Book Questions

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by LaymansTermsPlease, Feb 9, 2004.

  1. LaymansTermsPlease

    LaymansTermsPlease
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    I posted this to the Book forum and received no response. Since I'm looking for something along the lines of seminary-level books, hopefully some of you folks here will be kind enough to help out a regular layperson.

    =============================

    I'm considering getting:

    Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson ISBN: 0801021820

    OR

    Christian Theology by Alister E. McGrath ISBN: 0631225285

    I'm hoping some of you folks who are currently in, or have been to, seminary have an opinion on either of these, or have another suggestion like these.

    I'm looking for something the caliber of the textbooks that would be used at Southern Baptist seminaries.

    Let me make a few comments that may help some kind folks here give me suggestions on which book might be best for me.

    I'm just a simple Christian layperson...no formal theological training...just Sunday school and a private Baptist K-12 school. I'm a career computer programmer.

    A high school Bible teacher kind of sparked my interest in theology, but with college, marriage, kid (whirlwind of real life and LOTS of technical reading to stay current with my programming skills), I never really had much time to dig into things over the years.

    Recently I got the bug again..wanting to learn as much as I can. I have to reign in my enthusiasm sometimes to keep from spending too much time on theology/history in a purely intellectual pursuit and not enough on God's actual Word itself.

    Any opinions on a big, fat, comprehensive-like volume on theology would be appreciated.

    Thanks


    Currently reading:

    Reading Scripture With the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall ISBN: 0830815007


    Already purchased and next in line for reading:

    Learning Theology With the Church Fathers by Christopher A. Hall ISBN: 0830826866

    A Handbook for Christian Philosophy by L. Russ Bush ISBN: 0310518210


    Books I've read in the recent past:

    The Early Church (Penguin History of the Church, 1) by Henry Chadwick ISBN: 0140231994

    The Reformation (Penguin History of the Church, 3) by Owen Chadwick ISBN: 0140137572

    Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther

    Martin Luther's Basic Theological Writings by Martin Luther, Timothy F. Lull (Editor) ISBN: 0800623274

    Plus a little bit of Jonathan Edwards (Religious Affectations).
     
  2. following-Him

    following-Him
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    Hello,

    I have Alister McGrath's book : Christian Theology: An Introduction, 2nd Edition. Are you referring to the later edition? I find McGrath very readable and informative. He gives a good lecture too.

    Blessings

    Sheila
     
  3. Bro. Jeff

    Bro. Jeff
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    I've heard good things about both of those guys but I've had no personal contact with either.

    I'd recommend Norman Geisler's systematic theology to you as well.
     
  4. NateT

    NateT
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    Two things. 1) For the last 4 years I've been a software engineer, so I can understand that aspect.

    2) Southern Seminary uses Millard Erickson's book for their theology class (took 2 semesters). I'd say the book is well written, and I like the way he does it. He typically lays out several positions on each subject, stating where they have merrit and then describes why his view is best. I like it because it isn't just "this is the way it is." One word of caution on Erickson's book, the first few chapters may seem irrelevant. They deal a lot with philosophy and such, but if you read through them (don't skip them) I think you'll find them benneficial.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    Geisler is a weak theologian, he should stick with apologetics.

    Wayne Grudem's systematic is pretty good, in addition to the 2 you listed. Most SBC seminaries want the students to use either Grudem or Erickson. Both have areas where I believe they are wrong, but it is very hard to find a systematic that you agree with 100%.

    I would say that Grudem's is the best i have read (baptist). But there are a few areas I would be careful with.

    Outside of baptist authors there are some good ones as well, but I will refrain from mentioning so that I don't get called a presbyterian (as is prone to happening on this board).
     
  6. go2church

    go2church
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    All right lets see the secert baptist decoder ring...you are sounding very suspious!
     
  7. zuchva

    zuchva
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    I have read both Erickson and Grudem for classes. I found Erickson to be more reader friendly than Grudem.
    If you are looking to fill your library check out Systematic Theology by Hodges.. It is a three volume set and you can pick it up for under 25.00 at CBD. He is not Baptist, but that is ok.
    I don't think Grudem is either. I could be mistaken.
     
  8. Bro. Jeff

    Bro. Jeff
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    Based on his abject rejection of Calvinism, correct?
     
  9. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    Based on his abject rejection of Calvinism, correct? </font>[/QUOTE]No.

    Based on weak exegesis and weak support. He redefines terms left and right and is just a wishy-washy thelogian. He contradicts himself in parts. I just think his theology books are poorly written.

    BTW, Who said I am a calvinist? I said he is a weak theologian because I truly believe he is one, not because I agree or disagree with his theology. There are lost of people I agree with on some issues who I think are lousy theologians. Jeff, it is sad that everything must come down to "calvinism" for you.

    BTW, I said I liked both Grudem and Erickson's texts. Both are GOOD theologians. One in is a calvinist (Grudem, who IS baptist), one is not (Erickson). I like Grudem's better, I feel it is more user-friendly as Erickson tends to be "long-winded" (or is it long penned?). Both are excellent resources that sit next to each other on my shelf.
     
  10. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    I've used both the Erickson and McGrath theologies here at SWBTS and in undergrad. (I got the new 2nd Ed of Erickson for $15 because of a pricing error!) Though I appreciate Alister McGrath and his works I suggest the Erickson because I found it to be far more exhaustive in dealing with issues and Dr. Erickson is a good Baptist himself. (He taught at SWBTS for awhile)

    I good companion theology would be Grudem's theology.
     
