Tuesday, 9 August 2005

The best systematic theology textbook

I’ve offered my list of the top ten systematic theologies. So I thought I should follow this with a suggestion of the best textbook for the study of systematic theology. I reckon it’s an easy choice:

Otto Weber, Foundations of Dogmatics, trans. Darrell L. Guder, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981-83).

This is a very fine work of theology in its own right, and it includes a great deal of historical and exegetical discussion, as well as a brief history of the discipline of theology. Although in some respects Weber’s work is now dated, I think it still provides insight into the fundamental questions of theology in a sharper and more informative way than any other introductory work. And, unlike many other textbooks, this is a genuinely theological work and not merely an “objective” survey of the field.

Unfortunately, Weber’s work has long been out of print; but there are still second-hand copies around (available here and here). It can be expensive getting the two volumes together—but it’s worth every dime.

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