40% off Geisler's Systematic Theology

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This post has 17 Replies | 1 Follower

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Apr 9 2018 1:49 PM

https://www.logos.com/product/3598/systematic-theology 

What is everyone's thoughts on owning this, is it worth owning? 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 6591
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 2:48 PM

 I own it and it’s very practical and teachable too if you make some modifications.

DAL

Posts 943
Everett Headley | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 3:21 PM

 I have had it for several years.   I read through it when I got it.

It's easy reading, broken down in standard disciplines.

As far as being a systematic, I find it lacking.  Often when it would touch on a subject that would require some depth, it would posit a summary, but not offer much to support it.  What it does touch, did not add much to the conversation.

I expect a systematic theology to be thorough in referencing texts and interacting with Scripture.  I also look for opposing opinions and responses to them from the author's perspective.  I should be able to look at a discipline, read the author's treatment of it, and be able dialogue on at least major points, and possibly even minor.  

After several papers on numerous theology topics, I never really found Geisler's work to be helpful on elucidating a point, adding depth to the conversation, or furthering my understanding.  Eventually, I put it down, never to pick it back up.  There are too many other, good ST's out there that Geisler's would be very far down the list to secure.

Don't get me wrong about him as an author, he is a, if not the, powerhouse in apologetics.  I have everything else he has written.  When he speaks on those subjects, he is a master.  But, he is not a Systematic Theologian (if there is such a thing.)

I'd recommend putting that money into his complete works, or a different ST. 

Posts 3065
David Taylor Jr | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 6:13 PM

DAL:

 I own it and it’s very practical and teachable too if you make some modifications.

DAL

Why what ever could you mean? Wink

Teacher, Ministry Leader, Student, Author, Husband

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Posts 6591
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 6:40 PM

David Taylor Jr:

DAL:

 I own it and it’s very practical and teachable too if you make some modifications.

DAL

Why what ever could you mean? Wink

😁 

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 9 2018 11:20 PM

Thanks for the feedback

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 3321
Mattillo | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 11 2018 5:52 AM

DAL:

 I own it and it’s very practical and teachable too if you make some modifications.

DAL

Agreed up to the modifications part... not sure what DAL means there Big Smile

It is a great set of books for apologetics as he devotes sections to answering questions that you might come across from a systematic theology perspective.  The three systematic theologies I usually hit first are: Biblical Doctrine (MacArthur), Grudem's Sys Theo, and this one.  I usually then work my way out from there

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 11 2018 1:53 PM

Thanks for the feedback 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 461
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 11 2018 1:57 PM

Three words: 

Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics. 

You're welcome Stick out tongue

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 11 2018 3:09 PM

LMAM:

Three words: 

Bavinck, Reformed Dogmatics. 

You're welcome Stick out tongue

So expensive...lol

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 461
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 12 2018 1:21 AM

True, but worth it (IMHO). 

Think of it this way, if you buy Geisler you'll still want Bavinck. If you buy Bavinck you won't need Geisler. 

Personally, I would pass Geisler and save up until you can get Bavinck. He is rounded, fair, biblical, and engages with opponents in honest and gentle dialogue - not to mention a formidable theologian. You may not agree with all of his conclusions but you'll be better for the journey. 

Everett said earlier that, "As far as being a systematic, I find it lacking.  Often when it would touch on a subject that would require some depth, it would posit a summary, but not offer much to support it.  What it does touch, did not add much to the conversation." You won't get that with Bavinck.

He also sagely observed that a Systematic Theology should be, "thorough in referencing texts and interacting with Scripture.  I also look f.r opposing opinions and responses to them from the author's perspective.  I should be able to look at a discipline, read the author's treatment of it, and be able dialogue on at least major points, and possibly even minor." You'll get all of that with Bavinck.

Obviously, the single biggest problem with Bavinck is age, his RD was all done and dusted by 1911. Even so, I never found that a problem in terms of application and understanding, etc. In fact, I see this as a benefit. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume a couple of things (forgive me if I get any incorrect), 1. You were born sometime post WW2; 2. You live in either that US or the UK; 3. you already own a couple of STs written by middle-aged white guys living in either the US or the UK. 

Bavinck was born in 1854 and is from the Netherlands when he writes he engages with a lot of European authors. Why is this a good thing? It is a good thing because by writing in a time, place, and to an audience that is different from ours he approaches scripture, theology, and his audience from a different starting point to us. Most reformed systematics today is done by white, middle-aged men from the US and UK who are (for the most part) say the same things, about the same topics, using the verses, referencing the same quotes from Calvin about the heart being an idol factory. 

