Systematic Theology

Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

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Douglas, J. D. and Merrill C. Tenney, eds. The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible: Revised Full-Color Edition. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988.

Brown, Colin. New International Dictionary of New Testament Theology (4 Volume Set). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986.

Ewell, Walter. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Baker Reference Library). Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.
This is a thorough and evangelical one-volume dictionary on theology.

Ewell, Walter. Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology (Baker Reference Library). Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996.
This work shows how a name, idea, or theme is developed through Scripture. It connects the Old Testament and New Testament content on more than 500 theological ideas. This distinguishes biblical theology from systematic theology.

Hermeneutics

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Zuck, Roy B. Basic Bible Interpretation. Wheaton: Victor, 1991.
A dispensational approach to interpreting the Bible.

Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1993.
A helpful study focused on the genres of the Bible.

Wallace, Daniel B. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.
We were not sure where to put this volume, but this seems to be the best place. The Scripture index is extremely helpful to see how Wallace explains the text. He does not cover everything, but where he does, the reader will frequently find him helpful and full of insights for the preacher, teacher, and interpreter.

Thomas, Robert. Evangelical Hermeneutics: The New Versus the Old. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003.
A critique of some of the current approaches to hermeneutics in evangelicalism today.

Virkler, Henry A. Hermeneutics: Principles and Processes of Biblical Interpretation. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2007.
A traditional and helpful introduction to interpreting the Bible.

Dispensationalism

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Ryrie, Charles C. Dispensationalism. Chicago: Moody, 2007.
This is the standard dispensational work today. Every pastor should have a copy.

Bateman, Herbert W. IV. Three Central Issues in Contemporary Dispensationalism: A Comparison of Traditional & Progressive Views. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1999.

Feinberg, John S., ed. Continuity and Discontinuity (Essays in Honor of S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.): Perspectives on the Relationship Between the Old and New Testaments. Wheaton: Crossway, 1988.

Showers, Renald E. There Really Is a Difference!: A Comparison of Covenant and Dispensational Theology. Bellmawr, NJ: Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1990.
This short book demonstrates the distinctive differences betweeen a covenant approach to the Bible and a dispensational approach. Everyone should read this work.

Stallard, Mike, ed. Dispensational Understanding of the New Covenant. Des Plaines: Regular Baptist Press, 2012.
How should we understand the Bible’s teaching about the new covenant? Scholars and theologians have debated this question for centuries without reaching a consensus. The three views in this book are all unified by a single idea: God will make His new covenant with Israel, not the church. Referring to papers first presented at the 2009 Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, the authors discuss three ideas within traditional dispensationalism: 1) the church is in some way a party to the new covenant, 2) the church shares similar blessings to the new covenant, or 3) the church has nothing at all to do with the new covenant. Each viewpoint is supported by extensive theological, historical, and exegetical research, with responses and rejoinders for each view.

Apologetics

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Beckwith, Francis J., William Lane Craig, and J. P. Moreland, eds. To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview. Downers Grove: Inter-Varsity, 2004.

Bahnsen, Greg L. Presuppositional Apologetics: Stated and Defended. Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2008.
This is one of the best presentation of apologetics from a Presuppositional approach.

Cowan, Steven B. Five Views on Apologetics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Craig, William Lane. The Son Rises. Chicago: Moody, 1981.
An apologetic defense of the resurrection.

Frame, John. Apologetics to the Glory of God: An Introduction. Philipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed, 1994.
Frame attempts to bring the best of Presuppositional apologetics into union with the best of Classical, Evidential, and Cumulative Case apologetics.

Strobel, Lee. The Case for Faith: A Journalist Investigates the Toughest Objections to Christianity. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2000.

Veith, Gene Edward, Jr. Postmodern Times: A Christian Guide to Contemporary Thought and Culture. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1994.
A very helpful guide to postmodern philosophy and thought.

Zacharias, Ravi. Can Man Live Without God. Dallas: Word, 1994.
A popular approach to apologetics.

Systematic Theology

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McCune, Rolland. McCune. A Systematic Theology of Biblical Christianity. Detroit: Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, 2009-2010.
Vol 1 Prolegomena and the Doctrines of Scripture, God, and Angels.
Vol 2 The Doctrines of Man, Sin, Christ, and the Holy Spirit
Vol 3 The Doctrines of Salvation, the Church, and Last Things
A Baptist, conservative, dispensational systematic theology by a fundamentalist. His strong Calvinism may put some off, but every pastor should have a copy of this theology set.

Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas: Dallas Seminary Press, 1947-48.
Chafer (1871-1952) was the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary. His systematic theology was the most extensive dispensational systematic theology ever written.

Enns, Paul. Moody Handbook of Theology. Chicago: Moody, 1983.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998.
A Baptist, fairly conservative, non-dispensational systematic theology.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
Grudem is charismatic, but his theology is worth owning. He was originally a New Testament scholar who shifted to Systematic Theology. The result is a theology based on exegetical studies. Because of his charismatic connections, be careful of his discussions of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts.

