreciate the section in each chapter that explains how beliefs on that chapter's topic have changed over time, sometimes for the better, other times to the detriment of our understanding of who God is. I didn't realize so many of the saying we speak today originated from such faulty doctrine. I like how each chapter is organized and especially appreciate the section in each chapter that explains how beliefs on that chapter's topic have changed over time, sometimes for the better, other times to the detriment of our understanding of who God is. I didn't realize so many of the saying we speak today originated from such faulty doctrine.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Michael

    An excellent theological resource that has deepened my understanding of and love for Christ. Though it is inevitably academic, the chapters are structured with care and conviction by faithful, brilliant men like Dr. Russell Moore and Mark Dever.

  8. 5 out of 5

    David Marino

    Some chapters better than others. Enjoyed the layout of each chapter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Waldrip

    A good systematic theology, with an appendix by Albert Mohler about the pastor as a theologian and needing to be a theologian. A good read for any pastor.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nate Weis

    Haven’t read every section as this is a compilation, but Mark Dever on ecclesiology and Russell Moore on eschatology were absolutely fantastic. Those two chapters are worth the price of the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Calley

    Read this for Theology I & II. Worth the Read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Kight

    A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel L. Akin has been a unique contribution to the field of systematic theology since it was originally published in 2007. This revised edition preserves the original structure and organization of the previous edition. The book is divided into the eight major theology sections generally characterizing systematic theology—Revelation, God, Humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Salvation, the Church, and the Last Things—with fourteen chapters therein. Furthermore, A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel L. Akin has been a unique contribution to the field of systematic theology since it was originally published in 2007. This revised edition preserves the original structure and organization of the previous edition. The book is divided into the eight major theology sections generally characterizing systematic theology—Revelation, God, Humanity, Christ, the Holy Spirit, Salvation, the Church, and the Last Things—with fourteen chapters therein. Furthermore, two additional chapters have been added—Theological Method: An Introduction to the Task of Theology by Bruce Ashford and Keith Whitfield (Ch. 1) and The Work of God: Creation and Providence by Chad Owen Brand (Ch. 5)—and revisions have also been made to the chapter on Special Revelation by David S. Dockery (Ch. 3) and Human Nature by John S. Hammett (Ch. 7). One of the most unique aspects of A Theology for the Church that the reader will immediately recognize is the number of participants involved. This is unusual for this type of work, but very well executed. The contributors to this volume include prominent Southern Baptist figures, such as R. Albert Mohler Jr., Paige Patterson, Mark E. Dever, Russell D. Moore, Daniel L. Akin, Malcolm B. Yarnell III, Timothy George, and many more. Each contributor writes in particular areas of expertise and interest, making the combined effort well worth the investment. Apart from the various contributors that make up the volume, the reader will also benefit from the unique fourfold execution of each of the chapters: (1) What does the Bible say? (2) What has the Church believed? (3) How does it all fit together? and (4) How does it impact the Church today? This approach to systematic theology helpfully provides the reader with exposure to other theological disciplines, including historical theology, biblical theology and practical theology. While A Theology for the Church is certainly well-situated for use across denominational lines, it is a systematic theology text firmly established within the Southern Baptist tradition. Therefore, some doctrinal disagreement will be inevitable for the non-Southern Baptist. Of course, this should be anticipated with almost any systematic theology text—especially if you are reading it with differing theological lenses. Still, I found the interaction throughout to be evenhanded and consistent. Although I found that some of the chapters were better presented than others. One major disappointment was the lack of a ‘for further reading’ section at the close of each chapter. This would have been a helpful addition to the volume, especially given the Southern Baptist focus therein. The addition of study questions at the conclusion of the chapters would have also been a good addition. A Theology for the Church edited by Daniel L. Akin is a well-researched, historically helpful, and practically significant masterpiece of systematic theology. From the contribution roster to the intentional execution of each individual chapter, the reader is carefully guided through the rough trenches of systematic theology from beginning to end with ecclesiastical care. While a plethora of systematic theology options may be available on the market today, including a number of well-known Southern Baptist options, for the reasons outlined above (and more), I believe that A Theology for the Church has rightly demonstrated itself as one of the best. If you’re interested in a well-written and refreshingly practical engagement from a Southern Baptist perspective, then look no further. This volume comes highly recommended and will be used often. I received a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 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.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I have been reading A Theology For The Church edited by Daniel Akin and came across something that I had to share. I always find it odd the way we talk (or neglect to talk)about the Trinity. It is often treated as the black sheep of the family of essential theological beliefs. We would rather not bring it up and hope nobody else does either. So you can imagine how refreshing it was for me to come across the passage below in Timothy George’s section on the nature of God.. “Though followed by many I have been reading A Theology For The Church edited by Daniel Akin and came across something that I had to share. I always find it odd the way we talk (or neglect to talk)about the Trinity. It is often treated as the black sheep of the family of essential theological beliefs. We would rather not bring it up and hope nobody else does either. So you can imagine how refreshing it was for me to come across the passage below in Timothy George’s section on the nature of God.. “Though followed by many orthodox theologians, there is a subtle danger in the former pattern (de uno deo). The danger is that it can lead to a low-grade unitarianism that reduces the doctrine of the Trinity to an afterthought. If we begin by treating the essence and attributes of God in the abstract and then come along and say, “Oh yes, this God is also a triune reality,” the latter affirmation can easily become a secondary or even dispensable element in one’s theological system… We should introduce one further distinction before turning to some key biblical texts. The economic Trinity refers to God’s works ad extra, that is, what God has done outside himself in creation and redemption while the immanent Trinity denotes God’s relations ad intra, that is, his eternal intratrinitarian communion as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The immanent Trinity is also called the “ontological” Trinity… The doctrine of the Trinity is the necessary theological framework for understanding the biblical account of Jesus as the true story of God-and if what the Bible says about Jesus is anything other than that, we have no gospel.” Here George discusses the tendency to discuss the one God as opposed to discussing the Trinity. On the surface this comes off like a simply error but the constant habit of doing this tends to cause one to think theologically in terms of God as a single modality instead of the Triune God that He is. For God to be a single solitary modality would mean the loss of Godlike qualities the biggest of which is his self-contained fullness, that fact that God requires nothing outside of himself for His own existence. George also introduces the distinction between economic and immanent or ontological Trinity. The economic Trinity explains such things as how the Father creates, the Son saves, and the Holy Spirit sustains us. It’s what he means when he says that the doctrine of the Tinity is the necessary theological framework for understanding the Gospel. Foundational to everything is the ontological Trinity. The idea that from all eternity existed a personal God who loved, had volition, and created all things including us in His image. I really appreciated the way George handles the doctrine Trinity in this section. As I read through A Theology For The Church I find many of the sections to be like this brief, to the point, and without the complexities common in other theology texts. I would recommend this volume for any level of Christian. All that the book requires is that you have an interest in the study of God.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nathaniel Long

