My Systematic Theology Books

Yesterday’s being Boxing Day the Life group that my wife and I attend didn’t have a meeting. Thus instead of sharing with you from it, I’ll present an updated version of my September 30 “My Systematic Theology Books” post. It contains two additional books and is arranged alphabetically instead of chronologically.

Aquinas, Thomas. The Summa Theologica. Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Volumes 19-20 of Great Books of the Western World. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1952. Aquinas (1224-74) was the greatest philosopher and theologian of the medieval church. He wrote The Summa Theologica in 1267-73. In 1879 Pope Leo XIII declared it official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.

Berkhof, Louis. Systematic Theology. Fourth edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939. Berkhof (1873-1957) was a president and teacher at Calvin Seminary. <i>Systematic Theology</i> was the favourite systematic theology book of Dr. Ratz, the dean of Eastern Pentecostal Bible College when I attended it. Grudem (see below) describes Berkhof’s Systematic Theology as “probably the most useful one-volume systematic theology available from any theological perspective.”

Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion. Edited by John T. McNeill and translated and indexed by Ford Lewis Battles. Volumes 20-21 of The Library of Christian Classics. Philadelphia, Westminster, 1960. Calvin (1509-64) was the greatest theologian of the Reformation. He wrote the original version of Institutes of the Christian Religion in 1536 and revised it several times. The LCC version was translated from the 1559 version collated with earlier versions.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Third edition. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 2013. Erickson (1932- ) is currently Distinguished Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. The first edition of Christian Theology was published in three volumes in 1983-85. It excels in interacting with contemporary theological thought.

Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994. Grudem (1948- ) became Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies at Phoenix Seminary in 2001 after teaching for twenty years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has a website at His Systematic Theology is my most useful all-round systematic theology book and my family and I are reading it in our family Bible reading time.

Horton, Stanley M. Editor. Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective. Springfield: Gospel Publishing House, 1994. Horton (1916- ) is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Bible and Theology at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. Systematic Theology: A Pentecostal Perspective was written by twenty teachers of Bible and theology in the seminary and colleges of the Assemblies of God.

Strong, Augustus H. Systematic Theology. Valley Forge: Judson Press, 1907. Strong (1836-1921) was a president and professor of theology at Rochester Theological Seminary. <i>Systematic Theology</i> was first published in 1886 and revised and enlarged in 1906. It was widely used by Baptists until replaced by Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology (see above).

Thiessen, Henry Clarence. Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979. Thiessen (1883–1947) was a former chairman of the faculty at Wheaton College. The first edition of Lectures in Systematic Theology was published in 1949. It was the textbook for systematic theology at Eastern Pentecostal Bible College when I attended it. Grudem categorizes it as Dispensational.

Williams, J. Rodman. Renewal Theology. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1996. Williams (1918-2008) was a teacher at Regent University. A website dedicated to him is at Renewal Theology was published in three volumes in 1988-92. It was the first systematic theology published from a charismatic perspective. Besides appreciating its Pentecostal/charismatic orientation, I like its pastoral style and its extensive footnotes, particularly those on the Greek text. Despite its being Calvinistic, it would be my favourite systematic theology book if it weren’t for its also being amillenial.


2 thoughts on “My Systematic Theology Books

  1. Bob Hunter Post author

    Since posting “My Systematic Theology Books” I’ve acquired another favourite systematic theology book, Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave’s “Foundations of Pentecostal Theology” (Los Angeles, California: Foursquare Media, 2008). Duffield (1909-2000) and Van Cleave (1907-2002) were teachers (etc.) with The Foursquare Church. The book was begun at the request of Jack W. Hayford when he was serving as president of L.I.F.E. Bible College at Los Angeles and was initially copyright by it (in 1983). Although covering all fundamental Christian doctrines, it gives more extensive treatment to Pentecostal distinctives.

  2. Bob Hunter Post author

    While reading about the doctrine of salvation from my systematic theology textbooks, I discovered that the reviser of H. C. Thiessen’s “Lectures in Systematic Theology” had changed its presentation from an Arminian one to a Calvinist one. Needless to say, I was disappointed that I’d replaced my copy of the original version with a copy of the revised version. I was also disappointed that Eerdmans had published such a drastically revised version under the name of its original author without any warning of having made such a change.


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