Looking for theology survey book recommendations

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, May 24, 2014.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    My wife wants to dive into theology however she does not like Reformed theology so that throws most of my books out the door. I have one survey Theology book called Everyones a Theologian by RC Sproul which is Calvinist based so does anyone have any laymen level (NON ACADEMIC) survey theology books to recommend? My wife also prefers one from a IFB however I am not aware of any that Pastor Paul Chapel has written as he generally does not write doctrine books. Charles Ryrie is Arminian which is one suggestion, but he may not be a baptist.

    Remember Theology survey books (NON ACADEMIC) non Calvinist based. Also remember theology books, and not Hermeneutics books (How to Read the Bible for all its worth), or reading the Bible type books (30 days to understanding the Bible) but books that are Baptist based.

    Thanks

    PS- Wait looking online this book 30 days to understanding the Bible may be what we are looking for.
     
    #1 evangelist6589, May 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2014
  2. Winman

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    Get her Barnes Notes. Barnes was a Calvinist, but he was VERY moderate. I am not a Calvinist at all, yet I agree with almost everything Barnes wrote. He is easy to read and very practical. His commentary was the most popular commentary of the 19th century.

    She would probably like J. Vernon McGee as well.

    http://www.ttb.org/contentpages/21792/6d132a5a-58cb-4637-b04a-a5e9ed50265d/StudyGuides.aspx

    She could listen to his daily broadcast, he takes you through the Bible in a year. He is a very good teacher, simple and straighforward.

    My 2 cents.
     
  3. Jordan Kurecki

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  4. evangelist6589

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    She is not looking for a commentary but a Biblical doctrines book.
     
  5. evangelist6589

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  6. JamesL

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    John,
    I'm not sure if this is what you've got in mind, but....

    The Compact Guide to the Christian Faith
    www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0764222708/page-1/


    I think if you were to couple that with....

    The Complete Book of Bible Literacy
    www.abebooks.co.uk/book-search/isbn/084231072x/page-1/


    That would give a general intro into Christian theology (not specifics of a doctrinal persuasion) along with a simple dictionary/encyclopedia of people, places and such in the bible. Both are very elementary, in my opinion.


    If she wanted to get into interpreting for herself, I think the next step might be...

    Basic Bible Interpretation
    www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0896938190/page-1/


    As I have offered before...if you PM me, I'll send you these books to you for free. I have all three, and they are just collecting dust these days. Also, ran across a nice little book you might enjoy, one I missed when you asked about church history....

    The 100 Most Important Events in Christian History
    www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0800756444/page-1/

    Very elementary intro, sort of like 100 Wikipedia pages in one book



    Also, don't know if you'd be interested, but I've got....

    Apologetic Preaching: Proclaiming Christ to a Postmodern World
    www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=9780830815753&sts=t&x=40&y=5

    Five Views on Apologetics
    www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?isbn=0310224764&sts=t&x=48&y=10
     
  7. evangelist6589

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    Thank you James I sent you a PM. Gonna take a stab at this one, as the book I think will help her seems to be out of print and can't be located on amazon, cbd, half.com, nor ebay, but just abebooks. I hope the book I mentioned for her will help and is not too academic and is written at an easy to understand level.

    You know James the church is going through this book

    Charting the End Times

    and this is an easy to understand laymen level book on Prophecy. This book she understands fully.

     
  8. JamesL

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    That Compact Guide is very readable. If she's good with reading LaHaye, she'll be good with it.

    After reading the description and some reviews about the 30 days book you mentioned, I'm thinking that would be the next step after the Compact Guide.


    I'm really glad to hear that she's wanting to delve into theology. Will you be going through this material with her, or is she by herself on this?
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    Yes I will be. However I will add this is an Arminian church where the people seem to be at a basic level on doctrine and do not seem to love reading books and diving into theology which was not the case at a Calvinist Church I was a member of in the past. I hope that she stays committed and wants to dive into theology. The second book as I mentioned in the PM is obviously for me. Thanks.

    PS- It may be this attitude and lack of a desire to dive into theology which may explain why no one wants to do street evangelism with me here. On the streets of Denver there are all kinds of skeptics, humanists, cults, and other religions and I have chatted with many different types, but in that context its vital to have a general understanding of theology and apologetics.
     
