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Christian Theology has been revised to take account of changes in the theological world as well as changes in the intellectual, political, economic, and social worlds. Several sections have been added, including a new chapter on postmodernism. At other points the discussion has been updated, and some portions of the original have been condensed, since the issues they origi Christian Theology has been revised to take account of changes in the theological world as well as changes in the intellectual, political, economic, and social worlds. Several sections have been added, including a new chapter on postmodernism. At other points the discussion has been updated, and some portions of the original have been condensed, since the issues they originally dealt with are no longer as crucial as they once were. Also new to the second edition are a number of educational refinements, including chapter objectives, chapter summaries, and study questions.


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Christian Theology has been revised to take account of changes in the theological world as well as changes in the intellectual, political, economic, and social worlds. Several sections have been added, including a new chapter on postmodernism. At other points the discussion has been updated, and some portions of the original have been condensed, since the issues they origi Christian Theology has been revised to take account of changes in the theological world as well as changes in the intellectual, political, economic, and social worlds. Several sections have been added, including a new chapter on postmodernism. At other points the discussion has been updated, and some portions of the original have been condensed, since the issues they originally dealt with are no longer as crucial as they once were. Also new to the second edition are a number of educational refinements, including chapter objectives, chapter summaries, and study questions.

30 review for Christian Theology

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tim Cooper

    Although it took me most of the summer to read, I think this now replaces Wayne Grudem's Systematic Theology as my 'go to' book for quick theological study. Erickson is very detailed in his study and makes some really complex issues approachable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jared Wilson

    Starts unevenly. Gets better. I wish he'd said more on some things, less on others. Generally solid, though, but certainly not the SysTheo I'd recommend as a go-to.

  3. 4 out of 5

    B.J. Richardson

    For most of those who are reading this review, I am guessing that Grudem is your go-to text for systematic theology. It is time to change that. Grudem is good, he was one of my undergrad textbooks and I have read him cover to cover at least twice. But this book is far better. While both texts are born from a Calvinist perspective, this one carries the day for two reasons. First, it does a much better job of fairly and accurately presenting all sides of an argument before Erickson weighs in on wh For most of those who are reading this review, I am guessing that Grudem is your go-to text for systematic theology. It is time to change that. Grudem is good, he was one of my undergrad textbooks and I have read him cover to cover at least twice. But this book is far better. While both texts are born from a Calvinist perspective, this one carries the day for two reasons. First, it does a much better job of fairly and accurately presenting all sides of an argument before Erickson weighs in on which he prefers and why. For example, he will present views on inerrancy, each one delivered fairly and accurately, before sharing his view (which is very close to my own, although I prefer to simply say inspired, and authoritative rather inerrant). He presents six or seven views on creation. He shared multiple atonement theories. Grudem's treatment of alternate views is at best cursory and often closer to nonexistent. Second, although Erickson does come from a Calvinistic perspective, he is not afraid to take a firm stand on a minority view when he feels it is warranted. For example, he denies limited atonement (the L in the Calvinist's Tulip) and he takes a cautious step towards being post-trib. The book is structured well and so it is a great book to have on your shelf. You can pull it out and quickly reference the topic you need for quick reference. Also, it is quite readable. Even though it is about as exhaustive as a single volume work can get, there is no point at which the casual reader's eyes will start to glaze over. So get this book, put it on your shelves, and use it often.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bret James Stewart

