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Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  13,972 ratings  ·  324 reviews
The Christian church has a long tradition of systematic theology, that is, of studying biblical teaching on centrally important doctrines such as the Word of God, redemption, and Jesus Christ. Wayne Grudem's bestselling Systematic Theology has several distinctive features:


A strong emphasis on the scriptural basis for each doctrine
Clear writing, with technical terms kept to
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Hardcover, 1291 pages
Published January 3rd 1995 by Zondervan Academic (first published 1994)
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Sam Ogurchak According to Matthew 22: 30; "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." This is part of Je…moreAccording to Matthew 22: 30; "For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven." This is part of Jesus' response to the Sadducee's question of marriage on the resurrection, if seven brothers marry the same woman who is the husband to that woman. According to the bible those whom Jesus has saved, by no work of their own, will be in heaven with him forever, with a glorified body and perfected heart, but will not be married. They will be of one body instead of as in earthly marriage where a man and woman become one; so in the resurrection people will be like the angels who are one. (less)

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Jeff Shelnutt
Systematic theologies are not easy to rate. There are a number of factors to consider, especially when approaching a work the size and scope of Grudem’s. Plus, there are all sorts of personal criteria that come into play, the least of which is not one’s own theological positions. So, I’ll try to break down this review into a few categories and comment on the appeal of each to me.

Readability. This is where I consider Grudem to shine the brightest. Theological, like philosophical works, are notori
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Daniel
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Since this book is written by a Particular Baptist-Charismatic, it is not a Reformed systematic theology. It is, however, a systematic theology written from a perspective that is friendly to Reformed theology. For that reason alone, it is not a book that modern Reformed theologians and clergy can safely ignore. If I were to be crudely reductionist in summarising my views on the book, I would suggest that the first 75% is very good, while the remaining 25% is perhaps not so good. This statement w ...more
Tim
Oct 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Widely praised in the insular evangelicalism tainted by a taste of modern Reformed thought, Grudem's Systematic Theology is a perfect evangelical circle-jerk, unafraid to be unaware of any currents of modern or historical thought. Relying mostly on evangelical systematics of the last 150 years, and, of course, on his own bent vision of Scripture, Grudem nevertheless assumes his work is timeless and objective.
Grudem defines systematic theology as any study that answers the question, "What does
...more
Travis
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Over the past couple of years, I made it a goal of mine to read through Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Grudem’s work is one of the standard systematic theology books used in Bible colleges and seminaries around the world. I read Millard Erickson’s book in my theology classes in seminary, and thus wanted to take a look at Grudem’s work. Over the next few paragraphs, I will mention just a few impressions of the work that I have. I will not attempt a thorough review, as to review a 1,200 page ...more
G Walker
Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Ehhhh... At one level, I get the hype... at another level, I have HUGE concerns. I am not sure really all what should or shouldn't be said about this work. Out the outset, Grudem is commendable on several levels. He is a first rate communicator. He is a great compiler and organizer. He's not afraid to take on controversial issues or draw unpopular conclusions. When it comes to logic, or at least structured theology, he is good and clearly communicates "tightly wound" argumentation without mental ...more
John
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Grudem's Systematic Theology is the "go-to" Systematic Theology in a large part of the American church today, including my little corner. I finally got through it myself, after delaying for years.

