Charts on Systematic Theology: Volume 1 by Wayne House

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Wayne House has produced several well-received volumes of charts for Bible study. Kyle Roberts assists him here in producing this volume on Prolegomena, or the introductory matters in the study of systematic theology. This makes up one of the fine volumes in the Kregel Charts of the Bible and Theology series.

This book will fool you in the incredible amount of information it gathers in only 130 pages. It includes both wonderful insights for any Bible student and in-depth explanations of specialized scholarly subjects. The book is designed around 10 subjects.

The book begins with an explanation of what theology is. After a brief introduction, you have two multipage charts explaining both objective and subjective theologies. I found much more help in the former than in the latter! The second section wants to help us find out what are the possibilities of systematic theology. You may discover some camps you weren’t aware of, but the explanation of each group will give you a lot to think about as you form your own viewpoint. The third section is very helpful to encourage a Bible student to understand the different branches of theological study: systematic theology, biblical theology, historical theology, and philosophical theology.

Part four looks at the nature of doctrine and is particularly a description of current scholarly debate. The fifth section tackles what revelation is and where it’s located. For some Bible students, this will be new ground–you would be surprised how much scholarly ink is spilled on these reception theories. There’s some charts on general and special revelation as well. Part six looks at the knowledge and language of God. Since the Word of God is a book of words, these discussions raise some important questions. Part seven looks at hermeneutics and theological interpretation. This naturally goes to a description of types of hermeneutics. Once again, we will have objective and subjective viewpoints about hermeneutics. The charts contain much detail. Part eight takes us to faith and reason. The chart here has good apologetic value too. Part nine goes to the source and structure of truth. You may again be surprised that the hair was so finally split, but you will have a timely overview at your disposal in this book. The final section looks at the relationship between the testaments. The various viewpoints presented fall somewhere on the scale between unity and diversity and there’s also more objective and subjective theologies described as well. The book ends with a lengthy bibliography.

This book skews more toward the scholarly side than some other such volumes of charts. This book’s strength may also be its weakness. Yes, it contains vast amounts of information, but at times more than you’re used to finding in a chart format. In the end, that may be a matter of taste.

There can be no doubt that the authors have grasped the material, taken a snapshot of the scholarly world with all its debates, and made a thorough presentation to us. This book could be the perfect refresher course to pull off the shelf when any of these subjects we encounter with less frequency are faced in our studies. I recommend it.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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