    Erickson has done a reasonably good job with this book. It is an introductory survey of the major topics of systematic theology. On the positive side, he has done a phenomenal job in structuring this book so that it is easy to find information. He has reading questions at the beginning of each section that tell you what you are going to encounter, and he uses headings and sub-heading effectively to break up information into logical groups. His writing style is also approachable and is able to ta Erickson has done a reasonably good job with this book. It is an introductory survey of the major topics of systematic theology. On the positive side, he has done a phenomenal job in structuring this book so that it is easy to find information. He has reading questions at the beginning of each section that tell you what you are going to encounter, and he uses headings and sub-heading effectively to break up information into logical groups. His writing style is also approachable and is able to take sometimes highly esoteric matters and refine them so they make sense in the allotted space. As this is a survey, he can only skim the surface. It is difficult to balance the correct depth of information in a survey textbook. On the negative side, Erickson, although he seems conservative most of the time, sometimes imposes some inaccurate information or conclusions onto the text. The primary issue is he seems to have swallowed the lie that there are two "branches" of Christianity--a conclusion I vehemently oppose. The information is there that the Roman Catholic Church began as an amalgam of various forms of paganism with Christian trappings. Yet, either because he's been taught it and never questioned it or, perhaps, he wants to be PC, Erickson treats the Catholic Church as if it were a viable, legitimate "branch" or form of Christianity. In a similar manner, he also refers to other religions with Christian trappings such as the Mormons, thereby implying their doctrine valid from a Christian perspective. Both the Mormons and Roman Catholics have internally consistent (and sometimes ingenius) doctrines and dogmas. However, these are so far removed from biblical Christianity that they should be (and generally are, at least in the case with the Mormons) considered separate religions. I would not have expected this from Erickson, and it is somewhat disappointing. Such things "poison the well" for me because it makes me think that, if he is wrong in one area, might not he be wrong in others, maybe things I will not recognize. This shatters my trust and makes me feel I should question everything he says. I give him a so-so rating. The book is not throwaway, but should be read more critically than you would expect for a Christian survey.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Glenn Wishnew III

    This is essentially a reference book. As such, it is far from exhilarating.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Aitken

    This was the first systematic text I read. Admittedly, nine years ago I really couldn't evaluate Erickson's positions. I read his text in conjunction with Grudem's and the differences became apparent. Erickson studied under Wolfhart Pannenburg and as a result he is able to competently grasp many tough philosophical issues. (This is largely absent from Grudem). Since he is an evangelical, the reader can guess his positions on most topics. However, for the Calvinist reader a few things might be mo This was the first systematic text I read. Admittedly, nine years ago I really couldn't evaluate Erickson's positions. I read his text in conjunction with Grudem's and the differences became apparent. Erickson studied under Wolfhart Pannenburg and as a result he is able to competently grasp many tough philosophical issues. (This is largely absent from Grudem). Since he is an evangelical, the reader can guess his positions on most topics. However, for the Calvinist reader a few things might be more interesting. 1. He holds to inerrancy, albeit in a modified (and more sane) form. 2. He mitigates Calvinism on two fronts: he places faith before regeneration and he denies limited atonement. 2. Pace Pannenberg, he holds to a weird, intellectual view of the afterlife. The book is not without problems but it is a rich reflection on evangelical issues. It is unique in the sense that he is an evangelical familiar with Pannenberg and reflects on these tough issues.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Brent McCulley