Strong, Augustus H. Systematic Theology . Rochester, NY: E. R. Andrews, 1886.
This was the standard Baptist theology for years. Strong had a problem with monism, accepted evolution, and while fairly conservative personally, he became enamored with liberal theology. Where he is good, however, he is still helpful. Print copies are still available, but it is available free at the Google ebooks store.

Thiessen, Henry C. Introductory Lectures In Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979.
An evangelical systematic theology textbook by a former chairman of the faculty of the graduate school at Wheaton College. Thiessen is Baptistic and dispensational in theological perspective. Be sure to get the revised version. Doerksen fixed some of Thiessen’s problem areas.

Angelology

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Dickason, C. Fred. Angels Elect and Evil. Chicago: Moody, 1995.

Konya, Alex. Demons: A Biblically Based Perspective. Schaumburg, IL: Regular Baptist Press, 1990.

Lightner, Robert. Angels, Satan And Demons. Nashville: Word, 1998.

Pentecost, Dwight. Your Adversary, the Devil. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1969.

Anthropology

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Allen, Ronald. The Majesty of Man: The Dignity of Being Human. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2000.

Grudem, Wayne. Making Sense of Man and Sin: One of Seven Parts from Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Making Sense of Series). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.
This is a clear discussion of the doctrines of man and sin. If you have Grudem’s Systematic Theology, you already have this work.

Berkouwer, G. C. Man-The Image of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962.

Hoekema, Anthony A. Created in God’s Image. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1986.

Machen, J. Gresham. The Christian View of Man. London: Banner of Truth, 1965 (reprint of 1937 edition).
Machen was an early 20th century Presbyterian who rejected the onslaught of liberalism in his denomination and the liberal view of man as inherently good.

Piper, John. What’s the Difference?: Manhood and Womanhood Defined According to the Bible. Westchester, Ill.: Crossway, 1990.

Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, eds. Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism. Westchester, Ill.: Crossway, 1991.
This is a helpful discussion of the complementarian view of the male and female roles in the home and church.

Bibliology

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Young, Edward J. Thy Word is Truth. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1957.

Beachum, Roy and Kevin Bauder. One Bible Only?: Examining Exclusive Claims for the King James Bible. Grand Rapids; Kregel, 2001.

Bush, L. Ross and Tom Nettles. Baptists and the Bible. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1999.

Criswell, W. A. Why I Preach That the Bible Is Literally True. Nashville: Broadman, 1976.

Gaussen, L. The Plenary Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Chicago: Moody, 1949.
This is a standard on the plenary inspiration of the Bible. Even though it is more than half a century old, it is still worth reading.

Geisler, Norman L. Inerrancy. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979.

Warfield, B. B. Inerrancy. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1948.

Sproul, Michael. God’s Word Preserved: A Defense of Historic Separatist Definitions and Beliefs. Tempe: Whetstone Precept, 2005.

Williams, James ed. From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man: A Layman’s Guide to How We Got Our Bible. Greenville: Ambassador, 1999.

Williams, James ed. God’s Word in Our Hands: The Bible Preserved for Us. Greenville: Ambassador, 2003.

Christology

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Walvoord, John F. Jesus Christ Our Lord. Chicago: Moody, 1969.

Baron, David. Rays of Messiah’s Glory: Christ in the Old Testament. Jerusalem: The Messianic Testimony, 2000.
This work is by a converted Jew; he brings to the reader a Jewish understanding of the Old Testament. This is a recent reprint. Baron died in 1926.

Edersheim, Alfred. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah: New Updated Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009.
A classic on the life of Christ. An inexpensive Kindle version is available.

Erickson, Millard J. The Word Became Flesh. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1991.

Reymond, Robert L. Jesus Divine Messiah. Ross-Shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2003.

Warfield, B. B. The Person and Work of Christ. Philadelphia: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1950.

Wenham, John. Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Conflict? London: Paternoster, 1984.
This is helpful to putting the events of the Easter story into one coherent chronological story.

Zodhiates, Spiros. Was Christ God? Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 1966.

Ecclesiology

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Earl D. Radmacher. What the Church is All About: A Biblical and Historical Study. Chicago: Moody, 1978.
A practical and theological view of the church from a Baptist perspective.

Brand, Chad O. and R. Stanton Norman, eds. Perspectives on Church Government: Five Views of Church Polity . Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2004.

Bridge, Donald, and David Phypers. Communion, The Meal that Unites?. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1981.

Bridge, Donald, and David Phypers. The Water that Divides: Two Views on Baptism Explored. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1977.

Clouse, Bonnidell, and Robert G. Clouse, eds. Women in Ministry: Four Views. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1989.
A helpful work to aid in understanding the various views concerning what women may or may not do in ministry.

Dever, Mark and Paul Alexander. The Deliberate Church: Building Your Ministry on the Gospel. Wheaton: Crossway, 2005.
A helpful introduction to church ministry. Dever argues for a plurality of elders, a single pastor as leader, and congregational authority.