    This book draws me through with ease, and has a powerful sense of purpose. Never do I feel that it is parading out on its own, building a Hegelian castle where the builder(s) cannot live, but must live in a hut outside his/their beautiful creation. Quite the contrary, it feels most user-friendly, absent the presumptions you might expect from a commentary on the Bible. I attribute that sense of light and freedom to the fact that it is a Baptist work, from Southern Baptist theologians. It is absen This book draws me through with ease, and has a powerful sense of purpose. Never do I feel that it is parading out on its own, building a Hegelian castle where the builder(s) cannot live, but must live in a hut outside his/their beautiful creation. Quite the contrary, it feels most user-friendly, absent the presumptions you might expect from a commentary on the Bible. I attribute that sense of light and freedom to the fact that it is a Baptist work, from Southern Baptist theologians. It is absent the rigidity frequently associated with what people casually refer to as "organized religion." Other demoninations have more rules, featuring aspects "added" to the Bible, or aspects perfunctorily ignored. It is refreshing to see just plain Biblical exegesis, with much left unexplained. Baptists seem to be far more comfortable with a lack of definition on certain theological topics, and I appreciate this. Where it is less clear what the Bible would prescribe, this volume notably does not step in and try to wax over the holes, but merely presents a variety of widely accepted, albeit divergent or conflicting views. This book is not going to be as interesting to a nonbeliever. My sense of "light and freedom" emanating from this concise volume may best be illustrated by a reference to my experience with another theological text. Before the purchase of this text, I read parts of Systematic Theology, by Berkhof, at the recommendation of a Reformed Presbyterian friend, and I just could not get into it. My friend used it in his seminary, and there are relatively few doctrinal differences between Reformed Presbyterians and Southern Baptists. That said, I could understand each sentence, but the whole of it seemed lacking in focus and integrity for me, and I only mean "integrity," with respect to a bonding, glue, effect, not some lower moral quality. The work just didn't seem to hold together, or cohere into much for me, and I do believe reading is a very personal, creative experience, or should be. Too, my friend greatly enjoyed his text and got a lot out of it. My first "instinct" was that there was something wrong with me, so I picked it up from time to time thereafter and tried to work my way through some more of it, but always with difficulty, using willpower, but lacking enthusiasm. When I finally got this text in my hands, the difference upon me was striking. Every time I picked it up, even in noisy, casual settings, like on the subway, or at the kindergarten, while waiting outside for my fourth child, I get drawn into it immediately, no matter where I turn to start. I guess the best I say for this book on summary would be that this book works best for Baptists and those who are comfortable with a lack of definitive form for every detail of their spiritual lives, and are content to worship with a variety of believers on tertiary issues, ones which have no clear resolution in scripture. I greatly enjoy diversity and tolerance of others, so this book has been wonderful for me, though I realize it may not hold the same fascination for everybody, as it does for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy Reagan

