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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine [Hardcover]

By Wayne A. Grudem (Author)
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Item Number 159328  
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Weight:   1.74 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 31, 2004
Publisher   Zondervan Publishing
ISBN  0310262526  
EAN  9780310262527  
UPC  025986262525  

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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine by Wayne A. Grudem

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More About Wayne A. Grudem

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Wayne Grudem, research professor of theology and Bible at Phoenix Seminary, taught at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, for twenty years. He received a B.A. from Harvard, an M.Div. from Westminster Seminary, and a Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. Currently vice president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Wayne has authored seven books. He and his wife, Margaret, have three grown sons.

Wayne A. Grudem currently resides in the state of Illinois. Wayne A. Grudem was born in 1948.

Wayne A. Grudem has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Counterpoints
  2. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (IVP Numbered)

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Great Theology Text  May 25, 2010
This systematic theology text will be a treasure for years to come. Wayne Grudem is a respected research professor from Phoenix Seminary who received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge. "Systematic Theology" is well organized and covers all the basic theological issues. It is meticulous in presenting various perspectives on theological issues and goes in depth in presenting strong biblical support for each doctrine.
Excellent, pastoral approach  May 24, 2010

I read a lot of this site reviews of Systematic Theology books before selecting Wayne Grudem's. I wanted one that gives the Reformed (Calvinist) view. I have not attended seminary or Bible college, but I have read a bit of Luther, Calvin, Packer, and Sproul. I was drawn to this book because of reviews that said it is reformed, readable, and accessible to lay persons. I am pleased with this book. It is readable and compatible with my views on most elements of the Christian faith. Grudem writes with conviction that his views are correct, but without malice or hostility towards other views that are within orthodox Christianity. There are plenty of references to Scripture, sometimes quoting the text and sometimes only giving the reference. He looks to Scripture as the greatest source for resolving theological disagreements, and often provides insights and Biblical references that had not occurred to me.

Some of the views promoted by this book are Calvinist soteriology, inerrancy of the Bible, the full deity and humanity of Jesus, the virgin birth, non-cessation of spiritual gifts, complementarian gender roles, believer baptism and post-tribulation premillinial eschatology.

I generally adhere to the view that one must read the entire book before writing a review, but this is a somewhat massive book by my standards. It is a book that you can read the chapters in almost any order. So here are my comments on some parts of the book.

Chapter 15, Creation, starts with beliefs that all Christians hold, and moves toward areas of disagreement and uncertainty, winding up with the young earth/old earth views, whether "day" means 24 hours, and several views of evolution. Grudem is not very decisive but somewhat favors the 24 hour day and young earth views. He is more decisive in other chapters.

Chapter 26, The Person of Christ, affirms the virgin birth and explains why it is important. Much of the chapter deals with Jesus' human nature and divine nature and the relationship between the two; the sinlessness of Jesus; the kenosis theory is rejected. The chapter has topics that I didn't need - Apollinarianism, Nestorianism, and Monophysitism.

Chapter 52, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Part 1, lists gifts identified in 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Romans, and 1 Peter. The book uses an outline format that helps the reader keep oriented as to what is being discussed, and to search for particular topics. There is more extensive discussion of whether some gifts, such as prophecy, have ceased since the death of the apostles. Grudem favors the view that all the gifts continue to this day, and some will cease at the second coming of Jesus. There is considerable discussion of the opposing view as given by Robert L. Reymond and others. Grudem acknowledges the special status of Scripture; prophecy is subordinate to Scripture, and no new Scripture is being added to the canon. Grudem accepts A.D. 90 for the writing of Revelation, so I expect that I will have difficulty with some of his eschatology.

The book has a very nice binding, font, paper, and layout. It is large and weighs 4.1 pounds, making it somewhat hard to hold, so a two-volume printing would be better in some respects.

excellent resource  May 24, 2010
This is an excellent resource for those wishing for an introduction into the depths of theology. It takes you from the shallow to the deep in a understandable manner for the average lay person. Every Christian should not only own this, but use it.
Solidly biblical, Clear, Evangelical, Irenic, Relevant and Pastoral  May 8, 2010
Six characteristics describe Professor Grudem's writing and teaching style in this book, and perhaps in general as well; solidly biblical, clear, evangelical, irenic, relevant and pastoral. Let me elaborate on these. First, I greatly appreciate that in the Introduction, Grudem advises students to approach the study of systematic theology with humility, prayer, reason, as well as through others qualified to teach, by a careful collection and examination of all related passages of Scriptures on any topic, and finally with rejoicing and praise. These points are necessary to keep in mind to ensure a right motive, a teachable heart and dependence on the Holy Spirit to direct the study and make the overall process not merely an intellectual exercise, but more importantly, to have doxology as the goal displayed particularly through the transformation of life into a greater Christ-likeness.

