Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth is edited by John MacArthur & Richard Mayhue and published by Crossway Publishing and is worthy of a spot on your shelf even if you shelving is as small as mine. At some point in the ministry of a great theologian they decide to write a systematic theology, which usually becomes their seminal work, in the case of MacArthur and the plethora of works phenomenal books he has already published it is hard to say wither this book is he seminal work or adding to his continued excellence in exegeting scripture.
Biblical Doctrine begins in a way that I have never seen a systematic theology begin. It begins with a hymn “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”. The way this work begins sets the tone for the entire volume, inviting the reader to study scripture by worshiping God, and what better way to being worshiping God then by singing this stalwart hymn declaring praise to our Heavenly King. Furthermore this trend continues throughout the work always positioning the reader to keep their focus on God above all. Each hymn is specially chosen to draw the reader’s mind back to the worship of God, which is the purpose of theology. I have read more systematic theologies than I can count and have never encountered this stylistic approach, I hope it is the beginning of new trend in scholarship presentation.
While in many ways systematic theologies are the same, in how they go about the study of God, meaning the different categories (eg. Theology Proper, Eschatology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, Soteriology, anthropology, ect.) the depth that Biblical Doctrine goes it sensational. While Biblical Doctrine is not a long book, for a systematic theology in one volume, at 1024 pages, the sub topics that are explored are practical and timely. For instance I was quickly drawn in by the inclusion of a particularly useful and apt study on the topic of gender. Biblical Doctrine espouses how gender is something that is created and established by God and not by man, this argument goes to great lengths to prove this idea through scripture and its effects on marriage, procreation, and gender confusion.
While the depth of study that is contained in this volume can be cumbersome to certain readers, Biblical Doctrine is not meant to be read in one sitting. Rather it is to be paired with your personal or group study of scripture and can even be used for preparation in teaching the Bible. Biblical Doctrine therefore puts the focus not on itself but clearly on scripture, meaning that Sola Scriptura is not only highly valued in this work but is the foundation of it so that God can be glorified.
This book was provided to me free of charge from Crossway Publishing in exchange for an unbiased, honest review.
Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth
© 2017 Edited by John MacArthur & Richard Mayhue
Publisher: Crossway Publishing
Page Count: 1024 Pages