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Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrif Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrificing depth. Thoughtfully arranged and refreshingly readable, this is a book that belongs on the shelf of every Christian.


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Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrif Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrificing depth. Thoughtfully arranged and refreshingly readable, this is a book that belongs on the shelf of every Christian.

30 review for Concise Theology

  1. 5 out of 5

    David Steele

    In July 2020, the church lost a great titan of the Christian faith. J.I. Packer went to be with the Lord he loved so much. He was as he once said, "British by birth and Canadian by choice." This man of God wielded a mighty influence on countless numbers of people all around the world. One of my biggest regrets in life is falling asleep during a Packer sermon when I was an immature Bible College student. Put off by his British accent and outdated dress, I withered away an opportunity as true great In July 2020, the church lost a great titan of the Christian faith. J.I. Packer went to be with the Lord he loved so much. He was as he once said, "British by birth and Canadian by choice." This man of God wielded a mighty influence on countless numbers of people all around the world. One of my biggest regrets in life is falling asleep during a Packer sermon when I was an immature Bible College student. Put off by his British accent and outdated dress, I withered away an opportunity as true greatness stood before me. The funny thing is that Dr. Packer would have recoiled at the reference to "greatness" uttered in the same sentence as his name. A good friend once shared how Packer rebuked an audience for giving him a standing ovation - when God alone is worthy of such adulation. Thirty years after my mistaken nap during Dr. Packer's sermon, I heard him again - this time at a conference in Minneapolis, celebrating Jonathan Edwards' 300th birthday. I remember being captivated by Packer's sermon. He was simply riveting. His accent was no longer a problem. I could care less about his taste in clothing. This man was delivering the Word of God with passion, authority, and God-centered resolve. Most people credit R.C. Sproul with the resurgence of Reformed theology in America. It's probably true that Dr. Sproul is behind a lion's share of the renewed interest in Calvinism, otherwise known as the doctrines of grace. And John Piper is certainly a key player when one considers the uptick in Reformed thought, especially among young men and pastors. If R.C. Sproul is the mind behind Reformed theology and John Piper is the heart behind the Reformed faith in the 21st century. Surely then, J.I. Packer is the backbone of Reformed theology. When J.I. Packer penned Knowing God in 1973, the evangelical world reverberated with Christ-centered joy as he reminded the church about the essential attributes of God. Thankfully, Crossway Books is committed to keeping the memory of J.I. Packer alive with the recent re-publication of Concise Theology, which first appeared in 1993. Concise Theology is quite frankly a mini-systematic theology. Instead of taking 50 pages to explore the doctrine of the Trinity or the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, this book narrows the discussion to a few pages. Thus, the great benefit of this work is its brevity. In a few minutes, readers can get a solid overview of a subject from a world-renowned Reformed theologian. Concise Theology is a must-read for pastors and students of theology. Each chapter invites readers to ponder the depth and profundity of the Scriptures, which always directs their gaze to a holy God.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Megan Miller

    Despite how very long it took me to read, I really loved this book. It's not necessarily designed for reading cover to cover like this, more as a reference book. But it was definitely worth it. Now I am familiar with it, and can remember to use it as a resource later. And it will be an excellent one. My favorite section was his chapter on Election. In less than 3 pages, he managed to give me a clearer picture of election than anything else I've heard or read. Not that that's all I loved. In almost Despite how very long it took me to read, I really loved this book. It's not necessarily designed for reading cover to cover like this, more as a reference book. But it was definitely worth it. Now I am familiar with it, and can remember to use it as a resource later. And it will be an excellent one. My favorite section was his chapter on Election. In less than 3 pages, he managed to give me a clearer picture of election than anything else I've heard or read. Not that that's all I loved. In almost every chapter there was a moment of, "Woah! That makes perfect sense." So yeah, five stars, for sure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    2010: I was gripped by this book! Not sure why precisely -- I don't always find theology gripping. Packer was repeatedly able to condense massive, complex concepts into only a paragraph or two and yet leave me feeling satisfied. I enjoyed the comprehensive scope -- this was my first foray into a systematic theology cover to cover. Most encouraging was how practical I found this book to be -- it was spilling into my everyday life all the time, which has to be theology at it's best. 2019: Read toge 2010: I was gripped by this book! Not sure why precisely -- I don't always find theology gripping. Packer was repeatedly able to condense massive, complex concepts into only a paragraph or two and yet leave me feeling satisfied. I enjoyed the comprehensive scope -- this was my first foray into a systematic theology cover to cover. Most encouraging was how practical I found this book to be -- it was spilling into my everyday life all the time, which has to be theology at it's best. 2019: Read together with our elders over the course of a year or so - a very helpful exercise.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kofi Opoku

