"I have written this first volume, thinking of my heritage as both Reformed and Catholic; gladly appropriating crucial insights of the whole people of God over the last two thousand years—Eastern Orthodox, Western Catholic, and Reformation Protestant—as they sought to live out the foundational truths of the inspired Word of God."—Douglas Kelly
“From beginning to end, it must clearly be recognized that the only way humans can properly test truth claims to ultimate reality must be in light of who that ultimate reality is and how He acts and speaks. The supreme reality makes Himself known as the personal God, and hence the supreme truth He reveals at its very heart partakes of His personal reality and is, for that reason, what the Greek Church Fathers called αὐτουσία (that is, ‘self-existence’ or ‘self-evidence’). That is to say, the supreme truth of the personal God does not depend on anything outside itself to validate itself, for why should that which is ultimate be dependent on that which is subordinate for its power to convince?” (Page 15)
“God’s being and speaking in truth and grace to mankind are intended to evoke an appropriate response from His image-bearers, and that is faith, which is found only within a community of faith (or context of interrelationship that depends on grace). The Church Fathers frequently noted three points about this movement: first, faith is caused by truth; second, faith is the only appropriate response to truth; and third, faith arises within a community context.” (Page 17)
“‘My Lord and my God’ (v. 28). As the Fathers would have said it, truth caused faith, and faith was the only appropriate, fully rational response to what was really there.” (Page 19)
“Truth causes faith; that is to say, objective reality always has priority over subjective response.” (Page 17)
“In terms of ultimate reality, instead of unbelief being wise (and thus, somehow ‘scientific’) and faith being foolish (and ‘unscientific’), it is the exact opposite, as St. Hilary says: ‘Thus all unbelief is foolishness, for it takes such wisdom as its own finite perception can attain, and measuring infinity by that petty scale, concludes that what it cannot understand must be impossible. Unbelief is the result of incapacity engaged in argument. Men are sure that an event never happened, because they have made up their minds that it could not happen’ (De Trinitate, III.24).” (Page 19)
This is the fruit of decades of research, thought, and teaching. Kelly's procedure is entirely sound; Scripture is his basis, the primary authority, but he engages throughout the past teaching of the church.. In this he follows in the footsteps of Calvin and the Westminster and the Westminster Assembly. His breadth of coverage is wide.
I just now completed reading through the entire book you wrote: Systematic Theology, vol. 1. I want to express my sincere appreciation for the quality work you have done. You show that you know ancient languages (Hebrew, Greek and Latin) as well as modern languages (French and German). You delve into the Christian fathers of the first few centuries and are familiar with the works of the Reformers and the latest books and articles on Systematic Theology. This is eminent scholarship that lies back of numerous years of study. You have done the Church a favor by writing this book and I personally thank you for this contribution. Excellent work!
—Simon Kistemaker, Professor of New Testament Emeritus, Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida
Douglas F. Kelly is one of the English-speaking world's leading Reformed theologians. Here we begin to enjoy the fruits of his labors. What a feast it is. Few Protestant theologians in our day know the terrain of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Person of Christ, as well as Professor Kelly... He is at his best when opening up to us the unrealized importance and glory of these foundational truths about our Savior God. For those who yearn for an orthodox Reformed catholicity, Kelly shows the way forward.
—Ligon Duncan, Senior Minister, First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi
Professor Douglas Kelly's eagerly awaited Systematic Theology exceeds all expectation. This first volume is a comprehensive introduction to discussion of God's self-disclosure, Triune being, transcendent majesty, and covenant relationships.
—Ian D. Campbell, Minister, Point Free Church of Scotland, Isle of Lewis
In the Logos edition, this valuable volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English Bible translations, and important terms link to a wealth of other resources in your digital library, including tools for original languages, dictionaries, encyclopedias, commentaries, and theology texts. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.