- Publisher: Crossway Books (March 18, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1433506254
- WTS Books
According to its Preface, “Doctrine seeks to trace the big theological themes of Scripture along the storyline of the Bible.” Doctrine has thirteen chapters: 1. Trinity: God Is 2. Revelation: God Speaks 3. Creation: God Makes 4. Image: God Loves 5. Fall: God Judges 6. Covenant: God Pursues 7. Incarnation: God Comes 8. Cross: God Dies 9. Resurrection: God Saves 10. Church: God Sends 11. Worship: God Transforms 12. Stewardship: God Gives 13. Kingdom: God Reigns. Each chapter is succinct and to the point, in keeping with the Preface: “This book is packed with truth without many stories for illustration and entertainment. These omissions are intentional. We believe God’s Story is perfect, and we want it to be in focus.”
Weaknesses. We’re talking 464 pages as opposed to Grudem’s Systematic of 1264, so don’t expect a lot of detailed discussions. Rather, as the authors indicated, we’re talking a book “packed with truth.” Because of this, the authors tend to be dogmatic at times, without offering much to think about against opposition views. For example, while favoring “propitiation,” the authors dismiss “sacrifice of atonement” and “expiation” (p. 259). Second, the authors stand in the calvinistic-complementarian position. This surfaces here and there.
Strengths. Despite its limitations, I find Doctrine a good overview of the central truths of Scripture. I’m particularly pleased that the authors decided to begin with a discussing of the “Trinity” rather than “Revelation.” I’ve found the chapters on Creation: God Makes (3), Stewardship: God Gives (12), and Kingdom: God Reigns (13) quite good. In fact, in the chapter Kingdom: God Reigns, there’s a discussion on hell, which also answers various objections to an eternal conscious punishment – sort of anticipating Rob Bell and Love Wins. I don’t think I know of another Doctrine book that devotes an entirely chapter to “Stewardship.”
If you’re looking for a quick overview, to the point, yet biblical volume on the central truths of Scripture, then I recommend Doctrine. Here’s John Frame on Doctrine, “There is much here to aid readers who have thought that theology was too complicated, uninteresting, or irrelevant. This book is none of those things.”