    My first systematic theology finally completely read from cover to cover! What a refreshing feeling closing this after reading the last page after several months of wrestling with Millard J. Erickson's treatment in Christian Theology. Let me begin by saying obviously I don't agree with all of Erickson's thought--who would? As a systematic theology, the systematizer does the painstaking job at putting his theology into a coherent system, and as such, it reflects Erickson's system, and not someone My first systematic theology finally completely read from cover to cover! What a refreshing feeling closing this after reading the last page after several months of wrestling with Millard J. Erickson's treatment in Christian Theology. Let me begin by saying obviously I don't agree with all of Erickson's thought--who would? As a systematic theology, the systematizer does the painstaking job at putting his theology into a coherent system, and as such, it reflects Erickson's system, and not someone else's system. Even still, I find so much fruit in reading through systematic theology from cover to cover, and so getting into the mind of the systematizer, knowing his system from in and out. Erickson challenged me, brought new depth of insight onto beautiful and powerful doctrines, and encouraged me all the way. Erickson is thoroughly evangelical and unapologetically Baptistic. Having studied under Wolfhart Pannenberg for his post-doctorate degree, his systematic reflects a robust philosophical angle that systematic theologies have hitherto left uncharted. This is especially true in his first section dealing with the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, and his treatment of Divine inspiration and the inerrancy of the Bible. He wrestles with the philosophies of the modernist and post-modernist world in a vigorous way that leaves the reader equipped with a system that is philosophically durable as it is theologically evangelical. Erickson's treatment of Christology and theology proper is extensive and thorough--grappling with the Nicene Church Fathers and wrestling down the post-modern theologians. In fine, he offers a bold and tenable understanding of doctrines such as the incarnation that are thoroughly orthodox, yet tenable and evangelical. Erickson's helpful analogies aid the reader in getting into the heart of his system, and proved to be workable and orthodox, especially in understanding Christ's dual natures and dual wills post incarnation. Erickson's development of explaining the Kenosis of Christ was especially helpful, and gave me a running analogy that I'll utilize in the future. Erickson's treatment on divine foreknowledge is more philosophical than theological, as he calls his position "Moderate Calvinism" albeit it is merely a modified Molinistic model whereby he appeals to God actualizing a world wherein God's knowledge of what creature would do given any circumstance, thereby allowing for a greater libertarian sense of freedom. Hence, Erickson puts God's knowledge of what free creatures would do (counter-factuals) right in between His knowledge of what any free creature will do and could do. Thus, Erickson still denies that humans have true power of contrary choice on an equal level--a philosophical presupposition he charges is simply untenable unless one resorts to a type of open theism of temporal ontology--but he nevertheless states that although a free creature could do option B over option A in any given circumstance, God actualizes the world where He knows the free creature would always choose option A over option B, etc. Erickson sets up his understanding of divine sovereignty and human freedom quite nicely insofar as it flows right into his understanding of the atonement which he concedes is universal, albeit salvation is still particular because the application of the universal atonement is only applicable to the elect. Erickson allows this by taking on Augustus H. Strong's view of God's predestination, namely, sublapsarianism which states that God's causal decree to provide salvation is logically antecedent to His decree to save some and not others. Erickson's understanding of eschatology is rather short, given the extensive treatment on other doctrines, but he holds to the traditional understanding of premillenialism, that is to say historic and post-tribulational. Much more could be said about Eickson's Christian Theology, but suffice it to say I am very pleased and thrilled to have dove into this systematic, and look forward to reading more in the near future. My goal is to finish Calvin's Institutes and then pick up Berkhof's Systematic Theology next. Erickson's systematic will serve as an excellent resource to utilize for all future theological projects forthcoming; grateful to have read this and to always have this sitting on the shelf henceforth. Brent McCulley

  8. 4 out of 5

    Barry

    The strength of this book is the depth into which Mr. Erickson goes as he covers the main theological viewpoints on various topics. He does a great job of summarizing the various views, offering strengths and weaknesses of those views, and then offering his own final analysis as to which view he believes is the most Biblically sound. The drawback to this approach is that it is sometimes difficult to keep the views separated in one's own mind, causing some unnecessary confusion. Additionally, by The strength of this book is the depth into which Mr. Erickson goes as he covers the main theological viewpoints on various topics. He does a great job of summarizing the various views, offering strengths and weaknesses of those views, and then offering his own final analysis as to which view he believes is the most Biblically sound. The drawback to this approach is that it is sometimes difficult to keep the views separated in one's own mind, causing some unnecessary confusion. Additionally, by the conclusion of several chapters I was exhausted by the amount of information and competing views and almost too tired to care which conclusion Mr. Erickson holds. In this book you will find a width and depth of theological viewpoints that enlightens and educates. Though sometimes dry, this is a very useful book to use when trying to gain a better understanding of the underlying reasons people hold various theological views.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Philip Christman

    I gave myself a year to work through the 1200+ pages of this book while trying to do justice to the text. it's taken almost that long, but was worth the time. Although completely evangelical, Erickson is unafraid to take less-than-majority opinions (it threw me that he leans to post -tribulationism). There is a constant emphasis on missions. best of all, this book is readable in a way that Strong's is not, and profound in a way that Bancroft's is not. I reccomend it highly.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    Although firmly anchored within the Baptist tradition, Erickson presents all sides of each issue with clarity and balance before making his conclusions on each issue. Unlike much work in theology, Erickson's prose is light and readable throughout, making this a practical option for serious students as well as laymen.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    Even though I was in seminary and have had several years of Bible teaching, this book was written in a language that many could understand. I appreciated the unbiased presentation of different perspectives.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Ray