    Clear and straight to the point. Highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Moore

    Read a chapter or two each day over the span of three months. This is a helpful, biblical introduction to systematic theology disciplines, thought it is not robust and not truly a systematic theology text (know that before you get it). Essentially, Packer writes 3-4 pages on various theological subjects with many Scripture references throughout (not much is offered in the way of exegesis though - much more proof/texting, though it’s helpful). Would be ideal for lay people to get started in readi Read a chapter or two each day over the span of three months. This is a helpful, biblical introduction to systematic theology disciplines, thought it is not robust and not truly a systematic theology text (know that before you get it). Essentially, Packer writes 3-4 pages on various theological subjects with many Scripture references throughout (not much is offered in the way of exegesis though - much more proof/texting, though it’s helpful). Would be ideal for lay people to get started in reading theology and to discover more subjects they want to give focused study to.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

    This is the most concise book on systematic theology I've seen that is legitimate. So, I suppose it is aptly named. It is succinct, chock-full of Scriptural references, and still thorough. Great intro book for anyone wanting a survey of orthodox Christianity. This is the most concise book on systematic theology I've seen that is legitimate. So, I suppose it is aptly named. It is succinct, chock-full of Scriptural references, and still thorough. Great intro book for anyone wanting a survey of orthodox Christianity.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Corey Dyck

    Definitely an excellent introduction to systematic theology. Packer gives a broad fly over and doesn't waste any space. Recommended for anyone who would find the much larger works of Grudem or Erickson too daunting or too time consuming as a starting point in systematics. Definitely an excellent introduction to systematic theology. Packer gives a broad fly over and doesn't waste any space. Recommended for anyone who would find the much larger works of Grudem or Erickson too daunting or too time consuming as a starting point in systematics.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Brilliant. Especially as a weekly discussion starter/guide within a group, which is how I used it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Peter Jones

    I probably would not have picked this up if some other men I know had not given it five stars. One of the best basic introductions to theology I have read. Almost every subject of consequence in the Christian faith is covered in short, solid chapters. A great reference work for the average Christian to read through and then have on the shelf for future use.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Proudfoot

    Concise is the right word. If you want to give a book to new converts, you can do worse than this. It's a true introduction, nothing more, nothing less. In that respect Packer deserves praise, because it truly is a feat to be able to write a pure introduction. Concise is the right word. If you want to give a book to new converts, you can do worse than this. It's a true introduction, nothing more, nothing less. In that respect Packer deserves praise, because it truly is a feat to be able to write a pure introduction.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lexi Zuo

    I absolutely LOVED this book! It provides such an easy to read, yet comprehensive account of solid Christian theology! I can't recommend this book enough!!! I absolutely LOVED this book! It provides such an easy to read, yet comprehensive account of solid Christian theology! I can't recommend this book enough!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    sch

    Top-notch. Brief but not dense.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lokken

