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Systematic Theology [Hardcover]

By R. L. Dabney (Author)
Our Price $ 28.90  
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Item Number 132286  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   903
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.73" Width: 5.76" Height: 2.28"
Weight:   2.81 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 12, 1996
Publisher   Banner of Truth
ISBN  0851514537  
EAN  9780851514536  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Rich in content, profoundly informative and stimulating in style, Dabney's work has a freshness and creativity which students continue to find tremendously helpful.

Publishers Description
Rich in content and stimulating in style, Dabney's work continues to be tremendously helpful.

Buy Systematic Theology by R. L. Dabney from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9780851514536 & 0851514537

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More About R. L. Dabney

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Dabney served as pastor of a Presbyterian Church at Tinkling Springs, Virginia, before becoming Professor, first of Church History, then of Theology at Union Theological Seminary.

R. L. Dabney was born in 1820 and died in 1898.

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1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General   [8607  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Benchmark of Southern Presbyterianism  Aug 15, 2007
This book is valuable on both historical and theological grounds. It represents the standard line of thinking in 19th Century conservative American theology. While at times it may appear to be dry, one must keep in mind this is how theology was normally done. To the reviewer who objected that Dabney's God was little more than Aristotle's unmoved mover, I have to admit my confusion. Dabney clearly rejected the extreme claims of natural theology (while understanding its limited value--see page 93).

Dabney is clearly qualified to represent American theology. He mastered Turretin. Indeed, he could write out an outline of Turretin's 3 volume Institutes from the original Latin. I will now list some pros and cons of this volume:

Pros: Dabney is nothing if not clear. Every chapter, while at times difficult to read, is succint and pointed. He can state a lot of truth and meaning into the smallest sentence. This allows for skillful polemics if at times difficult reading.

His chapters on the atonement and justification were probably the best. His arguments against the Socinians are more relevant now than ever before. His chapter on Union with Christ (612-617) is better than most modern treatises. He doesn't bore you down with irrelevant detail, but powerfully presents the doctrine in six pages.

Unlike most modern theologies, Dabney gives keen attention to the Law of God as a normative ethic for the Christian life. Sadly, this is lacking from most modern-day Reformed treatments. Dabney's exposition of the Ten Commandments is an excellent field-map to sanctification. His treatment on the covenant of grace, while perhaps dated because of modern controversies, is nonetheless helpful.

The book, it is true, is dry at times. I think Dabney knew this. But to be fair, the only really dry part was the Prolegomena (e.g., the opening sections on knowledge and method). Dabney himself warned against extreme focus on such matters.

We must also realize that Dabney was a child of his times, like we are a child of ours. Before we criticize Dabney on slavery (we will come back to that in a moment), we must take the our own plank of abortion out of our eye. Who are we to call him racist when millions of babies die every year? And to his credit, he did criticise the South for *unbiblical* forms of slavery.

As to doctrinal disagreements, I do not think Dabney fully dealt with Calvin's view on the Lord's Supper, although I am more sympathetic to Dabney now than I was before I read it. Still, the spectre of Nevin hangs over the chapter.

I found the book slow at first, but steadily picked up steam so that some chapters ended in a crescendo. It is valuable in that Dabney understood what a Systematic Theology could and could not do. No systematics text can function as a "timeless theology," for the theologian is called to precisely the opposite task: to apply God's truth to his own situation. This Dabney did to the fullest.
The Height of Western Scholasticism  Sep 28, 2004
Dr. R. L. Dabney's Systematic Theology represents the height of western scholastic theology, the logical conclusion of the theology of Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. The arguments are remarkable, the logic is impeccable, and theology is hideous. Dabney was influenced by extreme reductionism and the essesental denial of any Mystical Attribute in our Pre-Eternal Creator. If one wants a complete, accurate, and unbiased Christian Theology uninfluenced by medieval Catholic theology, may I recommend An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith written by St. John Damascene in the Eighth Century, which is available freely online.
Only for armchair theolgians  Aug 11, 2000
Taken in small, topical bits, Dabney has a refreshingly strong (and very quotable) style. I admire Dabney for the way he was never afraid to trumpet G-d's truth and majesty in every line he wrote and his writings undoubtably make a worthy addition to a grand history of Calvinistic thought.

But I find his Systematic Theology to be a little too condensed. It's written in a very academic style that's suitable for a seminary classroom - after all, the book is based on his lectures at Union Theological Seminary.

So even though it's filled to the brim with useful arguments, proofs and refutations, I doubt that it would be enjoyed by the common believer, or even a thinking believer. If you're an avid collector of theological books, or an armchair theolgian, there's no question that Dabney's Systematic would be useful to have in your library. However, if you could only buy one systematic theology, I wouldn't reccomend this one.


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