    Book 168 of 2019. This 1186 page behemoth of systematic theology has been a slow-but-steady read for me across three months and two systematic theology classes. Like the title says, this is Christian theology, and it is a systematic theology touching upon all areas of Christian doctrine. Between it and my two theology professors, I feel like I have been truly mentored through systematic theology and like I have a basic grasp on the discipline’s concepts. For the armchair theologian: This is a dif Book 168 of 2019. This 1186 page behemoth of systematic theology has been a slow-but-steady read for me across three months and two systematic theology classes. Like the title says, this is Christian theology, and it is a systematic theology touching upon all areas of Christian doctrine. Between it and my two theology professors, I feel like I have been truly mentored through systematic theology and like I have a basic grasp on the discipline’s concepts. For the armchair theologian: This is a difficult (and at times liberal) work of theology. If you are inserted in reading a systematic theology book, I would suggest you start with MacArthur or Grudem before proceeding to Erickson. Both are more pastoral in nature, great for practical application as opposed to philosophy. For those avoiding Reformed theology: I doubt you’ll be able to read any systematic theology that does not challenge your beliefs. However, Erickson is a moderate Calvinist and I think you’ll fine more areas of agreement with him than disagreement. You’d probably be pleasantly surprised. As for me, Erickson is truly a master in his field, and his book is an important work, often cited in journal articles and other books. Whether you agree with him or not (and I tend to the majority of the time), his work is one that every professional theologian should own and reference often. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ #gradschool #seminary #systematictheology #christiantheology #books #bookstagram #theunreadshelfproject2019

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mel Foster

    Whew! This was not a fast read. Erickson's approach is to try to engage a range of views on each of the many topics, and then try to come to a conclusion from the Biblical evidence (usually) or his personal preference (a couple times). He brings a broadminded Calvinistic evangelical approach, though sometimes the work seems disproportionately weighted with mid-Twentieth Century views--likely the cutting edge theories when he was in school. His view of science and Genesis seems very dated (as wel Whew! This was not a fast read. Erickson's approach is to try to engage a range of views on each of the many topics, and then try to come to a conclusion from the Biblical evidence (usually) or his personal preference (a couple times). He brings a broadminded Calvinistic evangelical approach, though sometimes the work seems disproportionately weighted with mid-Twentieth Century views--likely the cutting edge theories when he was in school. His view of science and Genesis seems very dated (as well as inconsistent with his professed epistemological approach), and his view that Ephesians 5 as the individual Christian being united as in marriage to Christ I found exigetically unsound. These were my two biggest beefs in a book over 1100 pages long. This is a great work for working through various issues and their historical views. It's not so great as a quick concise theological reference--there are many out there better for that, depending on your denominational and theological background. I think it is decent for what it purposes to do. Three stars is more about my engagement than his success or failure. I probably would have enjoyed more spending that much time (days and days of reading) reading more Wycliffe or Roger Williams or even Philip Schaff.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eric Yap

    I am tempted to say that Erickson is the "true and better Grudem" because they are both baptistic, introductory systematic theology but Erickson is slightly more detailed and engages more broadly with major positions, but halfway through the book I realised Grudem might be more conservative (reformed) than Erickson (Grudem's problem is his doctrine of God). Well, it wouldn't be fair to stack this against other single volume STs that are intentionally within the reformed tradition (Berkhof, Horto I am tempted to say that Erickson is the "true and better Grudem" because they are both baptistic, introductory systematic theology but Erickson is slightly more detailed and engages more broadly with major positions, but halfway through the book I realised Grudem might be more conservative (reformed) than Erickson (Grudem's problem is his doctrine of God). Well, it wouldn't be fair to stack this against other single volume STs that are intentionally within the reformed tradition (Berkhof, Horton, Frame). Packer describes it as "robustly evangelical, essentially conservative, thoroughly contemporary, firmly Baptist, gently Calvinistic, and cautiously post-tribulationist premillennial", well, which pretty much sums up the distinguishable highlights of the ST (and the last three descriptions is essentially all that I disagree with Erickson 😂). He also represents the egalitarian and amyraldism position, and I think he leans towards cessationism, which Grudem differs, so I think a side by side reading of both would be the best baptistic ST entry experience one could get.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Pagan

