October 19, 2014 Q & A

Please recommend a book on systematic theology.


I want to buy a book on systematic theology to learn more about the covenant of grace and ecclesiology but am scared that I'll pick something very liberal. Please help with some suggestions.


I am so glad to learn that you are interested in systematic theology! God's truth, revealed in the Bible, is so rich, so full, so wonderful, that theologians have labored for years to set out the truth in orderly (systematic) fashion.

The "industry standard" one-volume work, older but still faithful to the Scriptures, would be Louis Berkhof's Systematic Theology. Berkhof also has two much shorter books, Summary of Christian Doctrine and Manual of Christian Doctrine.

Another one-volume work which covers the ground well is Herman Bavinck's Our Reasonable Faith.

Two books on ecclesiology that I turn to are R.B. Kuiper's The Glorious Body of Christ, and Edmund P. Clowney's The Church.

There are many books on the covenant of grace and there is also much discussion about it. T.M. Moore's I Will be Your God is a good basic introduction.

The best thing, of course, is the Bible itself. Read it—thinking about how God is calling a people to Himself (the essence of the covenant) and has done that in Jesus Christ (i.e., in the church which is His body), and keep a journal of what you are learning from Scripture.

Lastly, becoming familiar with the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms or the Heidelberg Catechism is a great way to learn how systematic theology works in the church.

I hope this helps.



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