  11. Bro. Jeff

    Bro. Jeff
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    Based on his abject rejection of Calvinism, correct? </font>[/QUOTE]No.

    Based on weak exegesis and weak support. He redefines terms left and right and is just a wishy-washy thelogian. He contradicts himself in parts. I just think his theology books are poorly written.

    BTW, Who said I am a calvinist? I said he is a weak theologian because I truly believe he is one, not because I agree or disagree with his theology. There are lost of people I agree with on some issues who I think are lousy theologians. Jeff, it is sad that everything must come down to "calvinism" for you.

    BTW, I said I liked both Grudem and Erickson's texts. Both are GOOD theologians. One in is a calvinist (Grudem, who IS baptist), one is not (Erickson). I like Grudem's better, I feel it is more user-friendly as Erickson tends to be "long-winded" (or is it long penned?). Both are excellent resources that sit next to each other on my shelf.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Please forgive my false assumption.

    Although I totally disagree with your charge that he is a weak exegete and that he is wishy washy, I do confess that I assumed calvinist because before you the only people I had heard criticize him were calvinists and open theists.

    Again, my most sincere apologizies and I truly stand corrected.
     
  12. gb93433

    gb93433
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    I am not big on systematic theology books becasue often they try to lump so many thuings together, Some are better at taking things in context than others. I enjoy books on biblical theology much better.

    However I think the best set of books on the subjext is Systematic Theology: Biblical, Historical, and Evangelical 2 vols. by James Leo, Jr. Garrett
    They are out of print but can be purchased used. The author was a proessor at SWBTS when I was there. I also like Erickson's book too.

    I would also get some chruch history books. They will allow you to take a look at the things the early church had to deal with. Often if one takes a look at the heresies present and where they led and how the early chruch dealt with them helps a lot.

    The books I like a lot are Dcitionary of ....most are by IVP. They are excellent. I have all nine of them.

    I also like Documents of the Christian Church by Bettenson.

    Two excellent books on the practices around the time of the early church is Jerusalem in the Time of Jesus by Jeremias and Backgrounds of Early Christianity by Ferguson
     
  13. LaymansTermsPlease

    LaymansTermsPlease
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    Hey everyone, thanks so much for all the opinions.

    I believe I will go with the Erickson book for systematic theology.

    Someone mentioned reading a general church history book. I have read the following already.


    The Early Church (Penguin History of the Church, 1) by Henry Chadwick ISBN: 0140231994

    The Reformation (Penguin History of the Church, 3) by Owen Chadwick ISBN: 0140137572


    What are other opinions of these? Are they just fluffy summary books, or pretty decent?

    I remember my 10th grade Bible teacher had us using a hardback texbook that he used at seminary. I can't remember the exact title...I mean that was nearly 20 years ago.

    I guess what I'm asking is what in-depth church history books are you guys using in Southern Baptist seminaries these days? Stuff that can be found on Amazon/Barnes and Noble, or stuff that only your seminary bookstores sell?

    Before I posted my first question here, I went around to all the Southern Baptist seminary websites and looked for lists of approved textbooks. I couldn't find any publicly available. All seemed to be simply on a class-by-class basis where the instructor told you in the class itself. I was disappointed not to find them listed anywhere online.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  14. gb93433

    gb93433
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    When I was at SWBTS the books that were used was up to the particular professor. Most of them were not written by SBC people nor published by Braodman. Most of the professors will not puiblish through Broadman. Broadman has a practice that I believe is unethical. I read one of the books a professor of mine wrote. I was quite sure he didn't quite believe what was written. So I asked him after class about what was written in the book and he took me outside of the building with nobody else around and he told me what he really believed and one other that supported him. But what was written in the book was not what he really believed. So I followed up with a few other professors and heard the same problems. It is my understanding that when Broadman does a book contract they have the author sign a contract giving Broadman all editing rights. I was published twice and in the secular world and was never treated like that.

    Dr. Leon McBeth was asked to write a book on women in Baptist history. The SBC published some books and then killed it. They dedcided that they didn't want that kind of information out there. Doesn't that sound like the RCC at one time and the things we accuse them of. It's all about image. They are afraid of telling the truth because they might have to deal with that rather than if they just cover it up. The same thing happeneed when Dr. Dilday was fired. They gave him a great evaluation and the next day they fired him because they didn't want all the media. What is wrong with telling the actual truth and dealing with it?
     
  15. JGrayhound

    JGrayhound
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    how do I roll me eyes at the above post?

    :rolleyes:

    there you go
     
  16. gb93433

    gb93433
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    If you would like to verify what I said just give Dr. McBeth a phone call and I can give you the names of a few more you might like to contact. Some will surprise you as I was. You might hear some thuings you don't like. Also you might like to read the local Ft. Worth newspaper. But don't do it if you don't like the truth to stare you in the face and hit you on the nose. It might hurt if you do. Isn't it interesting that so many who left the seminary are teaching at other SBC schools.

    Would you trust someone who changes what the author actually wrote.
     
  17. gb93433

    gb93433
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    Three books I would suggest are" "How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth", "Step by Step Through The Old Testament" and "Step by Step Through The New Testament."
     

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