  10. JamesL

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    The reason I asked whether you'll be going thru it with her is to advise with a little caution. Be excited for where she is, and not so much salivating over where you want her to be.

    I could be wrong, but I can almost see you anticipating that she'll grow into an awesome 5-point helpmeet.

    If that ever happens, it won't be in 30 days - lol


    I guessed that the other book would be for you. I kind of hand picked it, hoping you'd let me send it to you.

    Could be they don't understand enough about Christ to have a desire to share their faith, or that they're fearful of having their ignorance exposed, or that maybe they're just not called by God for it.


    Gotta get in for Sunday School....ttyl
     
  11. evangelist6589

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    Yes you are correct. I need to work on my patience and understand where people are coming from better. I also need reasonable expectations. My wife has dismissed Calvinism, but not because she has read the books and looked up the verses defending Reformed theology, but because of its reputation in the IFB movement, and there are few Reformed IFB Churches. People speak poorly of Calvinism whom do not fully understand it, nor are they willing to read the books and look up the verses in its defense. Its sad and not a right thing to do but its reality.

    Yes there may be many reasons why people do not actively witness, however it is a commandment in Mark 16:15 and the other gospels. But with some it may take time to grow as it did with me taking me till the year 2008.
     
  12. JamesL

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    I think most every believer needs to improve in that area. And it seems the more learned someone is, the less patient he is with others. Not always the case, but oftentimes is.

    You're right that people dismiss without investigating. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, in and of itself. We have pastors, elders and such who have been given charge over a flock of sheep.

    The people are listening to someone they trust, who supposedly understands the issues he's instructing on. In one regard, you have to understand the perception/warning/trust issue.

    The pastor might warn against the Jehovah's Witnesses because he perceives their doctrine as an assault on biblical Christianity. We would commend him for that, and would hope his little flock heeds his warning. Some might verify what he's told them by investigating, but we may not chide them for simply trusting their pastor and taking his word for it - especially if they're babes. But that pastor ought to understand the issues, and be informed enough to accurately represent the position he warns against.

    It's really the same with both sides of the Cal/Arm debate. Both sides see the other as an assault on biblical Christianity. Those who can fellowship across the divide aren't tossing out anathemas. They might not agree, but they don't see the other view as heresy.

    If that pastor warns against Calvinism as false teaching, he ought to properly understand it. And if he sees it as a false teaching, a damnable heresy, he ought to warn against it. Same coming from the other side. If a Calvinist pastor warns against Arminianism as a false teaching, he ought to understand it well enough to accurately represent it. And if he understands it well, and deems it heresy, he ought to warn against it.

    Same as with other perceived errors. If he understands Roman Catholicism as error, he ought to warn against it. Or Mormonism, or Adventism, etc

    And the sheeple, to a large degree, should be expected to trust their pastor/elders. Most lay people have neither the time, know-how, or drive to understand every error for themselves.

    The teachers, elders, pastors will be judged more strictly. They have the greater responsibility to accurately handle the word, and bring their people to maturity.

    I think different people have been called to take the gospel to others in various settings. I've got a lot of respect for you, having courage to go out in public with Christ.

    Though I've done some of that, that is not my calling. I know who I've been called to take Christ to: a sometimes forgotten demographic, one that has been clumsily handled - the churched lost.

    And believe me, brother. It is a large demographic.
     
  13. evangelist6589

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    Once I was in a Calvinist church where the pastor strongly emphasized the lay people to be Bereans and to TEST EVERYTHING. To be theologians, to be pastors/elders/deacons/evangelists one day, and to prepare the people for the works of the ministry (as it says in Ephesians). People in this church (generally speaking) did their HW and investigated before they jumped the gun. However one problem with this philosophy of ministry is that it opened the door to debates with the pastor in SS (as I saw many times) it opened the door to the cults and false churches sometimes attending the service to debate the pastor in SS (which I saw happen from time to time) and so forth. The pastor believed allot in engaging the cults in apologetics (where I get my example from) and so forth. I believe he was an apologist as a pastor. Sad as it is but I never run into a church like that one all these years later. He's dead know, but I do miss him.

    However perhaps engaging the cults and false churches from time to time, writing articles to newspapers and such, attracted false believers and cults into the fellowship to engage the pastor in debate in SS.