    This book is an excellent summary of Christians faith, a great beginning point and Packer covers a myriad subjects. Including heresies within the church that have been dealt with along with solid Biblical truth. I actually read this to my children as part of their homeschooling, as a way to give them a solid foundation of our faith, we also went through, R.C. Sproul's, "Essential Truths of the Christian Faith" and "The Institutes of Christian Religion" by John Calvin. It is so important for Chri This book is an excellent summary of Christians faith, a great beginning point and Packer covers a myriad subjects. Including heresies within the church that have been dealt with along with solid Biblical truth. I actually read this to my children as part of their homeschooling, as a way to give them a solid foundation of our faith, we also went through, R.C. Sproul's, "Essential Truths of the Christian Faith" and "The Institutes of Christian Religion" by John Calvin. It is so important for Christian parents to love their God enough to take the time to pass on the truth of who is He is. This book, unlike the widely known, Packer book, "Knowing God" is a practical application of God's Word to our lives, "Knowing God" gives you knowledge of who that God is that Bible reveals to the elect, and He truly becomes the Father that you desire to obey and be in fellowship with this, this book shows how obey and how misunderstanding the truth of God's Word leads to many pitfalls of those who God has called to Himself. I highly encourage Christians to read this book, especially if you are newly saved. The book is divided into 4 major sections, they are as follows: 1) God Revealed as Creator, 2) God Revealed as Redeemer, 3) God Revealed as Lord of Grace, 4) God Revealed as Lord of Destiny. And it is truly fantastic symphony of God's creative and revealed Work that is expressed to us through His Word.

  14. 4 out of 5

    September Heidtman

    Words cannot fully express how helped I was by this book (key word: fully). J. I. Packer thoroughly explains historic Christian beliefs from a Reformed position. His process is similar to the Westminster Confession (which he often quotes), using Scripture references to support each conclusion; fortunately, Packer takes more time explaining and discussing each theological concept, making it easier to understand. Although easy to understand, it is important--and I highly suggest--that readers take t Words cannot fully express how helped I was by this book (key word: fully). J. I. Packer thoroughly explains historic Christian beliefs from a Reformed position. His process is similar to the Westminster Confession (which he often quotes), using Scripture references to support each conclusion; fortunately, Packer takes more time explaining and discussing each theological concept, making it easier to understand. Although easy to understand, it is important--and I highly suggest--that readers take their time when going through this book. Scripture references should be checked, theological concepts should be pondered, and further research should be done in response to any unsettled feelings one has toward comments made in this book. Remember, "the best of men are men at best," so if you disagree with any doctrinal statement made, continue your research! The Holy Spirit will guide you and reveal the truth of Scripture. And doctrine must be based on Scripture in its entirety.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Brown

    I love J. I. Packer; what a gift to the church. This is a great read. Precise. Concise. Worshipful. 267 pages of 2-4 page chapters on a single topic. I've worked through a couple works like this one as a go-to first book to give someone as an introduction to systematic theology. This is helpful for 1) new converts, 2) thoughtful growing Christians, or 3) even training officers in the church. This work was too technical for #1. He said in his introduction that he wanted to be plain, but his use o I love J. I. Packer; what a gift to the church. This is a great read. Precise. Concise. Worshipful. 267 pages of 2-4 page chapters on a single topic. I've worked through a couple works like this one as a go-to first book to give someone as an introduction to systematic theology. This is helpful for 1) new converts, 2) thoughtful growing Christians, or 3) even training officers in the church. This work was too technical for #1. He said in his introduction that he wanted to be plain, but his use of Greek, Hebrew, Latin and quite a bit of theological jargon plus lengthy citations from Westminster left me wishing it were a little more accessible. It is a bit too vague on some issues for #3. I would prefer a Williamson's guide to Westminster or maybe summary of doctrine by Berkhof. This could be a great option for #2. I liked it much more than 20 Topics by Grudem, but would want to check out Sproul's introductions too.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Glen

    This book was a perfect breakfast devotional or rather daily read. Each morning before school we would read a chapter (2 to 3 pages) concerning a topic. The explanations of the various aspects of theology were very concise and loaded with bible references that backed up the explanations. This book is also a great tool to do a quick look-up of various beliefs and where they come from, especially when you have a differences in view concerning an aspect of theology. Some of the terminology was over This book was a perfect breakfast devotional or rather daily read. Each morning before school we would read a chapter (2 to 3 pages) concerning a topic. The explanations of the various aspects of theology were very concise and loaded with bible references that backed up the explanations. This book is also a great tool to do a quick look-up of various beliefs and where they come from, especially when you have a differences in view concerning an aspect of theology. Some of the terminology was over one or another of my kids head, and some of the work was difficult on the tongue. Still superior as an over-all guide.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Reid

