This post is part of a series entitled Key Bible and Theological Reference Tools. This series seeks to provide one with an introduction to some key Biblical and theological reference tools. In this series one will find basic explanations, significant examples, and other information about these reference tools.
Basic Description of Theologies
Generally speaking, one can divide theological reference tools into three broad categories.
Systematic Theologies – Seek to present theological material systematically according to specific categories that frame the discussion, e.g., the nature of God, the work of the Spirit, the essence of sin, etc.
Biblical Theologies – Seek to present theological material according to categories more directly related to those of the Biblical authors, books, and corpuses; seek to give special attention to the progressive unfolding of this theological material across Biblical history and the Biblical canon.
Historical Theologies – Seek to present developmnent of Christian theology throughout church history and spanning various theological traditions. Some are organized according to historical period while others are organized topically.
Sample of Systematic Theology
Key Systematic Theologies
Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.
Millard Erickson’s Christian Theology – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.
Normal Geisler’s Systematic Theology – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.
Michael Horton’s The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way – Prominent evangelical systematic theology.
Gordan Lewis and Bruce Demarest’s Integrative Theology – Brief evangelical systematic theology.
L.S. Chafer’s Systematic Theology – Classical Dispensational systematic theology.
Sample of Biblical Theologies
Dictionaries of Biblical theology:
- New Dictionary of Biblical Theology edited by
- Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology edited Walter A. Elwell.
Whole Bible Biblical theologies:
- The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments by Walter C. Kaiser Jr.
- God’s Glory in Salvation through Judgment: A Biblical Theology by James Hamilton Jr.
- King in His Beauty, The: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments by Thomas Schreiner.
Old Testament theologies:
- An Old Testament Theology by Bruce Waltke.
- Toward an Old Testament Theology by Walter Kaiser, Jr.
- Introduction to Old Testament Theology by John H. Sailhamer.
New Testament Biblical theologies:
- A Theology of the New Testament by George Eldon Ladd.
- New Testament Theology by I. Howard Marshall.
- A New Testament Biblical Theology by G.K. Beale.
Note Biblical theologies of specific Biblical corpuses. For example,
- Paul: An Outline of His Theology by Herman Ridderbos.
- A Theology of John’s Gospel and Letters by Andreas J. Kostenberger.
- A Theology of Luke and Acts by Darrell L. Bock.
Key Historical Theologies
- Historical Theology: An Introduction to Christian Doctrine by (organized topically).
- Historical Theology: An Introduction to the History of Christian Thought by Alister E. McGrath (organized by time period).