The book is very well organized, as others have said. Grudem is a clear writer, and the book is very accessible to the average layman. In fact, the book is organized well to be used in adult Sunday School curriculum, as my church is doing. The title is "An Introduction to..." so keep that in mind. The b
...more
Kelly
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most helpful books I have ever read. A comprehensive systematic theology from a mostly reformed perspective that is an excellent and well-organized introduction to Biblical Christian beliefs and theology. I appreciated that Grudem as an author was upfront about his position on every topic he covered - he did not feign to be unbiased, instead clearly stating his own position and then providing ample bibliographies in each section from other authors with alternate viewpoints for the rea ...more
Jackie
Well, it took me almost a year, but I finally finished reading this. After reflecting on it, I'm reminded of a man I interviewed who had earned a Master of Divinity. He warned others considering pursuing a similar degree that you don't go into serious theological study without being prepared to change your mind about things you've long believed about doctrine after weighing all the scriptural evidence. I remembered being surprised when he told me this was the most difficult part of earning his d ...more
Amy
Dec 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ALL Christians
Recommended to Amy by: My Pastor
Wow. Grudem defines "Systematic Theology" as what the bible tells us today about any given topic.....and I have to say that after reading this massive text, I feel much more apt to be able to read and understand scripture and apply it to my life. The one major thing that sticks out in this book is the extensive bibliographies at the end of each chapter. Grudem doesn't just leave you hanging with his opinion, he shows you other texts where you can explore other opinions. This book should be requi ...more
An Idler
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A useful and clear "first systematic theology" that is unafraid to take a position and equally unafraid to present the opposition. My agreement with Grudem's choices waxes and wanes, but my confidence that reading it was worth the time does not.
benebean
May 17, 2010 marked it as paused-progress
disclaimer: this isn't really a real "review" of this book. What I wrote was more like notes on first reactions to the text since a friend of mine had recently/was going through the book around the same time. It really was never meant as a well-crafted expression of my view(s) on the book, nor does it reflect a studious approach on my part in carefully endeavoring to fully understand every argument before offering a well thought out conclusion. So if you end up reading this, take it with a grai ...more
Ryan
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Whether Grudem's attempt at constructing a Systematic Theology is useful to you or not depends entirely on what you're looking for.


If you're looking for a primer on theology, or even a contribution to the conversation on theology, then avoid this book like the plague. Grudem's Systematic is unabashedly biased, historically shallow, lacking in nuance, narrow in scope, and sparing in dialogue. Even in areas where you might happen to agree with Grudem, you'll still likely be frustrated by his reduc
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Connor Longaphie
This is the worst large systematic I've ever read. Not the worst full stop as I think Bruce Milne's super basic systematic is even worse. But this was dry, it was lacking in content. Extremely shallow explanations of different views. If you're going to do a one-volume systematic you need to cover fewer issues so that you can actually cover them. Not cover everything extremely poorly. Accessing a "got questions" article for each of these topics would give you a more substantial understanding than ...more
Beth
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To me this is the most thorough, well written, doctrinal sound systematic theology book out there. I have tried reading a couple others in order to do academic writing, but this one stand above the rest. Grudem is concise yet thorough. He doesn't spend time on fluff, he gets right down to the point, which I appreciate in a book this length.

I read this from cover to cover and regret nothing. If you really want to know what you believe, not opinionated, this is the book for you!
Mike Jorgensen
Don't agree with him everywhere but he got me started in systematic theology.
Alexander Proudfoot
Feb 10, 2019 rated it did not like it
Probably the most underwhelming systematic theology I've ever read. Nothing was said here that hasn't been said way better in so many different theologies. Defending it on the basis of it being an introduction won't cut it, because it certainly isnt organized as an introductory book.
Dottie Parish
Dec 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem illuminates the basic doctrines of Christianity. This reference book has seven major sections with chapters in each section. The information is rich, scholarly and detailed, but written in a style easy for a lay person to understand. I read all the way through it!