Second, there is a wide margin on the sides of each page and plenty of space at the end of each chapter to allow students to make notes. I made a great use of these for writing important points and summary of Scriptural passages, as well as answering the questions at the end of the chapter.

Third, Grudem cares more about the heart than the head though by no means he neglects the element of reason in the study of God's Word. In fact, he works very hard to explain each topic logically as much as possible. The reason I said as much as possible is there are cases where you can only go so far before you seem to arrive at a dead end yet with awe and wonder at the glory of the mysteries of God in such cases as the doctrines of the Trinity, hypostatic union of the humanity and divinity of Christ, the exhaustive foreknowledge of God and human responsibility, the aseity, eternality, and omnipresence of God. Though unquestionably there are mysteries in these, yet I should say they are beautiful mysteries, that cause the heart to stand in awe and bow in worship to the majesty, the greatness, the brilliance, the unsearchableness of the God of the Bible.

The fact Grudem's chief aim is the heart with the head being the means to reach out to the heart is clearly seen in the type of questions he asks at the end of each chapter. Instead of asking, "What is Apollonarianism? How is it different from Nestorianism?" or "List the passages of Scriptures that talk about regeneration," he asks the students questions like, "How can a clearer understanding of Jesus' humanity help you face temptation? How can it help you to pray? What are the most difficult situations in your life right now? Can you think of any similar situations that Jesus might have faced? Does that encourage you to pray confidently to Him?" (p. 563) or "Have you been born again? Is there evidence of the new birth in your life?" (p. 706). No wonder the heading of these questions is "Questions for Personal Application" not "Questions for Exam Preparation." I do not neglect the importance of understanding technical terms, but I agree with Grudem that it is more important to ask the question what these terms mean for me or how they would help me to know God deeper and in a more personal way and to savor Him more in my heart.

Fourth, Grudem is sensitive enough to care about the issues and challenges being faced today by the Church. He covers the topics of evolution, the age of the universe, and the age of the human race (p.275-309) with a solid grip on the Bible and a commendable wisdom. He also includes the discussions on a seemingly perennial debate between Arminians and Calvinists, Continualists and Cessationists, and answers to the modern challenges to the roles of man and woman (p.456-467), the penal-substitutionary atonement of Christ, specifically the moral-influence theory and the example theory (p. 581-582) as well as the doctrine of hell (p.1150-1153) commonly advocated by the emergent church.

Fifth, the fact Grudem does his best to teach from what he believes the Bible teaches can be seen in that he does not simply carry the fundamental pre-suppositions from his denomination or his mentors or almamaters. It means that just because he is a Baptist doesn't mean he has to teach Cessationism or Pre-millenialism, or because he went to school at Westminster doesn't mean he has to be a Paedobaptist or a Calvinist. He is a Calvinist, Pre-millenialist, Credobaptist, and Continualist because he firmly believes the Bible teaches so and he does an excellent job laying out the biblical arguments as the basis of his views.

Sixth, the manner he handles doctrinal differences is respectful and irenic, but not wishy-washy. For example, rather than inciting hostility between Continualists and Cessationists with inflammatory words, Grudem pointed out both camps need each other. This is indeed something to learn for Christians who delight in controversies, divisions, and squabbling over matters of secondary importance. The argument I often hear is that Jesus was harsh against the Pharisees, so were the reformers toward their opponents and therefore, we have to be like them right? No, we don't. First, we are not Jesus. Second, the so-called opponents we tend to butt heads with in our case are often fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, not unbelievers. Third, the reformers were not infallible. Just because they did something, it doesn't mean they did the right thing. Fourth, Paul warns severely against divisive people (e.g., Titus 3:9-10, Rom 16:17). Fifth, Paul on the contrary, appeals for unity (e.g., Eph 4:3, 1 Cor 1:10, Phil 2:2) among believers, while not tolerating false teaching in direct opposition to cardinal Christian doctrines (e.g., Gal 1:8).

I am greatly benefited not only through the technical content of the book, but also more importantly from the way Grudem makes it deeply personal. I studied it for 8 months and it was an unforgettably rich and blessed experience. It is my prayer that the Lord would bless the readers with the same.
Calvinism Rocks!!  May 2, 2010
This is an awesome Systematic Theology! I recommend Grudem over any I have read so far! And I am a theology student so I have to read a good bit of them ;)

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