I'm not trying to be disrespectful, I am indebted to those men. We all are. The point is Bavinck offers you something that they can't offer you. Distance, perspective, and a slightly different angle from which to approach scripture and theology. Simply put, he just thinks differently to me. Geisler can't offer you that. 

Look, I am, admittedly, a Bavinck fanboy, but even so, I hope that is some food of thought. Happy to answer any Qs or post screenshots. And feel free to push back - in fact, I encourage it :-D

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 12 2018 9:10 AM

I ended up getting Geisler because others thought it was good. So far it doesn’t seem like a systematic theology but it is pretty good in the sense that he gives a more of a philosophical approach and apologetic approach. 

I think I may now want to get the other theology that you mentioned. You brought up some good points. Is this guy strictly reformed? I have quite a few from that perspective or what framework does he write from? 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 461
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2018 4:08 AM

Yes, as a card-carrying member of the Dutch Reformed church, Bavinck is strictly Reformed. Though again as a member of DRC he took his cue from the Heidelberg Catechism, other Reformed Systematic theologians these days (Like John Frame, for example) tend to follow the Westminster standards, if they subscribe to a creed/confession at all. 

A couple of further thoughts (See TLDR if you are in a hurry, and an important caveat).

One particularly helpful perspective is his emphasis on unity-in-diversity. This is perhaps one of Bavinck's biggest contributions; the idea that the nature of life and creation reflects, to greater or lesser degrees, the unity of relationship Trinity (kind of like the vestigia trinitatis put forward by some church fathers). This motif comes up explicitly or implicitly everywhere in Bavinck's theology and practice. For example, the family (father, mother, children are one family unit), the human race (different people, languages, nations are one humanity), the church (people from every tribe, language, people, nation, slave, free, male, female, man, woman, are one in Christ), scripture (two testaments, different books, authors, genres make up one canon), to name a few. This is something particularly helpful in today's climate of race/gender wars, immigration, fracturing protestant unity, and lowest common denominator ecumenical unity.

Not surprising then the Trinity is central to Bavinck's thought life. The man himself said, "The mind of the Christian is not satisfied until every form of existence has been referred to the Triune God and until the confession of the Trinity has received the place of prominence in all our life and thought.” It is one thing to talk about the significance and importance of the Trinity in a Systematic Theology, but it is another thing entirely to seek to integrate it so fully into one's thinking and practice like Bavinck did. This I think also puts the glory of God implicitly central to his thinking and writing too, without it becoming an abstract statement or ideal divorced from the God who's glory we are supposed to be seeking.

Finally, these two come together in Bavinck's understanding of how grace restores nature. He says that "The essence of the Christian religion consists in the reality that the creation of the Father, ruined by sin, is restored in the death of the Son of God and recreated by the grace of the Holy Spirit into a kingdom of God.” This restoration goes beyond the physical world in which we live into the very lives we lead and how we lead them. Grace will not only full restore the creation we find ourselves in currently, it is restoring our lives, our homes, our families, our service of others, and most of all our service of God as he continues to rescue sinners. As result, Bavinck is very critical of anything he sees as Christians wanting to 'escape' the world or to separate themselves from the church universal by forming a 'true' church. 

TLDR: In addition to my previous post, Bavinck's' "Reformed Dogmatics" is deeply theological because the triune God is always at the centre of his writing, it is doxological because the glory of God is resonantly put on full display, and it is practical in that they help us think how we should live in this life as we head towards eternal life. Finally, and most importantly of all, they are not perfect.

Caveat: apologises if many of my points have a heavy 'church' flavour, I'm currently halfway through his section on ecclesiology. I also apologise for spelling and grammar, dyslexia is a pig!

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2018 12:09 PM

Thanks for the post, I am putting Bavinck on my wish list I definitiely want to get it now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback! 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 461
Liam & Abi Maguire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 16 2018 1:27 PM

Keith Pang:

Thanks for the post, I am putting Bavinck on my wish list I definitiely want to get it now. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feedback! 

You are most welcome. Always happy to talk Bavinck, frankly it gives my wife a break Wink

Check out my blog 'For Fathers'

Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 20 2018 2:52 PM

Maybe use the $20 coupon on Bavinck? πŸ€” Does it ever go on sale? 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

Posts 6591
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 20 2018 3:14 PM
I think Bavinck used to be included in a base package (L6 Reformed), but then didn’t get included in L7. I have it and I like both, but I prefer Geisler because it’s outlined better and easily adapts to the classroom πŸ‘πŸ˜πŸ‘Œ DAL
Posts 1022
Keith Pang | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Apr 20 2018 3:48 PM

Maybe I’ll hold out for a L8 package haha πŸ˜‚ I like the Geisler one too 

Shalom, in Christ, Keith. Check out my music www.soundcloud.com/kpang808

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