This is a guide to historic Christian beliefs. As Packer says, "This book sets out in short compass what seems to me to be the permanent essentials of Christianity, viewed as both a belief system and a way of life. … As I often tell my students, theology is for doxology and devotion—that is, the praise of God and the practice of godliness. It should therefore be presented in a way that brings the awareness of the divine presence. Theology is at its healthiest when it is consciously under the eye of God of whom it speaks, and when it is singing His glory."
Title: Concise Theology: A Guide to Historic Christian Beliefs
J. I. Packer (1926–2020) is regarded as one of the most influential evangelicals in North America. He was Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and his writings include books such as Knowing God, A Quest for Godliness, Growing in Christ (Crossway) and Rediscovering Holiness. He preached and lectured widely in Great Britain and North America and served as general editor of the English Standard Version of the Bible published in 2001, and theological editor of the Study Bible version. In 2014, Packer was named Author of the Year by the Association of Logos Bookstores. He was a frequent contributor to and an executive editor of Christianity Today and wrote numerous articles published in journals such as Churchman, SouthWestern Journal, Reformation Revival Journal and Touchstone. He received a BA, MA and PhD from Oxford University.
This review is based on the first version, I understand a revised version is soon to be out. I will buy it too. For many of us, "J. I. Packer" alone tell us a lot. I am a Methodist Layperson. This is my favorite books to teach as a discussion study. Over 90 chapters (most 2-4 pages) of big print. The book is divided into 4 sections: God Revealed as Creator, God Revealed as Redeemer, God revealed as Lord of Grace, God Revealed as Lord of Destiny. A college chemistry professor tells me that the material is challenging but understandable. A blue collar worker told me that the material is short enough to read twice and, for the first time, she really understands the words from theology the pastor uses. Each chapter is full of scripture references paced in the relevant sentence, The Bible is our explanation of Christianity and Faith. This is a great summary of what a Christian should believe and why from a different perspective. I differ from another reviewer's opinion in that I find Logos does have the pages identified and numbered.
The name says it all - this is a well researched treatment of many of the substantive doctrines of the Christian faith. It provides a helpful overview on a subject by subject basis. Each is supported by a number of bible passages on the topic.
The only fault, if that is the correct term, is the absence of a searchable index.
I'd recommend this as an excellent text for the curious seeker through to the bible teacher looking for passages on the topics Dr Packer covers.