This introductory textbook has several distinctive features: a strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine; clear writing, with technical terms kept to a minimum; and a contemporary approach.
There are a number of clear strengths to this book. First, this book is by far the most accessible systematic treatment of theology I've ever read. If there is any systematic theology book that theology novices could really sink their teeth into, this is it. This book, while effectively dealing with the many difficult theological issues that need to be dealt with in any adequate systematic theology, avoids drowning these difficult issues in difficult terminology that too many systematic theologies wrongly assume are common terms that non-theology focused Christians understand and don't need defining. This is what makes so many systematic theologies inaccessible to most Christians.Read more ›
First, Grudem quotes many of his supporting texts. This makes for facility, rather than looking up the text.
Second, he interacts with several traditions thoughtfully.
Third, as one reviewer notes already, he has a good annotated bibliography at the end. If one read the bibliography, especially our a-theological pastors, the health of the church would rise. He cites Reformed, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Dispensational and Papist works (usually pre-Vat 2 Ludwig Ott and post-Vat 2 Prof O'Brien). Excellent bibliograpy.
Fourth, Grudem attempts to incorporate doxological intent to each subject by inclusion of an historic hymn at the end. This is healthy given the American penchant to think the church began 10 years ago.
Every evangelical seminary student should own and read this, of any perspective. Of course, for liberal seminary students, this might be over their heads and we would recommend something much shorter, maybe Berkof's Manual of Christian Doctrine---as a warm-up.
Thanks Wayne for your clear labor of love.
Very weak and dismissive arguments on the 'Soul Sleep' issue in particular.