    Just like every other review says, it’s okay. He uses a lot more philosophy than someone like Grudem, which is good, though he rejects some tenets of classical theism, which is not good. My classmates have characterized Erickson as “here’s one side, here’s the other side, and I’m going to fight my hardest to land in the middle.” Pick a side, man. The book as a whole feels like it was probably concise and well-organized in the first edition, and then as issues came up in culture, Erickson just st Just like every other review says, it’s okay. He uses a lot more philosophy than someone like Grudem, which is good, though he rejects some tenets of classical theism, which is not good. My classmates have characterized Erickson as “here’s one side, here’s the other side, and I’m going to fight my hardest to land in the middle.” Pick a side, man. The book as a whole feels like it was probably concise and well-organized in the first edition, and then as issues came up in culture, Erickson just stuffed new content where it fit best, and left the older stuff in too even though it hasn’t been relevant for a hot minute (here’s looking at you, all the long discussions on process theism). Get it, if you want. Or better, just get Berkhof and actually learn something.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Hebert

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. By far the best, most-accurate analysis of God's message to humanity. However, fair warning to the reader, this is a graduate-level textbook, not a novel. So you might have to read Erickson's explanation more than once in order to understand the theology and theological applications to life in general. What I like the most about Erickson's theology is his conservative analyses and explanations stay close to the Biblel That was important to me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    C.J. Moore

    It's not perfect, but it's one of my favorites. I don't agree with a lot of Erickson's theological leanings, but he treats most positions fairly throughout the book before writing on his own. J.I. Packer calls it "gently Calvinistic." I think that's going a bit too far, myself. Even so, be sure to add this one to your shelf. Will make for good reference (for me) for years to come.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Thurman

    Solid Theology Although there are certainly elements of this book that I would disagree with, for the most part Erickson seeks to be serious and Scriptural in his approach. Overall, it is a solid evangelical work. He examines differing interpretations of key positions and then state his—often compellingly. Well worth the investment in money to purchase it and time to read it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Campbell

    This is a thorough, comprehensive, and reasoned examination of the basic theology of Christianity. While it is aimed toward theology students in college and seminary, it is accessible to any serious Christian who has a thirst for the knowledge of God and his ways.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jason Hoke

    I always read a theology book with a highlighter. This one though is 70% what others believe and 20% of why they are wrong with 10% on his view to wrap things up. Probably my least favorite of the Theology books I have reviewed.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Justin Payne

    Read for Sys Theo Class Overall this book was ok. I appreciated the historical narrative in showing how certain positions came about, but overall this was not my favorite systematic theology book I’ve read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nick Perez

    I read this for my Systematic Theology I & II courses in grad school. He covers a lot of territory. I was surprised by Erickson is a dispensational postmillennialist. Overall a very good overview of Christian theology from a (more or less) semi-Calvinistic perspective. I read this for my Systematic Theology I & II courses in grad school. He covers a lot of territory. I was surprised by Erickson is a dispensational postmillennialist. Overall a very good overview of Christian theology from a (more or less) semi-Calvinistic perspective.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nicholas Matthews

    I'm sure this will become a personal go-to resource over the many years to come. I've launched straight in to Chapter 23: The Constitutional Nature of the Human for research for a book in currently writing.

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Rimmer

    I'd recommend Grudem before Erickson, but who cares what I say.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Krista Dominguez

    While I don't agree with all of Erickson's conclusions, this is an excellent systematic theology textbook.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    I like the way the book is organized and the way study questions are addressed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This was my textbook for Theology I and II. Very clear and balanced as Erickson presents all the sides. Will definitely hold on to this for reference.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dennis Williams

    Excellent book. The author writes concerning the problems and difficulties in theology. Then provides an examination for what he considers the most biblical based doctrines. A good resource.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Excellent, even-handed systematic theology from an evangelical viewpoint.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Doug Knox

    Mr. Erickson is down to earth and speaks in laymen terms. If doctrine is important to you and it should be, then Christian Theology is the book for you.

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