    Internet Review: Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrificing depth. Thoughtfully arranged and refreshingly readable, this is a book that belongs on the shelf of eve Internet Review: Theology matters! At last it can be understood easily, thanks to this "layman's language" approach to biblical belief. Authored by J. I. Packer, one of the premier theologians of Christianity, this summary of Christian teaching covers nearly 100 major Christian beliefs from a Reformed perspective. Brief, easy-to-understand chapters offer precise descriptions without sacrificing depth. Thoughtfully arranged and refreshingly readable, this is a book that belongs on the shelf of every Christian. I read a page or two every day or two and really like this. Short, to-the-point. Understandable, lots of references. I really like Packer

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Belyea

    Dive into the vital subjects and pieces of Christianity with this stellar collection of definitions and descriptions that sorts through the complexities of God and his Word and translates them into an easy to read format for all. Packer delivers an essential piece of Christian literature that delves into what makes faith in God so important and wondrous. Every chapter will lead you deeper and deeper into an understanding of the grace and power of the Lord!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Todd Miller

    True to its title this is a very concise book on theology, but full of scriptural references for further study. It covers almost every topic conceivable in the area of theology which can be used as a jumping board for more in depth study. If you enjoyed "Knowing God" you are probably going to enjoy this book. True to its title this is a very concise book on theology, but full of scriptural references for further study. It covers almost every topic conceivable in the area of theology which can be used as a jumping board for more in depth study. If you enjoyed "Knowing God" you are probably going to enjoy this book.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This is a must for any Christian library. Packer concisely explains aspects of theology with numerous Bible verses to back up each explanation. For instance, his description of love, while short, was impactful and chocked full of other theological ideas. This will be my go to reference for all other Bible studies I do from now on.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ireland

    This book is exactly what the title suggests. J.I. Packer takes subjects in the Bible from Creation to Heaven to Worship to idolatry and explains each concept in two to three pages as it pertains to the Bible, Christianity and God’s perfection. If you’re looking to strengthen your faith or you have questions about what a Christian believes, I recommend giving this a read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Laura Castagnetto

    Full of short chapters for easy quick reads on all the different areas of Christianity. It's definitely a book I'll go back to again and again when I have research or questions on a particular topic of my faith. Full of short chapters for easy quick reads on all the different areas of Christianity. It's definitely a book I'll go back to again and again when I have research or questions on a particular topic of my faith.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ben Lansing

    “It is certain that Scripture nowhere contradicts Scripture; rather, one passage explains another. This sound principle of interpreting Scripture by Scripture is sometimes called the analogy of Scripture or the analogy of faith.”

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luke McEwen

    Concise Theology is an excellent way to grow in the knowledge of our savior. The short 2-4 page sections of the many different topics covered in the book are a perfect and concise summary of biblical theology.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Tony Brott

    It is what it says This book delivers what it says in the title: Concise Theology. In manageable bite-sized portions, the reader is given the tremendous teaching from Dr. Packer from scripture. A wonderful asset.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Benny Alexander

    A must read theology book for every Christian. Dr. Packer has covered every basics in short without missing the key doctrines.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kurt Brubaker

    I loved this book. Packer takes an approach to Systematic Theology that is helpful. This book is going on my goto list when I need a short answer to a systematic question.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Neal Roberts

    This is an outstanding reference book that covers virtually all theological issues in short, information-packed, scripturally-notated chapters. The book’s title says it all- Concise Theology!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    This could be a theology devotional or something. This book definitely lives up to its title. I will most probably reference this in the future.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Grayce Owens

    An excellent and accessible summary of Reformed theology

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