In my mind, the book that every Christian should read, and second in value only to the Bible, is Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology. Even the casual reader of the Bible has asked questions of the “I wonder what the Bible has to say about . . .” nature. Systematic Theology may sound offputting to some, but all it means is that the author is attempting to answer that question in an organized manner.
It is sad that so many Christians today do not wrestle with the issues of what they believe. If you are already convinced that the Bible is the starting place from which we frame our beliefs,you will find this book engaging and largely persuasive. It is the nature of things that almost everyone will find something to disagree with in this book. (I certainly do!) The book is fantastically useful in its method, however.
Grudem assumes little or no knowledge, frames questions, states some of the answers given by Christians, examines the Bible’s teaching (actually quoting it rather than simply listing proof texts), and states his own opinion on every issue he addresses. He doesn’t use any theological words without explaining them—a very welcome feature.
This is a book any student of the Bible can dip into and refer to, but if you are serious about learning what the Bible has to say, why not read the book from cover-to-cover. Take your time though, there is at least as much depth of material here as 100 typical modern Chrisitian paperbacks.
You really can’t go wrong with this book, and Grudem is one of those writers with whom you should disagree only very cautiously and after much careful thought and consulting of other godly teachers. I don’t think he’s right about everything, but I found surprisingly few occasions in the book where I would be willing to go on record as publicly disagreeing with this wonderfully humble man.