    Brother do you know of an apologetics book or other book that encourages this style of apologetics? I am sure one is out there.
     
    #13 evangelist6589, May 25, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 25, 2014
  14. JamesL

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    That's very commendable. And it's easy to see from many different pastor/laity settings that as the pastor goes, so goes his congregation. If he encouraged and pleaded with them to know how to defend the faith, and exemplified that from the pulpit and in SS classes, I believe it's only natural that people would follow his lead in that.



    If his congregants were being brought up into maturity, then heck yeah. There's no way I'd attempt something like that with a church full of biblically unstable babes



    You mean one that encourages open invitation to debate in a church? or simply willingness/eagerness to engage with heretical factions?

    I don't know of any books along the first line, encouraging churches to be open to debating within their own walls.

    I previously mentioned one book, Apologetic Preaching (Craig A. Loscalzo). It is written to encourage pastors to preach apologetically from the pulpit, to give answers in a postmodern world (and congregation) filled with relativism, and skepticism.

    www.christianbookcenteronline.com/product.asp?sku=0830815759


    As for apologetic defenses against Christian cults, I have not read many. I've personally engaged in the arguments, plus learned a lot through studying American church history with the development of denominations and Christian cults.

    The definitive work, for many years, was Walter Martin's The Kingdom of the Cults. I do not have it, though I did read much of his work about 12-13 years ago. Martin died about 25 years ago, and many of his arguments have been (at least seemingly) answered by the cults. Ravi Zacharias has edited an update of the book, and I'd guess it's probably excellent...

    www.christianbook.com/kingdom-the-cults-rev-and-updated/walter-martin/9780764228216/pd/228218


    Heck, if you're out there every weekend talking to all these people from differing persuasions, you might soon become the definitive source. Every expert has first hand experience.

    You should try to keep some sort of records as to what kind of answers/objections/questions you face. That way you can become immersed in the biblical thoughts which offer refutation
     
  15. JamesL

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    Forgot to mention - I tried two different UPS stores today, which were both closed. One closes every Sunday, and the other closed Sat-Mon for Memorial day. So I'll try again Tuesday
     
  16. evangelist6589

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    Good ideas. Looking on CBD I see a number of books have been written to engage the cults. Correcting the cults by Geisler is one example, but a number of others have been written. I also thought to myself why would a author write a book if he did not intend for the audience to apply it? Applying means engaging in dialogue with the cults and other false religions. Walter Martin's books look good and I wish I had copies of The Kingdom of the Cults and the Kingdom of the Occult. However many these days (at least in Denver) are not cultists or occultists, but Postmodernists and secular humanists/atheists. The following books deal with these topics.

    The Truth War
    http://www.christianbook.com/truth-...eption/john-macarthur/9781400202409/pd/202400

    The New Tolerance
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0842370889/?tag=baptis04-20

    So Whats the difference?
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0830718982/?tag=baptis04-20

    I really wish the people in my church would get interested in this kind of thing, but I can't force it on them. The blame is on the pastoral staff, although nice and kind people, they just like dodging difficult subjects. I did not choose the church I am in as it was forced on me, so I need to make the best of where I am at.
     
    #16 evangelist6589, May 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: May 26, 2014
  17. evangelist6589

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    Thank you.. Appreciate it.
     
  18. Deacon

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    Just some advise for what it's worth:

    Everybody's different but I find I am more likely to read a book if I buy it myself.

    Unless I give my wife a particular book to buy, she knows not to get one for me - it will sit unread for a long time.

    Give your wife some suggestions - - - but let her make the decision when and what to purchase.
    You might be surprised.

    Rob
     
  19. Rippon

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    The following advice seems to go against what the author of the OP wants since it is not from a Baptist source per se, and it is not a theological overview in summary form as he requested. However, I think if she reads the sermons of Dr.D-M-L-Jones she will get a good deal of sound theology in a more contextual manner --it will just fit together naturally as he builds up biblical theology through his preaching. I think she will be blessed.

    Have her start with his series on Ephesians, for instance. I was first introduced to him through his expositions of Romans in 1979 and 1980.
     
  20. evangelist6589

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    He's too academic (have one of his books) and besides he's a calvinist (people she does not read). I disagree with Armianism but some of them have good books of which I am hunting and await the books he is sending.
     

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