    A Theology Of The Church, Revised Edition, edited by Daniel Akin and published by B & H Publishers, is a fine volume that no Baptist pastor can afford to be without. Sadly, I missed the original edition, but am glad to possess this revised edition. This book is not so consumed with Baptist thought that it can’t on its own two feet as a quality systematic theology–it stands well. What it adds is that extra few pages in each section on how Baptists in particular have wrestled with that doctrine. I A Theology Of The Church, Revised Edition, edited by Daniel Akin and published by B & H Publishers, is a fine volume that no Baptist pastor can afford to be without. Sadly, I missed the original edition, but am glad to possess this revised edition. This book is not so consumed with Baptist thought that it can’t on its own two feet as a quality systematic theology–it stands well. What it adds is that extra few pages in each section on how Baptists in particular have wrestled with that doctrine. I find that invaluable and something that can be found no where else. Each chapter is written by a different Baptist theologian, and as is the common problem of such a setup, there isn’t always complete consensus. Still, that is no difficulty because the editor must have strictly enforced the notion of being kind and fair to other viewpoints, particularly other common viewpoints. There is variety in Baptist thought and this succeeds at being helpful to all. In fact, I believe even one not a Baptist would love this volume. I must call out for special recognition the chapter by Kenneth Keathley on the Doctrine of Salvation. Since you may have guessed the possible bias, I will admit that I agree with his conclusions. Still, he so deftly defines issues and the points of debate. He confesses weaknesses in every viewpoint, including his own. He was charitable to all and I believe no matter your viewpoint you should read this chapter. I did not read every page in reviewing this book, but took care to read enough to get a feel for what it taught. The chapter on Human Nature was another favorite. The chapter on Eschatology was less of what I expected ( he seemed to assume we started with a basic position and understood the main ones), but still gave wonderful material needed to grasp this issue in our day. Albert Mohler’s charge to the volume’s most likely users–pastors–was spot on too. This volume is a new favorite for me. I received this book free from the publisher. 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.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Watson

    This is a decent systematic theology textbook. It is a multi-author work, which means the chapters are of varying quality. The best chapter, in my opinion, was Mark Dever's one on the church. Also very good was Russell Moore's chapter on eschatology (though his presentation of various millennial views was short and tendentious--he's a historical premillennial kind of guy). The strength of the book is that is is orthodox and it has a unique format: each chapter is devoted to one doctrine, examini This is a decent systematic theology textbook. It is a multi-author work, which means the chapters are of varying quality. The best chapter, in my opinion, was Mark Dever's one on the church. Also very good was Russell Moore's chapter on eschatology (though his presentation of various millennial views was short and tendentious--he's a historical premillennial kind of guy). The strength of the book is that is is orthodox and it has a unique format: each chapter is devoted to one doctrine, examining what the Bible says, what the church has said over nearly two thousand years, and then presenting a doctrine for today. The weakness is each chapter could be 10-20 pages longer (the book has over 930 pages of actual text, but most systematic theologies are well over a thousand pages) and some of the authors were lackluster. There are better systematic theologies out there.

