Basic Theology

The following books are recommendations for further learning on basic theology. If you are searching for a more elaborate explanation on theology, consider checking out the advanced theology recommendations.

 
 

Knowing God by J.I. Packer

This landmark edition combines Berkhof's standard, systematic treatment of the doctrines of the Reformed faith — his magnum opus — with his Introduction to Systematic Theology. Written in a scholarly yet simple style, and completely outlined and indexed, the work includes a thorough bibliography, and questions for further study follow each section. A new preface by Richard A. Muller explains the relation and importance of Berkhof's prolegomena to the rest of his systematic theology.For over 40 years, J. I. Packer's classic has been an important tool to help Christians around the world discover the wonder, the glory and the joy of knowing God. In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals. Stemming from Packer's profound theological knowledge, Knowing God brings together two important facets of the Christian faith― knowing about God and also knowing God through the context of a close relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. Written in an engaging and practical tone, this thought-provoking work seeks to transform and enrich the Christian understanding of God. Explaining both who God is and how we can relate to him, Packer divides his book into three sections: The first directs our attention to how and why we know God, the second to the attributes of God and the third to the benefits enjoyed by a those who know him intimately. This guide leads readers into a greater understanding of God while providing advice to gaining a closer relationship with him as a result.

Suggested sources for purchase:


Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J.I. Packer

If God is in control of everything, can Christians sit back and not bother to evangelize? Or does active evangelism imply that God is not really sovereign at all? J. I. Packer shows in this new edition to the popular IVP Classics how both of these attitudes are false. In a careful review of the biblical evidence, he shows how a right understanding of God's sovereignty is not so much a barrier to evangelism as an incentive and powerful support for it. With over 100,000 copies in print, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God is truly a classic that should be read by every Christian.

Suggested sources for purchase:

Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 10.24.36 AM.png

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

One of the most popular introductions to Christian faith ever written, Mere Christianity has sold millions of copies worldwide. The book brings together C.S. Lewis's legendary broadcast talks of the war years, talks in which he set out simply to "explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times." Rejecting the boundaries that divide Christianity's many denominations, Lewis provides an unequaled opportunity for believers and nonbelievers alike to hear a powerful, rational case for the Christian faith. It is a collection of scintillating brilliance that remains strikingly fresh for the modern reader and at the same time confirms C.S. Lewis's reputation as one of the leading writers and thinkers of our age.

Suggested sources for purchase:


Basic Christianity by John R.W. Stott

In this book world-renowned scholar and preacher John Stott clearly defines both the fundamental claims of Christianity and the proper outworkings of those basic beliefs in the daily lives of believers. Stott's Basic Christianity is a sound, sensible guide for anyone seeking an intellectually satisfying presentation of the Christian faith.

Suggested sources for purchase:


Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 10.53.57 AM.png

Everyone's a Theologian by R.C. Sproul

Many people react negatively to the word theology, believing that it involves dry, fruitless arguments about minute points of doctrine. Yet as Dr. R.C. Sproul argues, everyone is a theologian. Any time we think about a teaching of the Bible and strive to understand it, we are engaging in theology. Therefore, it is important that we put the Bible's varied teachings together in a systematic fashion, using proper, time-tested methods of interpretation so as to arrive at a theology that is founded on truth.

That is precisely what Dr. Sproul does in Everyone's a Theologian: An Introduction to Systematic Theology. This book is anything but a dry discussion of minute points of doctrine. Dr. Sproul, demonstrating his trademark ability to make complex subjects easy to understand, surveys the basic truths of the Christian faith, reminding us once more of what God is like and of what He has done for His people in this world and the next.

Suggested sources for purchase:


Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul

Central to God’s character is the quality of holiness. Yet, even so, most people are hard-pressed to define what God’s holiness precisely is. Many preachers today avoid the topic altogether because people today don’t quite know what to do with words like “awe” or “fear.” R. C. Sproul, in this classic work, puts the holiness of God in its proper and central place in the Christian life. He paints an awe-inspiring vision of God that encourages Christian to become holy just as God is holy. Once you encounter the holiness of God, your life will never be the same.

Suggested sources for purchase:


Who is Jesus? (9Marks) by Greg Gilbert

A famed historian once noted that, regardless of what you think of him personally, Jesus Christ stands as the central figure in the history of Western civilization. A man violently rejected by some and passionately worshipped by others, Jesus remains as polarizing as ever. But most people still know very little about who he really was, why he was really here, or what he really claimed.

Intended as a succinct introduction to Jesus’s life, words, and enduring significance, Who Is Jesus? offers non-Christians and new Christians alike a compelling portrait of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, this book encourages readers to carefully consider the history-shaping life and extraordinary teachings of the greatest man who ever lived.

Suggested sources for purchase:


What is the Gospel? (9Marks) by Greg Gilbert

What is the gospel? It seems like a simple question, yet it has been known to incite some heated responses, even in the church. How are we to formulate a clear, biblical understanding of the gospel? Tradition, reason, and experience all leave us ultimately disappointed. If we want answers, we must turn to the Word of God.

Greg Gilbert does so in What Is the Gospel? Beginning with Paul's systematic presentation of the gospel in Romans and moving through the sermons in Acts, Gilbert argues that the central structure of the gospel consists of four main subjects: God, man, Christ, and a response. The book carefully examines each and then explores the effects the gospel can have in individuals, churches, and the world. Both Christian and non-Christian readers will gain a clearer understanding of the gospel in this valuable resource.

Suggested sources for purchase: