A systematic theology from the pillars of evangelicalism.
Basics of the Faith is an overview of essential Christian doctrines from some of the best minds of mid-twentieth century evangelicalism around the globe. Originally appearing in the pages of Christianity Today during 1961–1962, this collection includes essays from influential theologians and biblical scholars including Philip E. Hughes on inspiration, Anthony A. Hoekema on the divine attributes, John Murray on sanctification, Cornelius Van Til on original sin, F. F. Bruce on the person of Christ, G. E. Ladd on the saving acts of God, Leon Morris on the atonement, and J. I. Packer on the nature of the church. This edition includes an introduction by Kevin J. Vanhoozer that lays out their original context and evaluates their ongoing significance. Approachable yet scholarly, Basics of the Faith is both a relevant systematic theology and a celebration of evangelical heritage.
I have no doubt that through these short essays God laid in my heart a firm foundation for my formal studies and teaching in the theological field. I am delighted to see them available again.
—Dr. John Frame, Emeritus Professor of Systematic Theology and Philosophy, Reformed Theological Seminary
This collection of essays on theological topics, written by the leading scholars of the evangelical world in 1962, provides a wonderful testimony to the rapidly growing academic excellence, biblical faithfulness, and interdenominational cooperation of the pioneers of the modern evangelical movement.
—Wayne Grudem, Ph.D., Distinguished Research Professor of Theology and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary
Evangelicals are becoming theologically illiterate. This volume will help remedy that problem by enabling readers to sit at the feet of excellent evangelical thinkers from yesteryears.
—Gerald McDermott, Anglican Chair of Divinity, Director of the Institute of Anglican Studies, Beeson Divinity School
“Some people take exception to the procedure whereby the Bible is allowed to witness to itself. Certainly, the argument ‘the Bible claims to be the inspired Word of God, therefore it is the inspired Word of God’ is not by itself admissible. But it is a commonplace of legal justice that any person standing trial has the right to engage in self-testimony. By itself—that is, in the absence of the independent witness of other persons or of circumstances—that self-testimony may or may not be true. The point is that it may be true, and so it must not be stifled. In the case of the Bible, it bears witness to itself in terms which, if true, are of the most vital consequence for the whole of mankind. Its witness must, therefore, be heard.” (Pages 31–32)
“Natural revelation gives us direction and confidence in our search for God; God’s Special Revelation gives us final authority and assurance regarding his own nature and his will for man. As Calvin suggests, in the Bible we have the ‘divine spectacles’ which bring the truths of natural theology into focus.” (Page 20)
“The contributors to Basics of the Faith are all engaged in the project described by the apostle Paul as ‘waging war’ against arguments and opinions that are ‘against the knowledge of God’ in order to ‘take every thought captive to obey Christ’ (2 Cor. 10:3–5 esv), the truth and life of God. And this is indeed the purpose of theology: to ensure that our thoughts correspond to revealed truth, and that our right thinking (‘every thought’) leads to right action (‘obedience’). A ‘basic of the faith’ is thus a primary Christian teaching that orients our thought about God and the gospel in the right direction. Basic Christian doctrine is necessary at all times and in all places because, alas, false doctrine—idolatry and ideology—is pervasive.” (Pages 3–4)
Since 1956, Christianity Today has been the voice of evangelicalism in America—a bellwether of theology, politics, and culture for evangelicals. The Best of Christianity Today is a new series, featuring the most enduring articles from decades of Christianity Today written by the most respected voices in modern evangelicalism. Lexham Press is proud to partner with Christianity Today to bring these treasures of evangelicalism's heritage to readers today.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.