  17. 4 out of 5

    John

    What a contribution! There are a few minor holes in the volume (nothing on ethnicity, eg.), but overall it is an fine work that hits just the right level. Where Grudem's Systematic Theology shoots the lay/pastor gap, Akin's shoots the pastor/academic gap and hits the mark dead on. One might think a edited volume of systematic theology would be uneven, but that proves not to be the case at all. Akin serves his reader particularly in creating a consistent structure for the chapters. I found the se What a contribution! There are a few minor holes in the volume (nothing on ethnicity, eg.), but overall it is an fine work that hits just the right level. Where Grudem's Systematic Theology shoots the lay/pastor gap, Akin's shoots the pastor/academic gap and hits the mark dead on. One might think a edited volume of systematic theology would be uneven, but that proves not to be the case at all. Akin serves his reader particularly in creating a consistent structure for the chapters. I found the sections of the chapters on the history of the theological reflection of church to be particularly insightful.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brian Chilton

    "Theology for the Church" is an excellent systematic theology book written by several contributors. While the book does not delve into apologetic matters to the degree that Geisler's systematic theology does, it does provide a well-rounded view of theology. I especially enjoyed Kenneth Keathley's contribution on "The Work of God: Salvation." He opens the spectrum of the sovereignty vs. free will discussion to include Thomism and Molinism rather than just holding to the Calvinist/Arminian debate, "Theology for the Church" is an excellent systematic theology book written by several contributors. While the book does not delve into apologetic matters to the degree that Geisler's systematic theology does, it does provide a well-rounded view of theology. I especially enjoyed Kenneth Keathley's contribution on "The Work of God: Salvation." He opens the spectrum of the sovereignty vs. free will discussion to include Thomism and Molinism rather than just holding to the Calvinist/Arminian debate, such as is needed in modern theological discussions. Keathley's piece alone is worth the price of the book. Excellent book and I highly recommend it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ben Ellis

    This is a great book if you are looking to understand theology from a largely Southern Baptist perspective. It is a helpful work that utilizes the insights of talented authors who work through serious and sometimes difficult topics of systematic theology in a way that is understandable without sacrificing the weightiness of their subjects. If you are looking for a place to start exploring theology this is a great place to start.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Schwamm

    Akin has put together a tremendous work of the doctrines of the Christian faith. His ordering of the doctrines is also a tremendous blessing and reorders our thoughts toward our God in such a way that we are edified and grow to know Him more deeply as we read. Perhaps the most wonderful volume on offer in our modern times.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Isaac Barton

    If I were to make a top-five list of one volume systematics, this would probably make it. Too much ground for one book, but good summaries throughout. See especially Mark Dever's chapter on Ecclesiology. If I were to make a top-five list of one volume systematics, this would probably make it. Too much ground for one book, but good summaries throughout. See especially Mark Dever's chapter on Ecclesiology.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    An excellent systematic theology. Doesn't cover a lot of topics one would wish it would but the ones that it does cover are for the most part well done and well researched. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars as far as systematic theology books go. An excellent systematic theology. Doesn't cover a lot of topics one would wish it would but the ones that it does cover are for the most part well done and well researched. I would give it a 4 out of 5 stars as far as systematic theology books go.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Charles Williams

    An excellent and well written Systematic Theology. This text is fresh and detailed but not so deep as Garrett or Erickson.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Garrett Starr

    I enjoyed this well-written book as it takes a historical approach in examining the development of each doctrine and explains how it arrived at orthodoxy. Great read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Courtney Carrico

    Read for college theology course! Helpful and great content but a bit hard for me to understand and digest.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Austin McNeil

  27. 5 out of 5

    Drake Hyman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel J. Cameron

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dickerson

  30. 5 out of 5

    Reid Patton

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