Saucy, Robert L. The Church in Gods Program. Chicago: Moody, 1972.

Eschatology

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Pentecost, J. Dwight. Things to Come: A Study in Biblical Eschatology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958.
This is the classic dispensational treatment of prophecy and eschatology. Every pastor should have a copy.

Archer, Gleason, Paul Feinberg, Douglas Moo, and Richard Reiter. Three Views on the Rapture. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984.
Well-argued essays representing the three major positions on the rapture.

Clouse, Robert G., ed. The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views. Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity, 1977.
This is helpful to understand the major views of the millennium.

Crockett, William V., Z. J. Hayes, Clark H. Pinnock, and John F. Walvoord. Four Views on Hell. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Feinberg, Charles L. Millennialism: The Two Major Views. Chicago: Moody Press, 1980.

Ice, Thomas and Timothy Demy. When the Trumpet Sounds: Today’s Foremost Authorities Speak Out on End-Time Controversy. Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995.
A defense of traditional dispensational eschatology.

Lightner, Robert P. The Last Days Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Different Views of Prophecy. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1990.

McClain, Alva J. Greatness of the Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959 (reprinted by Winona Lake: BMH, 1974).
Every dispensationalist needs to read this classic.

McClain, A. J. Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks. Winona Lake: BMH, 2007.

Walvoord, John F. Blessed Hope and The Tribulation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.

Walvoord, John F. The Millennial Kingdom. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1959.

Walvoord, John F. The Rapture Question . Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1957.

Hamartiology

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Grudem, Wayne. Making Sense of Man and Sin: One of Seven Parts from Grudem’s Systematic Theology (Making Sense of Series). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011.
This is a clear discussion of the doctrines of man and sin. If you have Grudem’s Systematic Theology, you already have this work.

Berkouwer, G. C. Studies in Dogmatics: Sin. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971.

Carson, D. A. How Long, O Lord?: Reflections on Suffering and Evil. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1990.

Feinberg, J. S. The Many Faces of Evil (Revised and Expanded Edition): Theological Systems and the Problems of Evil . Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.
A helpful philosophical and biblical discussion concerning how God can allow evil to exist.

Pneumatology

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Walvoord, John F. The Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954.
A dispensationally based study on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

Cole, Graham A. He Who Gives Life: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Wheaton: Crossway, 2007.
The historical background section is good. Cole is a “soft” or “cautious” cessationist.

Ferguson, Sinclair. The Holy Spirit. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1996.

MacArthur, John F. Charismatic Chaos. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992.

Pettegrew, Larry. The New Covenant Ministry of the Holy Spirit. Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2001.

Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. The Holy Spirit. Chicago: Moody, 1965.

Swete, H.B. The Holy Spirit in the New Testament. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1999.
A classic on the Holy Spirit. This was first published in 1910.

Wood, Leon J. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.
This is a helpful discussion of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, a topic not frequently covered.

Soteriology

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Lightner, Robert P. Sin, the Savior, and Salvation: The Theology of Everlasting Life. Nashville: Nelson, 1991.

Alexander, Donald L., ed. Christian Spirituality: Five Views of Sanctification (Spectrum). Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1988.

Carson, D. A. Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility: Biblical Perspective in Tension. Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1981.

Demarest, Bruce. The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of Salvation. Wheaton: Crossway, 1997.

Hodges, Zane C. Absolutely Free: A Biblical Reply to Lordship Salvation. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.
Hodges rejects Lordship salvation and argues for a Christian’s ability to live without sanctification. Whether you agree with Hodges free-grace position or not, you should be familiar with it.

Hoekema, Anthony A. Saved by Grace. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989.

MacArthur, John F., Jr. The Gospel According to Jesus. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1988.

Murray, John. Redemption Accomplished and Applied. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955.

Ryrie, Charles C. So Great Salvation: What It Means to Believe in Jesus Christ. Wheaton: Scripture Press, 1989.

Schreiner, Thomas R. and Bruce A. Ware. Still Sovereign: Contemporary Perspectives on Election, Foreknowledge, and Grace. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000.

Theology Proper

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Charnock, Stephen. The Existence and Attributes of God. Grand Rapids: Sovereign Grace, 1971 (first published 1655-80).
The classic work on the doctrine of God.

John M. Frame. The Doctrine of God. A Theology of Lordship. Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 2002.

Bray, Gerald. The Doctrine of God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1993.

Erickson, Millard J. God in Three Persons: A Contemporary Interpretation of the Trinity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1995.

Erickson, Millard J. God the Father Almighty: A Contemporary Exploration of the Divine Attributes. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998.

Feinberg, John. Name No One Like Him: The Doctrine of God
Wheaton: Crossway, 2006.

Packer, J. I. Knowing God. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1973.
Less theological than the rest of the books in this section, but a good example of the application of the doctrine of God in the life of the average Christian.

Ware, Bruce. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Relationships, Roles, and Relevance. Wheaton: Crossway, 2005.