Reading Grudem’s Systematic Theology – Preface


Chris, Celle, and myself are getting ready to read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology as a group. The plan is to read one chapter a week and discuss. Each chapter has a set of questions that go with the reading. Feel free to join us.

You can get the physical edition of the book from Amazon here.

You can get the Kindle edition of the book from Amazon here.

Here is my summary and notes from the preface. The reference locations are from the Kindle edition.

Summary:

Grudem uses the preface to lay the ground work for the book.  He identifies the goal of this work is not to produce a book for teachers of theology but rather to produce a book that students and every Christian can use to have a deeper understanding of Biblical doctrine.  He tags this book as “An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine”, and feels that it should be understandable even for Christians who have never studied theology.  He describes six distinctive features the book will use to demonstrate what he feels like systematic theology is and how it should be taught. (loc. 298)

The six features are:

  1. A Clear Biblical Basis for Doctrines.
  2. Clarity in the Explanation of Doctrines.
  3. Application to Life
  4. Focus on the Evangelical World
  5. Hope for Progress in Doctrinal Unity in the Church
  6. A Sense of the Urgent Need for Greater Doctrinal Understanding in the Whole Church

Grudem closes out the Preface with acknowledgments and thanks for those who helped with the book

Notable Quote(s):

I really like this section from the Preface. This is the complete text from the section labeled,  6 . A Sense of the Urgent Need for Greater Doctrinal Understanding in the Whole Church.

Grudem writes about the relationship of the Christian to the study of theology:

“I am convinced that there is an urgent need in the church today for much greater understanding of Christian doctrine, or systematic theology. Not only pastors and teachers need to understand theology in greater depth—the whole church does as well. One day by God’s grace we may have churches full of Christians who can discuss, apply, and live the doctrinal teachings of the Bible as readily as they can discuss the details of their own jobs or hobbies—or the fortunes of their favorite sports team or television program. It is not that Christians lack the ability to understand doctrine; it is just that they must have access to it in an understandable form. Once that happens, I think that many Christians will find that understanding (and living) the doctrines of Scripture is one of their greatest joys. (loc. 368)”

Look forward to dialoging with you on this book.

Grace and Peace.

Tony

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