Grudem ends each chapter with the words to a hymn on the subject of the chapter. In picking hymns to relate to the Christian doctrines he “realized that the great hymns of the church throughout histor
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Chad Barnes
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reference
Grudem has produced an excellent work from a reformed, Calvinist perspective. Interestingly, many of my friends who are neither reformed nor Calvinist also view Grudem's Systematic Theology as a go-to work. It is surprisingly readable/accessible, even including questions for small group study. Truthfully, it is readable for junior high and up, although the sheer size of it may be too frightening!
Dkovlak
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is in excellent book. It is extremely long and very detailed. Mr. Grudem does an excellent job of spelling out each viewpoint for each topic. This book is a tremendous resource for all serious Christians. Almost any question you can think of is addressed by this book from a Christian viewpoint.
Mason
Feb 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is my third time through systematic. Grudem does such a great job with this. Will be a long time classic.
Bill Hines
Dec 25, 2017 rated it liked it
One sided, but very well written.
Jared Kassebaum
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
While this was my first foray into systematic theology years ago, I enjoyed it for what it was. But, after reading it a second time outside the neat and carefully structured boundaries of my childhood legalistic faith, I am frustrated by Grudem's language that makes it seems like he is giving fair explanations of views he disagrees with. Of course, he will disagree, as one should, and he will be biased, as one cannot avoid, but we should never present it, then, as if we were not biased. Some ver ...more
Brenda
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: challies-2018
I started this book in a piecemeal fashion - first reading the chapters that most interested me and letting long periods of time pass between readings. Last fall, I started at Chapter 1 and began reading straight through, skipping what I had already read (and I'll probably come back to some of the appendices later). This book is full of sound, thorough explanations on the topics that it tackles. I won't say I agree with everything, but I find that I agree with probably 98-99% of Grudem's views, ...more
Danny Joseph
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
C.S. Lewis once said something to the effect that the worth of a book can be measured by how often you refer back to it. If that is the case, then Systematic Theology is definitely worth reading, many times over.

This book is something that is useful to read once-though, and then use as a constant reference. Though Grudem is a scholar and this book looks formidable, it is surprisingly readable. Not only that, but he brings out questions to drive the knowledge into your heart, something that is of
...more
Kristine Johnson
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Solid. I hold some different theological positions than Grudem but do respect him and appreciate the work he has done (unless he talks about science where he has little experience or understanding).
Claire B.
Apr 11, 2017 added it
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm fudging a little here because I definitely did not read the entire book, but a darn good chunk, anyway!
Brient Kittrell
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book straight through which probably isn't even how this book is meant to be read, but I do think it gives me a unique perspective on it.

Pros:
1. He is very thorough in the topics covered.
2. His consideration of people that he disagrees with is amazing. He presents their cases fairly, pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of each argument

Con:
1. There are definitely chapters that are hard to get through because of either choppy writing or extreme detail. This is the exception rat
...more
Joel
Jun 20, 2012 rated it really liked it

Maybe I'd be too picky to ask a theologian to keep his (or her) personal convictions out of a book entitled Systematic Theology. Grudem is an unabashed non-cessationist charismatic--which is fine--who fails to represent other perspectives as strongly as his own--this I have a problem with. Fortunately, this only comes up a few times throughout the full book. I know it's difficult to keep one's feelings to oneself but in order to validate personal theology in a systematic theology book, it seems,
...more
Hannah
Feb 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This was required reading for my college theology class. I liked about a third of it, found another third dry, and disagreed with the other third. For instance, he does not believe in six-day creation, but leans toward a day-age theory, which seems to me to be a bow to evolution. I wish he had included more studies of things like prophecy and symbolism in the Bible; he barely mentioned them, and yet the fulfilled prophecies from the old testament are some of the greatest wonders and miracles of ...more
Josiah
May 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grudem provided excellent insight to many "basic" areas of Christian theology.

Pros:

Grudem's chapter on the canon and how the early church decided which books to recognize (not choose) as part of the canon was really excellent.

His thoughts on the meaning of the term "baptism of the Holy Spirit" were really, really good. I came to the chapter thinking that it meant something else, but he completely convinced me of his position. He viewed it as referring to more of a step in the conversion process
...more
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Wayne Grudem (PhD, University of Cambridge; DD, Westminster Theological Seminary) is research professor of theology and biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary, having previously taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Grudem earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, as well as an MDiv from Westminster Seminary. He is the former president of the Evangelical Theologica ...more

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“I do not believe that God intended the study of theology to be dry and boring. Theology is the study of God and all his works! Theology is meant to be LIVED and PRAYED and SUNG! All of the great doctrinal writings of the Bible (such as Paul's epistle to the Romans) are full of praise to God and personal application to life.” 20 likes
“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.” 9 likes
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